Taking the Path to Peace

I’m always interested in hearing what other people have to say about determining God’s will, and this week, I came across something that makes the most sense yet!

“I simply proceed by faith on the path of greatest peace (not the path of least resistance).” (Can You Hear Me?, Brad Jersak)

That stuck, the moment I read it. It just made sense to me. And then I had the chance to try it out right away!

I’ve been stressed over the last couple of weeks. We’ve had some big decisions to make, and my brain generally gets a lot more mileage out of these situations than Ben’s does. He is perfectly content to wait and see what happens, and he just trusts that things will become clear with time. But once again, I was putting a lot of energy into making decisions, and trying to figure out the very best solutions to each of the situations we were facing.

When I read the quote about the path of greatest peace, I put it to the test. I brought the situations to God, and I asked, “What would bring the most peace? I don’t care about what’s easiest, I just want peace.”

And immediately, I knew what needed to be done.

It became perfectly clear to me.

One situation had an easy solution, and the other actually seemed to call for the more difficult choice, but Ben and I both felt complete peace about that choice – it was not “the path of least resistance”.

It brought a lot of joy to me when I realized once again that seeking God’s best will bring peace, even if it’s the tougher option. Only He can do that, hey? It makes me wonder why I’m afraid of what His will might be – I can slip into thinking it will seem hard or horrible. And yet it will always be what brings the greatest amount of peace, even if it’s the tougher option.

So on this beautiful Friday, I wish you a wonderful weekend, filled with His peace!

Casting Lots, Some Wet Fleece, and a Crystal Ball

I came across a random, interesting fact as I was doing some reading on the book of Acts yesterday.

It had to do with the practice of “casting lots” in the Bible, which I never really understood as a kid. It always seemed strange to me that major decisions were made using different lengths of sticks, or whatever it was that they did, exactly.

As I got older, and had to start making major decisions about my own life, suddenly the idea of casting lots started to look a lot more appealing. An obvious, visible sign of what I should choose to do with my life? Yes, please! Those lucky people in the Old Testament, with their sticks and stones.

But that brings me back to my fun fact of the day:

In the Old Testament, “casting lots” is mentioned 70 times, but in the New Testament, it is only mentioned 7 times.

That is an extreme difference. And guess when the practice came to an abrupt end?

It was when the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost.

Isn’t that amazing? When the Holy Spirit came, there was suddenly no further need for games of chance. In a moment, everything changed for Christians forever, and we were given everything we need to guide us in any decision we will ever face in this lifetime.

Now that we have the completed Word of God, as well as the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide us, there is no reason to be using games of chance to make decisions. The Word, the Spirit, and prayer are sufficient for discerning God’s will today—not casting lots, rolling dice, or flipping a coin. (source)

So why is it still so appealing for us to beg for a sign? We talk about “laying out a fleece”, or joke about lightning bolts from Heaven that will make all things clear.

I could not count the number of times I’ve had conversations with people who are desperate to know God’s will, and don’t have a clue how to find out what it might be. We long for enlightenment, and certainty in decisions.

And yet, I keep thinking about the abrupt ending to “outside” methods of determining God’s will. It became all about the heart, and drawing close to Jesus – growing more dependent on Him, seeking after Him.

I came across an interesting question the other day: Do I really want to know God’s will, or do I just want to know the future?

Do I want to draw closer to God, or am I actually just longing for a gypsy with a crystal ball to tell me what’s coming next?

And do I really need to know what’s coming next, if I’m drawing close to Jesus?

Love DoesI love what Bob Goff writes in his book, Love Does:

I think God passes by me a lot, and it serves to show me the direction He’s going. We don’t always know where He’s headed or what to expect along the way. But I think direction is the point, the part, and the whole of it. He wants followers, not just onlookers or people taking notes. Plus, I think God know that if I found out more than just the direction He was going, I’d probably try to beat Him there. 

If we live life with the Spirit inside of us, and we continue to get really close to Jesus, and we keep asking for His desires to be put into our hearts so that we can follow Him, I think we end up going in the right direction.

And I think it’s okay if we don’t know much beyond that.

Oh, there is a part of me that still longs for a sopping wet piece of fleece, and I’m a little jealous of Gideon, who kept asking for all those specific signs – he got them all, PLUS he got an angel!

But he didn’t have the Holy Spirit. And that makes all the difference.

So these days, I’m trying to silence the questions that want to pop up, because most of the time, they have more to do with wanting to know the future than with getting close to God.

If I live in this moment, in this day, I already know what God’s will is for me:

It’s to know Him, and glorify Him in all I do.

It’s to think about today, and not worry about tomorrow.

His will is for me to care for my family, and for orphans and widows.

His will is for me to love a lot, to be joyful, to pray without ceasing, to have a thankful heart.

It’s to do what is before me, to keep heading in the direction He’s going, and to stay flexible, so that if another opportunity pops up unexpectedly from Him, I’ll be ready to put down the “To Do” list, and follow Him.

If I start with all that, I’ve got enough to keep me busy for awhile. I guess I don’t really need some sticks to show me what to do next!


What do you think? Do you ever wish you could still cast lots, or pray for some wet fleece?!

Let’s Go Have a Surprising Adventure

These days, I’ve been thinking a lot about God’s will.

It’s something I often think about, but even more so right now, because I’ve been asked to speak on the topic at a ladies’ retreat in March. And suddenly, every verse I read, every book I pick up, every sermon I listen to, relates to the topic, and it feels like there’s a ton of thoughts simmering in my mind, all slowly coming together and shaping my thoughts in new ways.

And lately, that new shape to my thoughts has to do with God’s will being like an adventure, and a surprise…


source (Oswald Chambers)

That’s new for me. I’ve written before about how I was a girl with a plan. I like to be in control of each and every detail, so the idea that the unknown could be a “breathless expectation”?? This has not come naturally to me.

I love how Bob Goff writes about it in his book, Love Does:

I think a father’s job, when it’s done best, is to get down on both knees, lean over his children’s lives, and whisper, “Where do you want to go?”

Every day God invites us on the same kind of adventure. It’s not a trip where He sends us a rigid itinerary, He simply invites us. God asks what it is He’s made us to love, what it is that captures our attention, what feeds that deep indescribable need of our souls to experience the richness of the world He made. And then, leaning over us, He whispers, “Let’s go do that together.”

Most of my life, I’ve been almost paralyzed with fear when making major life decisions – What if I make the wrong choice?? What if I MISS God’s will for my life?

But I don’t think it works that way, anymore. I don’t think He wants it to be something that causes stress and uncertainty. I don’t think it has to be such a big deal. I want to do God’s will, and He wants me to do His will, so I pause and listen, get close to His heart, allow Him to speak to mine, and then He takes my hand and we skip off into the world to have adventures.

Ooooh, there’s part of me that still feels it might be wrong to even say something like that – so flippant and careless! We must be so serious about God’s will, after all!

I seriously want to be in it. Now let’s go do it, and have some fun. We’re going for joy and exciting surprises!

What about you? Do you see God’s will as a stressful mystery to solve, or an exciting surprise to discover?

Three Ways to Remain in God’s Will

There’s a verse stuck in my mind these days.

It keeps popping up at the most uncomfortable times – when I’m grumpy and think I have a good excuse, when I’m scared or worried, when I’m frustrated about dreams and goals that seem as though they will never become a reality, and I start wondering what exactly God wants me to be doing with these days of mine:

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

How can I think I have a good reason for being grumpy with those words going through my head?

How can I justify any negative thoughts?

How can I wonder what God’s will is for me, if I truly take that verse to heart? It seems pretty clear to me.

But what about all of the big questions? How do I truly know what God is wanting me to do with my life? It seems as though it should be more than this little list, three items long. Sometimes we have really important decisions to make, and I need to know right now what to do.

God's Will

Joy, prayer, and thanks.

That’s it.

It may sound so little sometimes, but I’m realizing that it pretty much covers everything. Because the big issues are made up of the little things, and a long journey is made up of the little steps we take. And maybe moments of great wisdom and clarity are the result of many, many little moments of insight and preparation leading up to the great moment.

This makes me wonder….Does anything significant and important truly take place in only a moment?

Maybe everything is slowly building up over time, even if it’s unnoticed. And maybe, as I try to find joy and thankfulness, and I keep sending up those little prayers…maybe all of it is leading to my big moment of clarity.

Maybe each of these days filled with little acts of faithfulness are all adding up. In the end, I’ll still look back and see that it was God’s will, even without any great moment of enlightenment.

Some things in life seem really complicated, but I think I can manage to seek joy, prayer and thanks. They don’t always come easy, but I know how to try.

So today, I will look for joy and thankfulness to add to my list. I will stick up post-it notes, reminding me to keep praying.

And my guess is that there will always be peace found in these three little acts, because I will be right where God wants me to be, as long as I continually give this life and this day back to Him.