“God’s perfect will.”

One of the more common ways Christians make ourselves insane is by worrying about whether we’re following God’s will.

No, I’m not talking about following God’s commands. Obeying God should be the only will of God we’re concerned about. Quite often the Christians who stress out over “God’s will” aren’t worried much at all about whether they’re following God’s commands any. What they mean by “God’s will” is something wholly different.

If you tried to get them to describe it, a lot of ’em will say it’s God’s perfect will: It’s the specific roadmap God has in mind for each individual Christian’s life. See, God knows your future, and mine. And God, because he knows all, also knows our potential futures. He can see every possible future timeline. Of those timelines, one of them—and, they’re pretty sure, only one of them—is “God’s best.” It’s the timeline where we’d only ever make the wisest and best and most moral and most discerning choices. It’s the timeline where we’re so in sync with God, our lives turn out precisely as God wants.

They’re nervous lest they miss “God’s best,” and wind up with another future. One which isn’t God’s best. “God’s second-best,” maybe, or at worst “God’s worst.” One which turns out precisely as God doesn’t want… and probably sucks for us too.

You see, a lot of the motivation for striving after “God’s best” is the assumption it won’t include persecution, deprivation, disappointment, heartache, loss, poverty, tribulation… like Jesus suffered. Now think about that for a moment: Jesus fully knew God’s will and never sinned. So if any human life reflected “God’s perfect will” completely, wasn’t it Jesus’s?

Read more…