Yesterday, we introduced some of the questions that we need to ask when we're trying to discern the voice of God in our lives. And that leads to another important consideration - the questions we're asking at all. Any time we are trying to make a faithful decision, we have to know what the question is that we're really asking.
Often, it's not the one we think we're asking.
The questions we think we're asking usually come out of our circumstances, and that's where we're tempted to leave them. We want to ask whether we should take a job offer or stay where we are, whether we should put in the resume or hold back, whether we should engage to our girlfriend, whether we should go out on a date with that guy, whether we're ready to have kids or we should wait awhile longer, whether we should buy this car or that one, whether we should move our family or invest in our current home. And these are the questions that we ask God.
Hey, God, which choice should I be making here? Which one of my possible circumstances lines up with your will?
But these are not really the decisions God is interested in us making, and they aren't really the questions we're asking. Don't get me wrong - God cares deeply about the way our lives are going, but it's not His primary concern. His eye is always on eternal things, and His heart is always on our heart.
And the truth is that most of these questions have a deeper heart question underneath. They have an insecurity or a fear or a shame or a nervousness behind them about something that is more to the core of our being. There is something in every one of our questions that we are really wanting to ask, but either we haven't figured out what it is yet or we're too scared to acknowledge it.
For example, when we're asking God about a job offer or a job opening and whether we should put in a resume or not, whether we should ask for a promotion or not, whether we should move companies or not, what we're really asking is for God to reveal to us our purpose. Too many of us are content to keep asking about jobs, but there's something in our hearts that longs to know more. That wants to be assured of what God is doing in our lives, and it goes far beyond a nameplate on the desk or the door.
When we're asking about a relationship, we're not really asking about our significant other; we're asking about ourselves. We're asking whether we're ready to take on the burden of togetherness - whether we have enough to offer, whether we've worked through our own baggage, whether we're capable of carrying someone else's.
When we ask about whether it's time to have kids, we're asking about whether we are in a position to offer and nurture life, and to do it well. When we ask about buying a car, we're asking about provision and about good stewardship of our resources. When we ask about buying a house or moving, we're asking about location and impact. We're asking about community.
It would be nice to keep things on the surface, but the surface will never draw us closer to the heart of God. If God faithfully leads us from one job to another to another and we never take the time to ask about purpose, we'll never find it. If we don't ask about meaning, we won't understand it.
If we aren't asking God the real questions that we have, He can never answer them for us. And we'll be stuck living a circumstantial faith, always trying to figure out the next chapter and never the big story, and we'll miss both. We'll miss the life and the adventure and the incredible mission that God is calling us to if we never stop to ask what the real question is.
So what are you asking God about right now? And then...what are you really asking Him about? How would it change the faith by which you're trying to make your decision if you were honest about what you really want to know?