I tend to reflect on one or two themes at a time. My reflection lasts about a year or so. There have been seasons I’ve reflected on forgiveness and the kingdom of God. Other years I’ve taken time to stew over discipleship.
Now, I don’t set out and call this the year of reflection. The theme sparks from my readings, what I’ve been praying about or even what is happening in church. Since mid to late December of last year, I’ve been thinking about the will of God.
If you hear me preach, you’ve heard me talk about that. As we paced through the pandemic, I heard many people wonder out loud why this was happening. Did God bring this upon the world? What were we supposed to learn? Was this God’s will?
So far, my reflection on God’s will has emphasized the love of God. In a recent sermon, I asked my congregation if we could settle on a simple definition of the will of God. That God’s will is for all people to know God’s love.
Is there more to say about the will of God? Sure. Are there more elegant ways to express what the Lord’s will is. Yes, and I encourage you to listen to more thoughtful and insightful pastors and scholars.
But can’t we see the love of God unfolding in scripture?
There’s a well-known story, a legend maybe, about Swiss theologian Karl Barth. When you study theology, you learn Barth. A young student asked the renowned thinker to summarize his theology. Mind you, Barth didn’t write books; he wrote volumes. His response was, “Jesus loves me. This I know, for the Bible tells me so.”
Everything that God desires for us stems from the Lord’s everlasting love and finds its fruition in that same love. We tend to think that God’s will is what job we should apply to or what school we should attend. Godly wisdom helps us to make those decisions that honor God. They’re still connected to God’s will. So, the decisions God leads you to, certainly in prayer and Christian counsel, help you best live out the will of God.
What job, what city, what direction of life, all your decisions are based upon helping you live in a way that the world knows the love of God.
Samuel had anointed David as king already in 1 Samuel 16. The men of Judah anointed him in 2 Samuel 2. Now, in 2 Samuel 5, all the people anointed him. David was now the king of all the people of God.
The text tells us about David’s reflection. “David then perceived that the Lord had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.”
There it is. For the sake of his people, David was king. God promised everlasting love to the people of God. David’s role as king was a part of God’s promise to love Israel.
So, what decisions are you facing right now? Whatever you’re contemplating, pay attention to how God might be leading you. I guarantee you it’s not about the money, the position or acclaim. God is going to point you in the direction that will help you best show the world the love of God.