Books on Faith: Follow Me by David Platt, Week Three
On Mondays in March we're discussing David Platt's new book Follow Me: A Call to Die. A Call to Live. This is week three.
I squeezed my eyes tight, pushing the daylight out of every conceivable corner. I was convinced that it was right here, right now that God would speak.
The setup was perfect. I was 17, gifted and on fire. I wanted to serve God—anywhere, anyhow. I drove into a quiet spot in woods and set up a chair under a large aspen tree. I sat and waited for something – a voice. A bush. A finger writing on the white bark.
“What is your will? What should I do?”
God Will Hunting
I just needed a sign.
I didn’t get one that day. It didn’t seem fair. After all, Elijah got one. Moses, too. And even the disobedient Israelites. And Thomas, full of doubts, got to touch the fresh wounds.
God also ignored a few other tests I gave Him throughout life—like when I asked Him to make the nickel come up five heads in a row to confirm my choice of a college. And the day I flipped open my worn New Testament, looking away while my finger pointed to a random verse to give me a signal. The list of methods I used is almost embarrassing.
Any sincere believer has been there. That’s why David Platt’s chapter God’s Will for Your Life in his book Follow Me is sure to help plenty of sincere—but sincerely wrong—believers who have tried all kinds of holy manipulation to understand just exactly what is the right course of action for their lives.
He outlines an assortment of methods we have devised for finding the Will of God.
The astonishing miracle: “God, cause this pencil to move across the table.
The striking coincidence: “She’s got an aunt in Idaho. My uncle loves potatoes. We both use Colgate. God has willed us to marry!”
The Open Door: “If I send in my application for a Secret Service agent, and they accept me, despite my spotty criminal record, then that is your perfect will for me. “
Casting the Fleece: “If this $10 turns into a $50, then I’ll go into missions.”
The Still Small Voice: “I’m listening. Wait is that you? Or is that a song from the radio playing in my head?”
Platt advances a line of logic that is strikingly simple. Yet, I find it hard to digest considering my lifelong quest for the Holy Grail of God’s perfect will.
“We operate as if God’s will were lost,” he writes. “What if He has already revealed it? What if God the Father has not sent his children on a cosmic Easter egg hunt?”
Really, all of this is comical in a way, if it weren’t so serious in its implications. Can you honestly imagine God, sitting back with a mischievous, knowing look on his face? “Warmer. No Colder. Cooling. Getting warm. Red hot! You found it! You found my will.”
It Was Right There All Along
Here’s the will of God. For us to surrender to Him. It’s spelled out clearly in Scripture. He’s never deviated from the principle. He’s always rewarded those who pursue obedience.
And the first act of clear obedience. “Go and make disciples.”
Suddenly, life just got a lot simpler. It’s not a complicated road map full of twists, turns, and directionals. Instead, this walk is one of surrender. Oswald Chambers writes, “The only time a man will wonder where the path lies is when he is actually off the path.”
Why is the hunt for the will of God so elusive for so many? Because we make it that way, according to Platt.
“The more we know God, and the more we walk in his will, the more we understand how foolish it is to think that he would ever want to hide it from us,” he writes.
Is it me, or was that a light bulb that suddenly illuminated over my head?
Join us next week as Marcus Goodyear finishes up our discussion. If you posted at your blog this week, leave us your link in the comments. If not, jump into the discussion anyway! We would love to hear your thoughts. In April we'll be reading and discussing Not So Fast: Slow-Down Solutions for Frenzied Families by Ann Kroeker. I'm looking forward to reading that one with you all.