As college students, we are daily confronted with questions, the heaviest of which are often about the future. What major should I choose? Will I be able to get a job? Will I be successful? Will I have a family?
Many of us tend to ask, what’s God’s will for my life?
These are often difficult questions to answer, but what if they aren’t the questions we should be asking? Don’t get me wrong, I want the answers to these questions, and I’m sure you do too. I want to know that I’ve picked the right major or whether I’ll someday have kids of my own, and I definitely want to know what God’s will is for my life.
Lately, however, a new question has posed itself that has made me rethink the focus of all of the previous questions I’ve been prone to ask. What if instead of asking what God’s will is for my life, we ask “what is my role in God’s will for the world?”
Last semester I had the privilege to take a course called Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, and it really challenged the way I view my relationship with God, His will, and His Word. One of the major insights I gained from this class was that God doesn’t have to use me. But He chooses to. And while He lovingly gave us His Son to bring us back to Himself, it ultimately isn’t about us anyway. It’s not about my personal success, whether I make a lot of money, or even if I end up with a career I love. It’s about His name being praised among all the nations and peoples of the world. His will for the world is that the world would glorify Him.
Habakkuk 2:14 says, “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” Our purpose is to truly know Him and make Him known. And that doesn’t necessarily mean vocational ministry or going overseas as a missionary. But what it also doesn’t mean is spending our lives chasing something akin to the American Dream, hoping to find out what joys God has in store for us personally while neglecting to realize that our lives aren’t really for us anyway. The question needs to shift from an inward-focused desire to be fulfilled to an outward-focused desire to fulfill His purpose.
This of course is not to say that God doesn’t have individual plans for us. I truly believe He does. He gives us ambitions and talents and desires, but those plans He constructs correspond with His ultimate purpose to make His name known all over the world – whether or not they end up looking like the plans we had for ourselves.
We are all called to follow Him, abandoning what we must abandon and going where we must go in whatever way best brings glory to His name, that every tongue, tribe, and nation would stand in praise of Him.