In today’s article, I want to start a series of articles about finding God’s will for your life. It is an important question and one I encourage you to consider. Yet, the problem most have with this question is where they focus the question. Most want to know what God’s will is for their life, but they are only concerned about things like health, wealth, and prosperity. This causes the answers they find to be far more worldly and self-centered than Christians should be today.
Most often the answer to the question of God’s will for a person’s life is simply about being happy. Let me say this as clearly as I can! Yes, God wants you to be happy but that is not His primary concern for your life. This wrong focus is what causes people to conclude that God wants them to pursue that job, that new degree, or that new piece of technology that is a little out of their reach.
Let me challenge you to read the story of God’s people. Read the story of Israel and the prophets. Often, God was not concerned about their material wealth or happiness. Most often, He was concerned about their faithfulness. Yes, He wanted to bless them and give them all the riches of His grace, but it was all dependent upon their faith and dependence upon Him.
Sometimes He made people wealthy (Job, Abraham, etc.) but most often the people of God struggled through this world. Usually, that struggle was linked to an unholy desire for worldly wealth and prestige (1 Tim. 6:10; Heb. 13:5). Typically, the pursuit of health, wealth, and prosperity pulls God’s people away from Him.
Honestly, I often see people’s faith tried and tested with the possessions of this world or a desire for them. The sad thing is that repeatedly I have taught and reminded, to no avail, Christians to refocus their lives on Jesus. The desire for more stuff is a powerful and compelling temptation for too many today.
The principle I have seen proven true is that the more a Christian prospers in this world, the less they feel a need for faith and God. The less they feel that need for Jesus in their life, the less they pursue Him. This leads to an inevitable drifting away from Jesus and His church. To make matters worse is that as they drift from God and His church toward possessions and the things of this world, they begin to make increasingly worse decisions until eventually, the connection to Jesus and His people is broken beyond repair. When that happens, their lives fall apart, and God systematically removes all the good from their life.
Consider the warnings of Deuteronomy 6 and 7. Here God tells Israel and us, in clear and concise words, that the wealth of the land will become a struggle for them. He says, be careful that you do not forget your God and instead allow those things to become the god you worship. He warns them to avoid allowing these things to pull them away from faithfulness to Him.
Let me encourage you to give serious thought and prayer to the words of Deuteronomy 6:14-16, “You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you— for the LORD your God in your midst is a jealous God—lest the anger of the LORD your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth. “You shall not put the LORD your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah.” (ESV)
God is a jealous God and will not allow you to prosper while chasing after the wrong things in life. He warns that His anger can be kindled against us and eventually destroy us.
Next week, we will get into finding concrete answers about God’s will for our lives. Just make sure that those answers filter through this warning against becoming consumed with the pursuit of health, wealth, and prosperity.