[The following are excerpts from a Spiritual Life discussion.]
This module on decision-making has been a great reminder of how easy it is to fall into a legalism developed by attaching rules to amoral issues in order to guard against their hypothetical moral aspects (i.e. when in certain select situations an amoral issue may become a moral issue.) Scripture certainly speaks about keeping our own personal rules (spiritual disciplines) to ourselves because it will not apply to all Christians around us. But I certainly have a slew of times when I have been in a perpetual indecision mode as I waited for God’s answer on amoral issues, and have even driven myself stir-crazy.
Although I agree with the premise that we are free to make our decisions, I know from my walk with God that He loves to be involved with absolutely everything.
That said, this “freedom model” as it was discussed seems to me to be offering a life a little bit too independent from God. Although I agree with the premise that we are free to make our decisions, I know from my walk with God that He loves to be involved with absolutely everything. So, even though I may go about making choices in life to my own taste, God shows up to change even the simplest things, which at the end of the day often prove to be significant in some way. I know at times in my life when I am acting in a close relationship with the Spirit, I see more God-given opportunities and am used more by God to do His work; conversely, at times when I am not pursing my relationship with God as much, I am not used by Him to do His work as much.
The full model in my mind, then, is this: go about your day as you plan but while actively listening to the Spirit; and when the Spirit directs, drop everything and follow; and watch to see what He does. So, even though we have our own plans, so does God, and in the freedom of the Spirit, we desire to be very closely tied in with what He is doing, so that our own will becomes His will (even in amoral things) more-and-more as we mature and draw closer to Him.
I believe that our level of response to God is based on what we hear from Him, which in turn is based on the level of our relationship with God… God is a Type A person.
Many nominal Christians can feel quite justified in barely responding to God, because, after all, they are not hearing from God, and “God is sure to make us hear when He has something to say.” The other explanation of course is that they were not listening! That is why I believe that our level of response to God is based on what we hear from Him, which in turn is based on the level of our relationship with God. I maintain that we can hear more from God than what we currently hear by petitioning God for a closer relationship, similar to how Danial set his desire on gaining wisdom from God, and God responded with a vision several days later. God is a Type A person. We are left with two conclusions that are both true: “Be free in making decisions for yourself!” vs. “Desire to have your desires grow into God’s desires!”
Here’s an example that makes it clear in my mind: in evangelism I’ve noticed the normal struggle between the flesh and the Spirit i.e. feelings for and against sharing the Gospel with strangers. When left to my own devices, I will always chose to not share. Thus, I often find myself trying to make a deal with God, saying “If You want me to talk with this person, then make ___ happen, and I’ll know that is Your will.” Well, I’ve found of course that that is just my flesh talking, and so my flesh is happy whenever that sign is not given because I can come to the conclusion that God did not want me to talk with that person. But, of course, what God desires is freedom of choice – not to do what I will, but what He wills. He wills that we share the Gospel with the world, and so when I rest on that knowledge of His will, and when I am praying for His desires to be my desires, I respond by going to those people, and God works amazing things! And many times in those cases, God may instruct me in some specific thing, but often I find that He works through me in some way without me even knowing. I suppose that is His way of getting even more glory for Himself!