God's will for your life vs. your choices


#1

Just how detailed is God's will for our lives?
Is God's will detailed,
like, you will work as a teacher for 5 years and then at age 29 you will change careers and then at age 39 you will marry and then change careers at age 42.

Or does God just say, okay, well, here are the tools I gave you, now I will just support whatever you choose to do? (Instead of, you will be a mom/teacher/doctor/etc.)

I'm having a hard time differentiating between making choices for our lives and doing God's will.


#2

As Bro. David, a Franciscan Capuchin Priest advised me " do what you want, just love God"
Now this was an answer I did not want to hear, nor do I suspect you want to hear. I wanted direction, spiritually and I assume you do too.
For some of us it is apparent, ministry, music, etc, for some of us it is up to us to find it. It may change when God wants to use us in other areas or when we have been healed of earthly and/or generational bondage, God will work in us and through us.
So my friend, do what you do, “where you are planted”. Put God first in everything ( yes we forget, yes we put ourselves first). I have to consistently remind myself, and then I forget to remind myself...sigh....then I repent...then I remind myself... on and on. It's o.k., He knows our heart and He knows we are trying to please Him.
Once you grasp this, and you are still unsettled, please seek spiritual guidance.
Go with God, without anxiety and do everything for him.
Peace


#3

[quote="HeWillProvide, post:1, topic:203571"]
Just how detailed is God's will for our lives?
Is God's will detailed,
like, you will work as a teacher for 5 years and then at age 29 you will change careers and then at age 39 you will marry and then change careers at age 42.

Or does God just say, okay, well, here are the tools I gave you, now I will just support whatever you choose to do? (Instead of, you will be a mom/teacher/doctor/etc.)

I'm having a hard time differentiating between making choices for our lives and doing God's will.

[/quote]

I just wrote this for another thread. I saw the heading so I will copy and paste it here...

Let me offer another understanding of the "call". I am in formation for the diaconate, so, this is something I continue to discern...

Permit me to use an analogy...

God is a head football coach, you are the offensive coordinator. He gives you a book with a whole lot of plays. You have the "freedom" (free will) to use any play in the book. Of course there are plays that exist that are not in God's book. To use those would be sinful. And, there are plays that may be in the book but are not appropriate in a particular situation. For example, one would not go into punt formation on first and goal from the 3 yard line. But there are several running and/or passing plays that may be very useful in this situation.

Think of marriage. Someone chooses to get married. Does God handpick our spouse? Were we destined to marry that one man or woman that God reserved for us? I don't think so...I think God created us with an intellect and a free will and we choose our own spouse. If we are open and cooperative, God will work through those two souls to make them holy.

God may well have Holy Orders written in your playbook. But He may have a marriage play or two, as well...So, how do will you know if the play you picked is in God's playbook?

When your will and God's will are operating at the same frequency and amplitude, you will know a peace and joy in your heart. Turn this decision over to God in prayer. Ask Him to speak to your heart. When you feel that holy calmness, you will know that you are where God wants you to be.

I am not a theologian and don't claim to be. So, please take my suggestions with the grain. All I am trying to do is get you to see that our loving God works through the hard decisions we encounter throughout our lives and helps us to become the person He created us to be. Sometimes, there is no "wrong" decision or at least there is more than one that is written in your playbook...


#4

Nice analogy.

However, how could God have BOTH holy orders AND marriage "plays" in our game book... really? both?

And, is this essentially saying that we weren't "meant" to be anything specifically?
Like, no one was "meant" to be a Pope or a President or a physician - these weren't in God's plans, but, instead, just choices that some human beings chose to pursue and some didn't?


#5

Also, I feel like a conversation between me and God would be:
God: So, what do you want to do with your life?
Me: Your will.
God: Okay: here it is and its either given as an 'aha' moment or given very gradually, but not just a repeat of the question, "Well, what do you want to do with your life?" because then I would just answer again, Your will. And we'd go round and round ] :)


#6

God leads the people He loves to build up His kingdom and bring souls to Himself. That is why he sent Jesus to suffer and die for us.

He provides each of us with likes and dislikes, talents and gifts that ultimately allow us to fulfill His mission on earth.

I don’t know how specific God is in determining our lot in life, but I do know we are made in His image. God is pure love. The image we are made to reflect is that same perfect love. In order for us to love, we must choose it, thus we are given a free will much like God, Himself. This gift of free will permits us to have some lattitude in choosing how we will serve God. Again, this is a gift. We are not robots…

I would hope that just because someone is president or Pope that it was not always because of Divine intention. Lord knows we’ve had some bad Popes and some lousy presidents…


#7

I used to drive myself crazy trying to figure out "God's Will For My Life". I saw many people do some seriously messed up things, only to abdicate responsibility 'cuz "God told me to do it".

Love your God and do no harm to your fellow man. Take responsibility for your actions.

Do that, and Divinity will be pleased.


#8

[quote="HeWillProvide, post:5, topic:203571"]
Also, I feel like a conversation between me and God would be:
God: So, what do you want to do with your life?
Me: Your will.
God: Okay: here it is and its either given as an 'aha' moment or given very gradually, but not just a repeat of the question, "Well, what do you want to do with your life?" because then I would just answer again, Your will. And we'd go round and round ] :)

[/quote]

But, what if it is God's will for you to be offered a choice? God says, "HeWillProvide" you can be a doctor, a janitor or a priest...You decide. I will love you and work with you to make you an instrument of my love so that you may serve my people"...


#9

[quote="cargau, post:8, topic:203571"]
But, what if it is God's will for you to be offered a choice? God says, "HeWillProvide" you can be a doctor, a janitor or a priest...You decide. I will love you and work with you to make you an instrument of my love so that you may serve my people"...

[/quote]

I do like the above thought. It makes you think :)

Anyway, so again, I guess God doesn't "plan" doctors, teachers, etc.? We weren't "meant" to be a certain profession? Or just some were?


#10

Its been my experience that if we surrender our lives to God He will guide our lives for His benefit.

We have the right to surrender completely to Him, to choose just to worship Him withotu complete surrender or to ignore Him all together.

I for one ask teh Lord to "close any doors that are not of Him" that way I know where I'm NOT meant to be. Recently in my quest for employment I have just thrown out CVs everywhere and anywhere asking the Lord to shut doors where He doesn't want me and to open doors where He does want me.

I think God has a plan for each of us, a place for each of us, we can still have free will and free choices even if God has a plan for us. Its our free choice to choose God's plan, and if God can keep teh sparrows happy I'm sure He's more than qualified to keep plans for us going well.


#11

[quote="HeWillProvide, post:9, topic:203571"]
I do like the above thought. It makes you think :)

Anyway, so again, I guess God doesn't "plan" doctors, teachers, etc.? We weren't "meant" to be a certain profession? Or just some were?

[/quote]

To be honest, I don't presume to know God's mind. But, I do believe that we are given free will. That free will is pretty far reaching. I think God leads us to become the best person we can be. He does this by creating the people in our lives who influence our decisions, the talents we possess and the likes and dislikes we experience.

The God lets us take the "rudder" and steer the ship of our lives. God never abandons us, rather He works through us where we are.

It is my opinion that there is a reason that God gave us an intellect and a will. We are free to love God (however imperfectly) through the big and small decisions we make every day of our lives...


#12

Nobody is "meant" to be a professor, teacher, or anything.
God does not plan for you to be that certain thing, However he IS Knowing of it.
He knows that YOU want to be a doctor, or teacher or any thing like that.

The only thing as humans we are "meant" to do is know, love, and serve God. That is our purpose.

If this was not the case, and God "meant" for everyone to be a certain way/thing then this would mean we did not have free will. If God was meaning for me to be an engineer, but I wanted to be a doctor then am I in wrong for going against God's will? No, of course not, because God doesn't will those kinds of things, the only thing God has meant for us is to know love and serve him. And again its our free will that makes us capable of doing that and if we don't (or sin), then THAT is when we go against God's will.

The only thing God really has predisposed is the families we're born in, along with the religion, living conditions, and whatnot. There is no predisposition of careers, however, I'm still trying to conclude whether or not God has predisposed our "soul mate".

That is my best understanding of God's will and Free will.


#13

*The only thing God really has predisposed is the families we're born in, along with the religion, living conditions, and whatnot. There is no predisposition of careers, however, I'm still trying to conclude whether or not God has predisposed our "soul mate".

That is my best understanding of God's will and Free will.*

What about God "choosing" people to be priests and nuns?
Or that doesn't happen either?


#14

It's such a difficult subject but my newer understanding of it is that God does have a plan if we follow his will and God knowing what is best for us, we must pray for Gods will to be revealed in our lives,that is, if we choose to follow it which will make us happy.

But for sure, a very difficult subject


#15

As for God choosing priests and nuns, your right he wants them to be priests and nuns but that does not mean they will follow Gods will.


#16

*

[quote="RHannosh619, post:15, topic:203571"]
As for God choosing priests and nuns, your right he wants them to be priests and nuns but that does not mean they will follow Gods will.

[/quote]

*

Not to be annoying and difficult, but.... :)

So, God only "makes" priests and nuns and not doctors, teachers, etc....? I know they can either choose to respond to his call or not, but He still "made" them to be those vocations, whereas he did not make people to be nurses, politicians, etc.?


#17

God's will for us is for our eternal union with Him. What profession we decide is the best one for us matters not one whit to Him. We can pick any occupation, its how we live our lives that matter. Choosing Him and obeying His commandments, following Jesus' ways as He set them out for us during his several year ministry are God's will for each one of us. Jesus left us His Church to guide us and His Divine Word.

We have free will to operate as we see fit, whether we are store clerks, librarians, maintenance laborers, doctors, engineers, mothers, fathers, priests, nuns, etc. None of these occupational choices have pride of place. St. Josemaria Escriva founded Opus Dei on the principle that each one of us is called to do God's work here on earth.

So far in my life, I have had four different occupations, and have made choices that took me far away from God at times and choices that have thankfully brought me back to Him. Invite Him to be with you, guide you and tell Him you want always to please Him in everything you do. He will never leave you, but you can walk away from Him anytime you make that choice.

Compare your career choice to a make of car. Any one will take you down the road as long as you follow the rules of the road, don't speed or drive on the wrong side of the street. This is my thought as I am now in what most would call "the golden years" !


#18

I'm a former Protestant who converted to the Catholic faith eight years ago. I am well familiar with this issue as it is one that has affected me deeply and personally, being blessed with talent as a classical musician. Protestants (and I speak of the evangelical/fundamentalist type as opposed to mainline for this issue rarely comes up in mainline denominations) have a view of "God's will" to be almost a form of micromanagement in which God is telling us every move to make in life as opposed to our developing the ability to prayerfully make decisions on our own. We were designed to be decision makers. Remember in Genesis, God brought all the creatures of the earth to Adam for him to name. God didn't have to do that. He was perfectly capable of naming them Himself. It's funny, evangelical/fundamentalist Protestants speak of "making a decision for Christ." Why is it that we have the right to decide where to spend eternity, but when it comes to choosing a career, a school or a mate, we start thinking we need to seek God's will? I might add that my (former) fellow evangelical/fundamentalists who took this view would almost immediately segue into talking about going into the ministry or the mission field, as if to imply those are the only two things God ever "calls" anyone to do. I could go on a preach a whole sermon on this, but suffice to say, we have a right to choose our paths in life and as long as those paths honor God, be it music, science, or whatever, go for it.

The classical bassoonist


#19

[quote="cargau, post:3, topic:203571"]
...Were we destined to marry that one man or woman that God reserved for us?...

[/quote]

So has God reserved a spouse for each of us?


#20

[quote="HeWillProvide, post:1, topic:203571"]
Just how detailed is God's will for our lives?
Is God's will detailed,
like, you will work as a teacher for 5 years and then at age 29 you will change careers and then at age 39 you will marry and then change careers at age 42.

Or does God just say, okay, well, here are the tools I gave you, now I will just support whatever you choose to do? (Instead of, you will be a mom/teacher/doctor/etc.)

I'm having a hard time differentiating between making choices for our lives and doing God's will.

[/quote]

I really like the questions you are posing.


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