4. Is there danger in believing that God will always work His plan in our lives, regardless of what we do or any responsibility we have?
Definitely. Because then we don’t think so much about what we do and about our responsibilities. We won’t take seeking righteousness, wisdom, His kingdom, prayer, and obedience, etc., as seriously because we don’t see the effect it has over our lives. If He’s just going to do whatever He’s going to do anyway, then it doesn’t matter what we do or don’t do.
Also, if we think that He’ll do whatever He wants and that all things happen because He wants them to happen, we might not be so discerning about the “open doors” that come our way. Well, this is the first job or house or relationship or offer that came my way, so it must be from God. Or This is just what fell in my lap when I waited on God, so it must be His Will. Many times, these “open doors” can take us down paths God never wanted us to go, because we didn’t use wisdom or pray for guidance and discernment to find out if it really was from God. And we will miss out on His best for us.
Sometimes, God’s Will does fall in our laps, like when the path that He desires us to take comes to us very obviously. And when the time is right, the doors do open. (But we still have the choice to walk through them or not.) But there are open doors that are not from God. And we need to use wisdom to be discerning.
And we need to be careful that we don’t use “It happened, so it must be God’s Will” to do something selfish. I think that some open doors are tests, particularly when it leads to something we really want anyway, like an abundance of money, the chance to get ahead, a relationship with someone who’s not our spouse, or a job that we really want. They could be tests to see if we will seek what God wants or if we will follow our own desires, excusing ourselves from the necessary effort, prayer, and pursuit of holiness that Romans 12:1-2 calls us to.
Always remember that God will never guide us to do anything that violates a Biblical principle that He has already revealed in His Word, no matter how much it looks like “God’s Will” to us. So it will never be God’s Will for you to divorce your spouse to marry someone who “makes you happier.” It’s never God’s Will for you to hoard tithe money because things are tight. He’s already said that we are to tithe and then He’ll take care of us. It’s never God’s Will for you to experiment with sexual partners before you get married to see if you are compatible. He very clearly says that He created sex to be between a husband and wife. It will never be His Will for you to take a job that is un-glorifying to Him, because we are to do everything to the best of our ability, for His glory!
God, through His Word and the Holy Spirit, will only guide us in paths that glorify Him and uplift His holy name, and not paths that smudge His good name or that are for selfish gain.
Psalm 23: 3: “. . . He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (Emphasis is mine.)
2 Corinthians 3:18: “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
James 4:3: “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
These are things to keep in mind when you are trying to discern if God is leading you down a certain path or not. We need to be cautious about letting our desires mislead us. And we need to be immersed in prayer and in the Word (and be obedient as God leads) if we want to be sure to stay on the path that God desires we take.
Posts in this "Understanding God's Will" series:
9c: Verses 9d: Idolatry 9e: Unanswered 9f: Not Listening 9g: More Verses 9h: Effective Prayer 9i: Still Waiting 10: Bad Things Happen 11a: Happens For A Reason? 11b: Marriage Trouble 11c: Deliberate Ignorance 11d: Bad Things Beyond Us 12: God Works Good 13: Limiting God? 14/15: God Forcing Things? 16: Change God's Mind? 17: But God Can't Change? 18: Our Responsibilities