BCC Introduction: On Wednesday Pat began to address the question that our youth will inevitable face: How can I know God’s will for my life? In that post, he laid out how 90% of God’s will for us is found in Scripture. But, of course, the Bible does not specifically answer every question about every decision we have to make. Therefore …
So What about the 10%?
Just because God is more concerned about the 90% doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about the 10%. Here are some ways we can counsel young adults in the way of wisdom as they seek direction and make decisions.
1. Help them seek the right goal for their lives: the glory of God. The Westminster Shorter Catechism says, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” We see this in 1 Corinthians 10: 31: “…whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” This is the real “bull’s-eye” of life. If God’s people aim at anything else, they ultimately lose everything.
2. Use the gospel to motivate them to give themselves to God, refuse worldly values, and renew their minds continually. Paul says in Romans 12: 1-2 that this is the way to “discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” A heart motivated by mercy, a body committed to God, and a mind transformed by the Word will ultimately be a life without deep regrets. This is truly the “good life.”
3. Encourage them to seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness (Matthew 6: 33). Jesus promises that if we seek God and his will, he will provide for our earthly needs. Making a living is certainly a concern for those facing their future. How freeing it is to know what we are to concern ourselves with and to know how God promises to take care of us!
4. Have them consider their gifts and interests, but not to be locked into them. God works through the personal temperament, life circumstances, and abilities ordained for us to prepare us to serve him and others (see Psalm 139:13-16; Ephesians 4:8). Being aware of interests and aptitudes is an appropriate step in making life decisions. However, young adults also need to be ready for changes along the way. The path God ordains for us often twists and winds in surprising ways. In my own story, while I see how God has used my abilities and circumstances to prepare me for my life’s work, where I ended up and the specifics of my vocation were not on my radar at all when I was in high school.
5. Show them the wisdom in seeking godly counsel. Proverbs 12: 15 says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” Wise counsel can help them avoid the opposing dangers of inertia due to feeling overwhelmed, on the one hand, and making hasty decisions due to overconfidence, on the other hand. Urge them to talk to parents, pastors, teachers, and guidance counselors who can give helpful insight into their strengths and weaknesses and opportunities. These people can also provide needed prayer support (Colossians 4: 12).
6. Urge them to step out in faith and trust the Lord’s providence. As Kevin DeYoung says, there comes a time after all the thinking, planning, discussing, and praying when you have to Just Do Something, and then trust the Lord. Proverbs 3: 5-6 tells us that we are to make decisions by not relying on our own understanding, but rather acknowledging the Lord in all our ways and trusting he will make our paths straight ones. God sovereignly works through all our choices and decisions, but he is not bound by them. He promises to work “all things for good” (Romans 8: 28), even decisions we may later question. God’s “affectionate sovereignty” (to borrow Bob Kellemen’s beautiful phrase) is a wonderful foundation from which to step out in faith. This whole process is summarized in Proverbs 16:9: “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”
Young adulthood is a wonderful time to grow and walk in the way of wisdom as they seek direction for their lives. However, they need wise and loving older adults to walk with them, counseling, supporting, and encouraging them. With Paul, we have the opportunity to point young adults to Christ, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2: 3).
Join the Conversation
What are the concerns and questions of the young adults in your life? How can knowing that 90% of God’s will for our lives is in the Bible take some pressure off young adults seeking direction for their lives?