Finding the Will of God

I grew in this profession of ministry with a foot firmly in the camp of morality; that ministry and morality were synonymous.  The two unarguably combine in wondrous ways.  And yet the marriage of morality and ministry, if it fails to expand, threatens to squeeze down faith into a very shrill, cramped space more concerned with judgment and social order than with grace.

Deitrich Bonhoeffer phrased it thus.  “Those who wish even to focus on the problem of a Christian ethic are faced with an outrageous demand – that from the outset they must give up, as inappropriate to this topic, the very two questions that led them to deal with the ethical problem: ‘How can I be good?’ and ‘How can I so something good?’  Instead they must ask the wholly other, completely different question: what is the will of God?  This demand is radical precisely because it presupposes a decision about ultimate reality, that is, a decision of faith.”

There is nothing easy in occupying the evolved space Bonhoeffer noted, one where morality clearly incorporates and joins with a primary concern centered on the will of God.  It literally cost Bonhoeffer his life.  Such a space, only discovered in silence, becomes a space of call and thus a space of unfolding courage.

We discover God’s will where we are.  God’s will is our life.  As Emanuel Swedenborg noted again and again … God is all powerful, all present, and all knowing.  And yet God’s will is more than our individual self-satisfied homeostasis.  God’s will vibrates through our lives as that nudge, gentle and not, to center our lives in peace and reach.


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