Has the will of God ever been confusing for you? It has for me. Sometimes determining God’s will is guesswork. I have believed God was leading me to do something and it didn’t have good results. But are my interpretations of “good results” right? God alone knows. It may be that what I perceive as bad results were the exact results God wanted for His purposes in my life and/or the lives of others.
There’ve also been times I believed God was leading me to do something in/for the church and others have believed God was leading us to do something else. Who’s right? God always is. But we aren’t always right in determining His will.
There are other times when God’s will is clear as a bell. We either have the answer already given to us in Scripture. At those times we don’t need to ask what His will is – it is there for the reading. We need to pray that He will give us the grace to obey what His stated will is if His will goes against “our will” (our flesh or our preferences).
So, if God’s will is difficult for you as it is for me sometimes, we can take heart. The early Christians apparently were unsure at times too. In Acts 21:4 Luke wrote that some Christians in Tyre “through the Spirit were telling Paul not to go on to Jerusalem.” But, in Acts 20:22 Paul said the Spirit was urging Him to go to Jerusalem. Was the Spirit contradicting Himself – telling Paul one thing and the believers in Tyre another? Of course not. I believe the people in Tyre were following what they believed was the Holy Spirit but were mistaken.
Paul did not listen to them because he was confident it was the Holy Spirit leading him to go. So in 21:14 they just said, “Let the will of the Lord be done.” I think that was their way of saying, “We aren’t sure what God’s will is. But Paul believes it is God’s will for him to go – so let’s ask God’s blessing on whatever happens.” They did NOT say, “Paul you are wrong! You are not following the Spirit like we are. You need to listen to us – we’ve prayed about this.” (as if he had not!).
There are times when we like them have to leave it in God’s hands. When we disagree with others over the direction God is leading we need to love and encourage one another and give one another the benefit of the doubt. Then we need to prayerfully submit the matter into God’s hands.