5th July

How Can I Know The Will Of God?

The God of our forbears has chosen you that you should know God’s will. Acts 22:14

So often we miss God’s will for us because we spend our lives like actors, acting out a script that others have written for us. This may consist of the expectations that parents or peers have put upon us, or perhaps, because of our insecurity, we ourselves are trying to copy others. We need to learn to follow, not our conditioning or our compulsions, but what our soul desires according to God.

Someone asked Abba Nisteros, a friend of Antony, ‘What good work shall I do?’ He replied ‘Not all works are alike. For Scripture says that Abraham was hospitable and God was with him. Elijah loved solitary prayer and God was with him. And David was humble before God and God was with him. Therefore, whatever you see your soul desire according to God, do that thing and you shall keep your heart safe.’

Sometimes God uses circumstances to draw out our true calling. Mungo grew to manhood and was ordained a priest in his home area. No doubt he had dreams of being called to some glorious, sacrificial task. Instead, he was called to visit an ailing old priest, Fergus, who lived seven miles upstream. He was shocked to find how the old man was failing; he stayed with him, cooked supper, and listened to the old man’s memories of his home on the river Clyde, where the great missionary Ninian had established a church. About midnight Fergus had a fatal seizure, and died in Mungo’s arms. His last words were ‘Promise you will bury me at the old church hallowed by Ninian.’

So Mungo, with the oxen pulling Fergus’ body, went a day’s journey to the little church by the Clyde. Neighbours gathered. They looked forlorn; they had not seen a priest for several years. Next day, at the funeral, as Mungo looked at these sad faces, and as he looked at the large Druid centre four miles away which threatened to replace the faith to which they had held, he knew that he could not return, as he had planned. For God’s plan was that he build up a community of faith here. Soon his mother joined him. She called the community ‘Eglais Cu’ (the loved church) meaning the people as a family. Today it is pronounced Glasgow.

Lord, we propose, but you dispose.
Teach me that your plan unfolds
As I follow the desire you put in my soul,
As I follow the way of unselfish service
And as I let one thing lead to another.