“I would just like to have a normal life.”
Normal. I wonder what that means. In the case of the lady who spoke these words, normal is a desire to live a “nice little life” that is predictable, has little conflict and is almost totally under her control.
Ironically, she was sitting in my office asking me to pray with her that the Lord would reveal His will and direction for her life. This is a challenging moment for me – I must select the words of my prayer carefully because I am aware that God is much more concerned about the sanctification of her mind and her holiness than He is about granting her a “nice little life.” In fact, the nice little life may really be in the way of all He has in mind for her. So I pray with her, knowing that a part of her really doesn’t want to hear what God has to say – because if she does hear something, she will have to obey (at least if she wants to cooperate with Him).
I think this is a reality for most of us. We often don’t ask because we don’t want to know. If we know what God thinks, then we are faced with the decision of whether to follow His counsel or not. What was initially just a quandary or a moment of confusion becomes an issue of obedience. We don’t always want that sort of clarity. In fact, we often don’t want God messing with our approach to life at all.
However, if we deeply desire to “be holy as I am holy,” then we will ask. Even asking is an act of holiness, because we are seeking to follow our Shepherd, to live by faith in Him. Then we are faced with the choice to obey what we hear, and our holiness is deepened.
To be like Jesus is to say as He said, “I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.” (John 14:31) I hope this is what we are after; and if so, it requires a desire to live in God and a willingness to subject our wills to his. This is where we are made holy. This is not, “Okay, just tell me what to do” that is spoken with resignation. Instead it is a heart that is present and engaged with God, bringing our desires to Him, yet submitting our wills to him, genuinely trusting that what he says is best.
So, you might ask, did the lady hear from God? Yes, she surely did. It was a firm but loving call to do some things that flew in the face of a “normal life” – but I watched her tearfully choose to obey – and the tears were not tears of sadness or regret but they flowed from an overwhelming sense of how much the Lord loves her.