How do you know?

November 15th, 2010

Q: So, Joe and Susanna, thanks for joining us here today on Face The Internet!  Getting right to the point…how do you know that it’s God’s will for you to adopt a child?

A: We don’t.

Q: <gasp>  What!?  Did I just hear you say that you don’t know that it’s God’s will for you to adopt a child?  But…

A: That’s right, we don’t know.

Q: Then…then…why are you even talking about it if you don’t know it’s His will!?***

A: Because we believe that we are far more likely to miss God’s will by sitting on paralyzed rumpuses “waiting for a sign,” than by rolling up our sleeves and getting to work.  We’ve noticed that He rarely reveals more than the next step in the race that is set before us.  Well, He’s shown us enough of His will for us to take the next step.

Q: Shown you?  How?

A: Well, for one thing, the Bible tells us a lot about God’s will.  For instance, we know from the Bible that it is God’s will for His people to be like Him.

Q: And?

A: He describes Himself as being on the side of the poor and needy, the afflicted, the helpless, the fatherless, those who are being led away to death.  He does not turn His face away from them or keep them at arms’ length.  He is a God who involves Himself on behalf of the oppressed and against their oppressors.  He not only sees them, remembers them and listens to their cry, but He also defends their cause.  He is a stronghold, a helper, a refuge for them.  He brings them justice.  He places them in the safety for which they long.  He sets the lonely in families.  He even models adoption for us by making us His children.

If this is who our God is, some of it should show up in our lives, too.  We’re not afraid of displeasing our Father by caring about something He cares this much about.  And it’s not love if it stays in the heart and doesn’t show up in the life.  Faith without works is not faith at all.

Q: So do you think all Christians everywhere should also adopt an orphan with special needs?

A: Uh, this would probably be the appropriate time to explain that we won’t be laying guilt trips on other Christians, and why.  Just in case any of you were bracing for it.

We’ve observed a pattern that we want to avoid.  It goes like this…

God gives a man a job to do, let’s say, in the pro-life movement.  He puts his heart, soul and money into it, but begins to feel like he isn’t making a dent in the problem and he’s getting tired, or discouraged, or impatient, or all three.  Often this is because he’s looking at the problem, and at himself, and not at God (mistake #1).  He looks around critically at other Christians (mistake #2) who aren’t putting their heart, soul and money into the pro-life movement.  Little feelings of self-righteous resentment begin to take root inside him.  If he allows them to grow, they will turn him into a bitter man with a martyr complex who feels that he has the moral high ground.  He will eventually lose both his perspective and his ability to reason wisely.  This becomes obvious when he accuses others of murdering the unborn by their failure to put their heart, soul and money into the pro-life movement like he did.

In other words, when our master gives us a job to do, we don’t have permission to turn around and tell everyone else that they should be doing that job, too.  Why should we judge another man’s servant?  Before his own master he stands or falls.  God is sovereign over the work that He is doing and it’s His job to hand out the assignments.  We are trusting Him to do His job.  If the motivation is from Him, it will be a motivation of love and not of guilt.

We will continue to be open about what we are learning, in case God is pleased to use that for someone else as He has so often used others in our life.

And that, my friends, is that.  All the will of God that we need to know right now.

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”

[***P.S.  For anyone who has ever been paralyzed because the decision-making process has been obscured by an earnest but confusing mess of…


…we’d like to recommend a nifty little goop-remover.  It’s called “Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will, or How to Make a Decision Without Dreams, Visions, Fleeces, Impressions, Open Doors, Random Bible Verses, Casting Lots, Liver Shivers, Writing in the Sky, etc.” Takes the potent truth and cuts right through the built-up gunk in only 122 pages.  Written by Kevin DeYoung.]

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6 Responses to “How do you know?”

  1. Felicity says:

    This was a great read!!! We’re busy with a HUGE process right now in our lives and we get similar questions! Thanks for sharing some good answers. Sometimes I can’t get what is in my heart and head out in eloquent terms (or even just coherent ones…).
    Isn’t it strange how people react when you do something that is considered ‘out of the ordinary’? They first question/criticize you, and then start giving reasons why they aren’t doing the same… and you didn’t say a word!
    Wishing you all the best with this, and I hope one day we’ll be at this point too.

  2. Gina Wood says:

    I love the Q&A format of this post and the content is absolutely true. God’s will is clearly stated in the Bible. I agree that we each have passion for different causes and concerns and if the specific thing we do fits inside of His criteria, then yes, do it! God bless you for courageously moving forward!

  3. Susan says:

    When my husband and I decided to adopt a child from the states a dear friend told me some of what you stated here.  Psalm 119:105 states
    Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.  Our path is not laid out before us just the NEXT STEP.  Continue to press forward with the call for your family.  You are an example of a blessed family living for HIM! 

  4. Stephanie Blanchard says:

    Love, love, love, love, love, love this post!  It is so very, very true!  I’ve seen it, sweet friend.  First hand experiences were had here at the Blanchard house.  It was an amazing story of doing something out of the ordinary that didn’t make sense…  Our own family criticized us.  “What do you mean you are going to adopt and you don’t have a penny saved for an adoption?”  But we acted in faith and have an amazing little blessing in our lives…

  5. Marilyn Osborn says:

    I love this post for so many reasons.  :)  That moral high ground that you speak of really causes so much dissension in the body of Christ.  :(  Each one truly is accountable to His Master and we need not try to govern one another.  The Holy Spirit has that job!  We can share the work of God in our own lives and share the truths of His Word, but the Lord must work His will, His way in each life.  Thanks for sharing this.  It applies to so many, many areas.  Appreciate you!

  6. Christy Ferguson says:

    I just found your blog and I have been reading from the very beginning so I am a wee bit late on posting. I just have to say Thank You from the bottom of my heart. I have learned so so very much so far and my husband and I have started looking into adopting. The thing is I am not 100% positive that adopting is God’s will for me. I am so relieved that I am not the only one. What I do know is we are not just sitting on our hands and doing nothing. We pray daily for these children needing homes. We are also setting aside money to send to Reece’s Rainbow to help these children go home. We are educating our children and planting the seed of adoption in them so that they will have a head start so to speak if they are one day called to the ministry of adoption. I thank you too for the reminder that when serving the Lord I must do so with a humble heart. I do tend to want to stand on my morally superior high horse and look down on others. Again Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope to some day very soon find a way to put into words the impact you have had on my life. 

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