Alphabet Of Manly Virtues: “W” Is For “Will”

23 Jul

(“The Alphabet of Manly Virtues” is a 26 post series examining various character traits of godly men. Check back every Tuesday and Thursday for new posts! To view other entries in the series, click here.)

w“The will of God will never lead you where the grace of God cannot keep you.”

That’s what is engraved on a little metal ship on my book shelf right now. It serves as a daily reminder to be faithful to where God has led me, because as long as God wants me there, he will sustain me.

You know, a lot of times it can be difficult to know what God is leading you to do. There are so many options, and sometimes it feels overwhelming. “Will I make the right choice? What if I’m wrong? Can I even go somewhere that God doesn’t want me to go? What if I make a choice that has terrible repercussions? How can I really know what I need to do?”

It can be terrifying, right!? We can freeze and not even know how to make a decision! So many variables, so many choices, so many possible ways to fail!

When my wife and I were in our final stages of deciding whether or not to move 4 hours north from Minneapolis to Grand Forks, ND., it was a huge life stage decision. We were moving to enable me to officially take a pastoral position that would change our lives…big time. Carica (my wife) would have to change schools in her senior year of college, she would have to find a job and internship, I would have to change to distance education rather than traditional day school for seminary, we would have to move far away from family, far away from all our closest friends…

So we got counseling from one of my long-time mentors, Pastor Abe Cardosa. Carica and I met with Pastor Abe and poured out our hearts and concerns. Almost without hesitation, he grabbed that shiny ship off his bookshelf and thrust it into my hands.

“The will of God will never lead you where the grace of God cannot keep you,” he said.

That’s what was engraved on the ship, and now that’s what is engraved on my heart.

Wherever the seemingly random winds sail your ship, you can be sure that it is the breath of God blowing you on your course. It’s not just a coincidence that in Greek “pneuma” means both “wind” and “Spirit”. The Spirit of God will lead you in a variety of ways, and you may not even see it, but he will both lead and sustain you.

I’m reminded of the DC Talk song, “Mind’s Eye.” There are a couple sets of lyrics that seem completely pertinent to this blog post.

“Can you catch the wind?
See a breeze?
Its presence is revealed by the leaves on a tree
An image of my faith in the unseen”

And later…

“Can you catch the wind?
Can you see God? Have you ever seen him?
I’ve never seen the wind
I’ve seen the effects of the wind.”

Remember, wherever you are, no matter what circumstances you are in, and no matter what decisions you have to make, keep that phrase in your mind. God will never lead you anywhere that his grace cannot keep you.

My challenge for you is this: Where is God leading you? Do you even know? If you do, are you trusting him to sustain you, or are you trying to rely on your own strength?

We’re all in this together. Let’s be men of God and throw ourselves on his shoulders, for his yoke is easy and his burden is light…and he will carry us.

-Joel Onyshuk


Joel Onyshuk is a worship leader and seminary student in the fourth year of pursuing his Masters of Divinity. Joel’s goal is to see others more passionately love God and others. Holding a degree in Psychology with a Marriage and Family emphasis, Joel is passionate about people and good relationships. Currently residing with his wife and son in the Twin Cities, Joel can be found frequenting coffee shops and taking every opportunity to play a competitive game of ultimate frisbee. He has a personal blog in addition to providing content for MTAB. For further interaction, please find him on Facebook, Twitter, or even dabbling on Pinterest (he has one of the top Christian Humor boards on the social network…if you’re into that stuff).

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