Knowing God’s Will by Thomas S. Buchanan

Knowing God’s Will

This is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
—1 John 5:14

A friend once had a roommate who earnestly sought God’s will in all aspects of her life. When she went grocery shopping, she would agonize over which brand of lima beans God wanted her to purchase. Such thoughts could be paralyzing: “O Lord, the Green Giant brand is cheaper, but I’m not sure giants are Christian. . . .” One day, my friend entered her apartment to find that everything was messy. The table, chairs, and sofa all felt greasy. Even the lampshades were stained with an oily substance. She asked her roommate what had happened and was told that she had been praying and felt the Lord tell her to anoint the apartment, so she took a bottle of vegetable oil and anointed everything she could.

For some people, knowing the mind of Christ is a bit like Mr. Dick knowing the mind of Charles I. In Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield, Mr. Dick spent years writing a memoir, but every time he began it, he was interrupted by the thoughts of Charles I. He wasn’t sure how it had happened, but he was convinced that when Charles’s head was chopped off, his thoughts were put into Mr. Dick’s head, and no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get them out. Mr. Dick was certain he knew the mind of Charles I better than anyone else, which explains why he spent many years as a young man in an asylum.

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


Thomas S. Buchanan is the George W. Laird Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Delaware. He has studied at UCSD, Northwestern University, and MIT, and has held visiting professorships at the University of Western Australia and the University of Aix-Marseille. He has served as department chairman, deputy dean, and institute director, president of the American Society of Biomechanics, and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Applied Biomechanics. He is on the Board of Trustees of Saint Katherine College, the editorial board of Touchstone, and the board of The Fellowship of St. James.

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!


personal subscriptions

Purchase
Online Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!


RENEW your online subscription

Purchase Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!


RENEW your print/online
subscription

gift subscriptions

GIVE Print &
Online Subscription

Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!


RENEW your gift subscription

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

kindle subscription

OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)

Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.


more from the online archives

29.5—Sept/Oct 2016

Dying of Despair

on the Loss of True Community & Rising Political Desperation by Karl D. Stephan

30.5—Sept/Oct 2017

The Unforgotten

on Costly Grace in Breece D'J Pancake's Flyover Country by Casey Chalk

27.3—May/June 2014

Religious Freedom & Why It Matters

Working in the Spirit of John Leland by Robert P. George

00