Oh Where Oh Where Is God's Will? Are You Searching For God's Will?

Several years ago I attended a prayer meeting at a non-denominational church, and a man was sharing that he was struggling to discern God's will in a career change.  He had two job opportunities.  One at his current job and another job in another city with a 2-hour commute.  While he shared with the group, everyone leaned forward and intensely listened.  After his confession of trying to discern what to do, the group leader said, "Let's pray about that."  As we prayed there were the typical prayers of guidance and provision, but then several in the group took us down a unique path, "Lord, give him dreams! Show him in the still small voice within him what he needs to do.  Lord, we are going to lay down a bunch of fleeces, and we demand that you boldly answer."  

After the unique prayer setting, I approached him to ask some further questions.  Let's call him "John" for the sake of keeping things clear.  
Me: Hi, I'm Matt.  Can I ask some follow up questions about your struggles?
John: Yeah, no problem.
Me:  Are you struggling at your current job?
John: Well, no... I guess I'm not.
Me: Do you have enough money to take care of your family with your current job?
John: Yeah I do.  It is average pay but it makes for a nice living.
Me: Will the other job pay the bills?
John: Definitely!  And then some! 
Me: You have kids right?
John: Yes, three children.  They are great!
Me:  Do you have enough time with them as a Father?  How about your wife, how is it going with balancing work and your marriage?
John:  Well, I typically work 50 plus hours as of right now, so at times I find that I might be overdoing it.  I might be stretching the family a little.
Me:  With this new job, would it be more or less hours?
John:   It would actually be more work.  Quite a bit more!
Me: And how about the commute?
John: The commute would be about 1 1/2 hours one way.  I drive faster than most!
Me:  So that would be an extra 15 hours a week driving?
John:  I guess so. 
 Me: Is the family open to moving?
John:  No, they are not.  We are close to relatives.
Me: How does your wife feel about it?
John: To be honest she has concerns.
Me: Let me make sure that I am hearing you right.  You are looking to take another job that would take you away from home for another 15-25 hours every week, you are already concerned about how much time you are away from your family, your current job is meeting your financial needs, and your wife has concerns about the new job?  
John: Hmm, yeah that is pretty much it.  
Me: So why do you think it is God's will to take the new job?  
John:  Well, uhh.  Hmmm.
Me: Here is my concern, my friend, by taking this new job you would be spending less time with your children and you would be spending more time away from your wife doing a job for extra money that you don't technically need.  
John:  I guess so.
Me:  How is this God's will?  You are called to be the spiritual head, to pastor your children, to raise your children and you are called to be there for your wife.  If you were struggling financially this job change might make sense, but you are doing fine.  If you were to take this job would you do a better job fulfilling your vocation as a husband and father or a worse job?  
After my talk with John, he seemed to get very frustrated with me.  It was obvious to me visiting with him that the reason why he wanted the new job was due to a substantial pay increase and also a perceived career promotion.  He desperately wanted this new job, and he was trying to convince himself that it was God's will for him to take this job.  The only problem is that scripture also called him to be a father and husband.  These vocations of being a father and husband are God's will for a married man with children.  By taking this new job, he would actually be harming and neglecting his vocation of fatherhood and his vocation as a spouse.  Clearly, it was not in God's will for him to neglect his children and depart from his concerned wife and extra 15-25 hours a week for the sake of money they didn't need. 

This example above is merely delivered to you so that you can begin to think or possibly rethink the theology of "Decision Making and the Will of God."  Just how does one make decisions that are in God's will?  Is God's will out 'there' needing to be found through mystical dreams and small voices buried in the subconscious?  Or is God's will plainly outlined in His Word?     

To learn more about this subject of God's WIll and our decision making, check out the following resources:
Audio MP3: 
           Issues Etc. "Discerning the Will of God 
Teaching Sheet:  
          Knowing God's Will For My Life
Chapter From Good News For Anxious Christians:  
          Why You Don't Have To Find God's Will For Your Life