Did I Miss God's Will for My Life? - R. A. Torrey - ebook
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I recently received a letter from one who is evidently an earnest Christian woman but who was in a condition of great depression because some years ago, when in college, she felt that perhaps she was called to go to China but did not want to go but became engaged to a Christian man, whom she married, and now the old question has come up again and she is fearing that perhaps she is not saved, and may have committed the unpardonable sin, because she failed to yield to what she thinks may have been the leading of the Holy Spirit to go to China. The letter was so similar in many points to others that I have received, that I think the answer to it may be helpful to a great many, and as the letter was full of questions which are answered in my reply, it seems appropriate to put it under the head of "Questions and Answers." Of course, we have avoided everything that would lead any one to know who the writer of the letter was.

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Did I Miss God's Will for My Life? By

R. A. Torrey

Originally published in

The King's Business,

June 1913, pp. 292-297.

Hope. Inspiration. Trust.

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Did I Miss God's Will for My Life?

I recently received a letter from one who is evidently an earnest Christian woman but who was in a condition of great depression because some years ago, when in college, she felt that perhaps she was called to go to China but did not want to go but became engaged to a Christian man, whom she married, and now the old question has come up again and she is fearing that perhaps she is not saved, and may have committed the unpardonable sin, because she failed to yield to what she thinks may have been the leading of the Holy Spirit to go to China. The letter was so similar in many points to others that I have received, that I think the answer to it may be helpful to a great many, and as the letter was full of questions which are answered in my reply, it seems appropriate to put it under the head of "Questions and Answers." Of course, we have avoided everything that would lead any one to know who the writer of the letter was.

April 14, 1913.

Dear Mrs.

Your letter of April 5th received, and carefully read. Let me say first of all, that I am glad that you wrote to me. I think that I can help you. In fact, I am very sure that I can. In regard to the substance of your first letter, let me say:

First. I do not believe that you were ever called to go as a missionary to China. The fact that the thought comes to one that they ought to go to China does not constitute a call. Neither does the fact that China seems to be the hardest field for one to go to, constitute a call. It is utterly to misunderstand God to think that a surrender of the will to Him necessarily involves doing the hardest thing, or even hard things. God is love, and absolute surrender of the will to Him is simply absolute surrender to infinite love. God is a Father, and not only wiser than any earthly father but more tender than any earthly mother.

Do you suppose that if my son, when he was a boy, should have come to me some day and have said, "Father, I want this to be a red letter day. I want no will of my own today whatever. Just make me out a plan for every step of my life today"--do you suppose that if he should have done that that I should have tried to think up all the hard things and disagreeable things, the things that he disliked the most, and have given them to him as his plan for that day? Don't you know that if he should have done that, I would have made that the happiest day he had ever known? So it is with our Heavenly Father when we surrender our wills to Him. He puts forth all the powers of infinite wisdom and infinite love to fill our lives with sunshine. Or course, He may ask us to do things that we would not have chosen to do; but if He does, those things will become the pleasantest things when we do them.

At the root of your difficulty lies a totally false conception of God, and a totally false conception of the way of salvation. I do not think God ever called you to China, for you do not seem to have fitness for that work, and certainly now that you have a husband and children, He does not call you to go to China. There is nothing in all that you tell me about the matter that indicates any call of God for that particular work.