John Alan Turner

Speaker, Author, Mentor, Coach, Facilitator

What If You're Wrong?

It's hard to think of a scarier question than this: What if you're wrong? What if you're wrong about that investment? What if you're wrong about that innocent-looking mole on your forearm? What if you're wrong about which wire to clip first -- the red one, the green one or the black one?

I had lunch recently with a good friend, and he's going through an interesting time of transition. He's in a pretty serious relationship, and, as that relationship continues to deepen, he's starting to wonder about things like transitions. He's very concerned to do God's will, but he's a little unsure about what God's will is in this season of his life. Should he marry her? Should he stay in his current job? Should he buy a house? Should he buy a dog?

He has some ideas, but what if he's wrong?

Knowing that I've recently agreed to be the Lead Pastor at a church in Texas, he asked me how I knew this was God's will for me. The real question he wanted answered was, of course, "What if you're wrong?"

See, lots of folks seem to think there's just one viable option if you want to live in God's will. There's just one person for you. There's only one job for you. There's a right place to live, and any other place is the wrong place. You better pick well, because, well, what if you're wrong? You'll be outside of God's will, and you don't want that.

But what if we're wrong about this whole idea that God's will is narrow like that?

More importantly, what if we're wrong about what God is like?

A.W. Tozer said, "What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.... For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like."

Could it be that our misconceptions about God -- about his character and nature and desire for our lives -- is what really keeps us from following him?

What if God isn't narrow and restrictive? What if God is a God of freedom and liberation? What if God is a God of empowerment and generosity? What if God isn't cranky and isn't walking around looking for an excuse to make life miserable for us?

If that were true, this question we're talking about might not be scary after all; it might be hopeful. What if you're wrong about God? What if he isn't perpetually angry? What if we don't have to walk on eggshells around him? What if we can rest and relax in his presence?

What if you're wrong about the way this whole thing is supposed to work?

What do you think are some of the common misconceptions about God that might be keeping us from following him?