Today I want to study about my will versus God’s will. Last Sunday in Sunday School, the word OWN kept appearing in relation to doing your own will versus following God’s teachings.
I thought then that it would be a good topic to study more so here I go.
We are studying the Old Testament in Sunday School, currently the words of Isaiah. This scripture is what we were reading when I recognized “own”:
I think it’s really interesting to read this and think that Isaiah was writing all this before any of it even happened. He knew what Christ was going to go through; he knew that we would all go astray and that only through submitting to Him could we find peace and true happiness.
The part that really stuck out to me was in verse 6:
What does this mean?
Well, first off, yes, I’ve gone astray. I’ve stopped following the good shepherd. I’ve decided, from time to time, to take my own path that I think will help me find greener grass or cleaner water. But oh how wrong I’ve been each time I made this stubborn and selfish decision.
I’ve turned to my own way, but thankfully the Lord has taken upon him my iniquities and I can be healed, forgiven, and accepted back into the flock.
When I cross reference “own” here’s what I find:
16 They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall.
- Let us walk in the light of the Lord…
- Every one to his wicked ways.
- They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness.
- Every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god,
- [A god] whose image is in the likeness of the world.
- And whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish.
It really can’t be more clear than that. It also references Selfishness. Other cross references to selfishness include
Going my “own way” is a direct manifestation of these characteristics. These characteristics bring nothing but pain, misery, and ultimately death, both spiritual death and temporal death.
I don’t want these things.
The solution is simple and straight – follow God and His Son and live happy, do my own thing and die miserably.
From 2 Nephi 12:5 I cross referenced “gone astray” and found this scripture too:
14 They wear stiff necks and high heads; yea, and because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations, and whoredoms, they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men.
37 O ye workers of iniquity; ye that are puffed up in the vain things of the world, ye that have professed to have known the ways of righteousness nevertheless have gone astray, as sheep having no shepherd, notwithstanding a shepherd hath called after you and is still calling after you, but ye will not hearken unto his voice!
I like what Isaiah says here about the followers of Satan:
This is interesting because it reminds me of what I’ve read about addiction: “Once is too much and a thousand times is never enough.” “…greedy dogs which can never have enough, shepherds that cannot understand; they all look to their own way…”
Greed, pride, coveting – these are the red flags, these are the characteristics of Satan (and of the world).
Reminds me of the quote that says, “No success can compensate for failure in the home.”
It doesn’t matter how “successful” I am in business or my career. It doesn’t matter how big our house is, what we wear, or how we entertain ourselves: if I’ve lost my soul, the Spirit, my family and faith, all of those things profiteth me NOTHING.
I just picked up the manual for Inner Gold and read the first part of Chapter 3 titled Agents or Objects? This part really stood out to me:
The adversary has been acting upon you without your full awareness. He has a powerful grasp on the world and uses social media as one of his main offensive methods. He acts upon us even if we innocently sit down to watch a television program or surf the web. We simply cannot afford to do that anymore without an increase of awareness as to what we are really doing…
When we place ourselves in such situations we are in essence saying, “okay, here I am to be an object, act upon me.”
President Hinckley said:
A survey of influential television writers and executives in Hollywood has shown that they are far less religious than the general public. … While nearly all of the 104 Hollywood professionals interviewed had a religious background, 45 percent now say they have no religion, and of the other 55 percent only 7 percent say they attend a religious service as much as once a month.
This group has had a major role in shaping the shows whose themes and stars have become staples in our popular culture’ (Los Angeles Times, 19 Feb. 1983, part 2, page 5).
These are the people [TV script writers and executives] who, through the medium of entertainment, are educating us in the direction of their own standards, which in many cases are diametrically opposed to the standards of the gospel.” (Ensign, Nov. 1983, pp. 45–46.)
As I found the quote from President Hinckley, I also found this suggestion in a talk by M. Russell Ballard called The Effects of Television:
Research data indicate that families that limit television viewing to a maximum of two hours a day of carefully selected programs may see the following significant changes in family relationships:
- Value setting will be taught and reinforced by the family. Families will learn how to establish values and how to reason together.
- Relationships between parents and youth will increase in families.
- Homework will be completed with less pressure of time.
- Personal conversations will increase substantially.
- Children’s imaginations will come back to life.
- Each family member will become a discriminating selector and evaluator of programs.
- Parents can become family leaders again.
- Good reading habits may be substituted for television viewing.
I’ve felt so lucky that Becky and I are on the same page about watching TV and about what we watch. I’m grateful that our kids seem to be ok with this too.
Today I’m committed to following the Savior and not going my own way.
Today I want to be in the flock and not wander to and fro.
Today I’m submitting my will to God by making time to feed my Spirit.
Today I feel the Spirit and want to be close to my Heavenly Father.
Today is another day of recovery from the grasp of Satan and his chains.