From my writing from yesterday, I wanted to dig deeper regarding “Doing the will of God.”
Questions that come to mind:
- How do I know what the will of God is for me right now?
- How do I not confuse my will with God’s?
- Does God have a will for me in everything I do?
- When do I need to be an agent unto myself and practice my own free agency?
- Does the will of God change for me from time to time?
- If so, how? and why?
- What are things I can do proactively to know God’s will for me today, right now?
I’ll start looking up answers to the first question:
How do I know what the will of God is for me right now?
In the White Book, it talks about our dilemma as sexaholics:
“Find your true Connection or lose your self!”
Connection is a huge part of my addiction: if I don’t feel connected to God or to another person, I have, in the past, reached out to fake connections like pornography and lust as a way to pseudo-connect, find a quick fix, or pacify or cope.
In Step Three we surrender our defiance and become reconciled to our God…the solution is conscious union with that Source. Thus, coming to the end of ourselves in surrender brought us to the place where we could finally let God have a personal place in our lives.
What does this mean? What does this have to do with doing God’s will?
Surrender means that I’m willing to turn my life and will over to God and to ask for His help in my day to day, moment to moment trials, struggles, and temptations.
Like all remaining steps, Step Three calls for affirmative action, for it is only by action that we can cut away the self-will which has always blocked the entry of God … into our lives. … Therefore our problem now becomes just how and by what specific means shall we be able to let Him in? Step Three represents our first attempt to do this. In fact, the effectiveness of the whole … program will rest upon how well and earnestly we have tried to come to a “decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” (Twelve and Twelve, pp. 34-35)
I really like this. Affirmative action – I have to do things in order to feel the connection with God. I have to “cut away the self-will which has always blocked the entry of God.”
The problem now becomes how and by what specific means will I be able to let Him in?
Step 3 is a decision step!
It is when we try to make our will conform with God’s that we begin to use it rightly. To all of us, this was a most wonderful revelation. Our whole trouble had been the misuse of willpower. We had tried to bombard our problems with it instead of attempting to bring it into agreement with God’s intention for us.
We become able to transcend lust more and more by calling on God’s power to expel the obsession, surrender temptation, and trust Him in all things.
I am going now to the Step 3 in the LDS addiction recovery manual to see what it has to say about the concept of submitting my will to God.
Both these quotes stand out to me:
Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles made the following statement about this most significant decision:
“The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. It is a hard doctrine, but it is true. The many other things we give to God, however nice that may be of us, are actually things He has already given us, and He has loaned them to us. But when we begin to submit ourselves by letting our wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him” (“Insights from My Life,” Ensign, Aug. 2000, 9).
President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve described his decision to yield his will to God and the freedom that decision gave him:
“Perhaps the greatest discovery of my life, without question the greatest commitment, came when finally I had the confidence in God that I would loan or yield my agency to him— without compulsion or pressure, without any duress, as a single individual alone, by myself, no counterfeiting, nothing expected other than the privilege. In a sense, speaking figuratively, to take one’s agency, that precious gift which the scriptures make plain is essential to life itself, and say, ‘I will do as you direct,’ is afterward to learn that in so doing you possess it all the more” (Obedience, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year [Dec. 7, 1971], 4).
“…letting our wills be swallowed up in God’s will” – how does that work?
I also like the statement “…nothing expected other than the privilege.” That is the way I feel it needs to be with all my relationships – I do things for others with nothing expected other than the privilege of doing.
This is interesting too:
Step 3 was a decision to allow God to recover and redeem us.
I feel this happens as, when I know I’m in a situation or feel negative feelings coming, I recognize they are there and I immediately ask Him to help me, acknowledging that I can’t fight the feelings on my own.
It was a decision to allow Him to direct our lives, remembering, of course, that He always respects our agency. Thus, we decided to put our lives in His hands by continuing to follow this spiritually focused program of recovery.
This scripture gives good insight too:
Alma 5:13: “They humbled themselves and put their trust in the true and living God.”
This is a real feeling and question as well:
When we took this step, we felt terrified of the unknown. What would happen if we humbled ourselves and surrendered our lives and wills completely to the care of God?
“Terrified of the unknown.” This is such a common feeling I have had and continue to have. This really is the opposite of faith and putting my trust in Him.
I think this paragraph is probably the most helpful:
Each new day we renew our submission to the Lord and His will. This is what most of us mean when we say, “One day at a time.” We have decided to let go of the self-will and self-seeking that were at the root of our addictions and enjoy another 24 hours of the serenity and strength that come from trusting in God and in His goodness, power, and love.
Letting go of my self-will and self-seeking practices. Serenity, strength, peace – these are the fruits of submitting my will to Him.
I like this too:
You can accept with serenity the current reality of your condition when you trust in God’s ability to help you. You can accept with serenity that although you cannot control the choices and actions of others, you can decide how you will act in each situation you face.
I can’t control or change the choices and actions of others, but I CAN decide how I will act in each situation.
I believe this scripture is an outward manifestation of submitting one’s will to God:
They did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God” (Helaman 3:35).
Yielding my heart to God – that’s a great way to put it. That is true surrender. Asking for His help, recognizing I can’t do anything on my own. Everything I have and am able to do is because of Him.
I’m grateful for my study today.
I look forward to a day in recovery and healing.