Following God’s Will: How To Do God’s Will, Not Mine

Having extra time to think and many decisions to make, our mind becomes overwhelmed.

Maybe the plans we had at the beginning of the year have failed or have had to be redirected.

Sometimes, when we are in the valley of indecision, with our eyes clouded and not knowing which path to take, we cry out to God asking him for wisdom to do his will.

In one of those moments and after several days, sermons, conversations and not knowing where to go; finally I surrendered to God and said to him: “I have not the slightest idea what to do, but I beg you to be with me, guiding me and above all doing your will in me”.

This sentence may sound cliché, but saying it and getting to that place has been a long process.

I understood that it’s not just about knowing what to do because I believe God has made it clear in his word:

For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

| John 6:40

The hardest thing about knowing God’s will, can be making decisions or acting according to his guidance.

In the book of the prophet Jeremiah, there is a story that illustrates this well.

You may remember that for several years the prophet was calling the people to repent, and to return to God, and finally to surrender to the Babylonians.

The prophet describes in advance all that will happen, attesting to be a messenger of God.

That is why, after the vast majority of the population is taken to Babylon, the leaders of an impoverished, fearful and hopeless remnant decide to seek out the prophet to know what to do:

and they said to the prophet Jeremiah: – Please heed our supplication and pray to the Lord your God for all of us who remain.

As you can tell, before there were many, but now we are only a few. 

Pray that the Lord your God will tell us the way forward, and what we should do.

Jeremiah replied: – I’ve heard you.  

I am going to pray to the Lord, to your God, just as you have asked me to.

I will communicate to you everything the Lord tells me, and I will hide absolutely nothing from you.

They said to Jeremiah,— May the Lord your God be a faithful and true witness against us if we do not act according to all that he commandes us through you.

Whether we like it or not, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God, whom we send to consult.    

Thus, by obeying the voice of the Lord our God, we will do well.

When I read this, I felt completely identified.

In the midst of my indecision and anguish, I said, that’s what I want, a clear and concise signal that I must do on this specific issue.

With that assurance, I will move forward and do whatever God asks of me.

But the story doesn’t end there, let’s continue:

Ten days later the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah. (…)

He said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your petition, says: ‘If you stay in this land, I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not uproot you, for I have relented concerning the disaster I have inflicted on you.

Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, whom you now fear.

Do not be afraid of him, declares the Lord, for I am with you and will save you and deliver you from his hands.

I will show you compassion so that he will have compassion on you and restore you to your land.’ (…)

This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘If you are determined to go to Egypt and you do go to settle there, then the sword you fear will overtake you there, and the famine you dread will follow you into Egypt, and there you will die.

The message is clear, stay, I am with you, fear not.

God had spoken, but let’s see how the people reacted to Jeremiah’s response, in Jeremiah chapter 43:

When Jeremiah had finished telling the people all the words of the Lord their God—everything the Lord had sent him to tell them— Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah, “You are lying! The Lord our God has not sent you to say, ‘You must not go to Egypt to settle there.’

So they entered Egypt in disobedience to the Lord and went as far as Tahpanhes.

I don’t know about you, but I identify with these leaders and with this remnant.

Sometimes I wear myself out asking about God’s will on a specific issue (what to study, where to live, whether or not to continue in a relationship, etc.) and in my heart, I sincerely say: if God speaks to me and shows me what I should do, I will.

But then when I hear that voice or see the clear sign, I start rationalizing and arguing in my head until I’m convinced otherwise.

That’s why ever since I read this story, my prayer has been: I don’t want to be guaranteed supernatural signs or manifestations to decide, but the courage to act.

I want to have peace, rest in your loving arms, because I know that you love me, and you manifest it every day when the sun rises, in the cool breeze, and in the smile of the people I love.

I want to live with joy that I am doing your will.

Put you in the first place of my life and even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, trust that you are with me no matter the circumstances.

Give me the strength to move forward in faith and fulfill your purpose.

I would like to know what your experience has been regarding listening and doing God’s will: Have you found it easy to act according to what God told you or showed you?

Have you never really felt that he cares enough about you to give you a concise answer?

Tell me about yourself.

Blessings and a hug.

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