There is a common misconception about God’s will that is very prevalent today. It’s the idea that everything that happens in life is God’s Will. I’m sure you have heard people say when something bad happens, “Well, I don’t know why God wanted that to happen but it must have been His will.” I used to believe that conception too until I learned better. I hadn’t stopped to consider that someone else’s will could have been involved. I know that it is my self-will that got me in all the trouble I got in with and without alcohol in my life. I also know that at times, like the Big Book says, I was like a tornado in the lives of those people around me. Now, I don’t believe it was Gods’ Will for them to get mistreated by me. I believe I took my will and hurt and damaged people, places and things around me and that’s why I must make amends. My will caused the pain and damage, not God.
Now, when I hear people say “that must have been Gods will”, I cringe because I know that God is good. God gave everyone a free will to choose and make decisions in life. There are bad things that happen in life as a result of our or someone else’s bad choices and then we blame it on God saying He had a reason for it and God didn’t have anything to do with it. Is the situation or circumstance happening because of someone’s self-will run riot. We are not puppets. God doesn’t make us do anything. We choose. We can choose to listen to Him and receive His guidance or we can choose to ignore Him and go at it alone. There are consequences to both choices. I’ve heard people get put in jail for DUI and then pray for God to deliver them out of jail and when He doesn’t they say it must be God’s will that they are in jail. How untrue is that! They are in jail because they got drunk and broke the law. God had nothing to do with it but now God is getting blamed for not rescuing them out of the pit they dug for themselves as a direct result of their actions. Bad decisions and bad choices can affect others and sometimes permanently. It doesn’t mean it was Gods will for them. It means that someone else made a bad choice and because of it someones’ life is affected. I do believe that God can use a bad situation to bring about good results but He didn’t cause the bad situation. God is good all the time. The Bible says that He is light and there is no darkness in Him at all. The Bible tells us that He has a good purpose and a plan for everyone. Does that mean everyone will have a good life and fulfill His plan. No, because not everyone will choose His way and God allows everyone to make their own choice. God has already chosen us but we must choose Him and allow Him access into our lives. We need to take into account that just as our will affects others their will can directly affect our lives as well. We need to give God credit for the good things He brings in our lives and stop blaming him for our self-will and the self-will of others.
Everything that happens in life is not necessarily Gods will. The real question we should ask is : Is this My Will, Your Will or Gods Will?
How do I know if this is God’s Will or My will? In talking with people, I hear this all the time and I have to say that I used to wonder this all the time myself. Step 11 says to pray for knowledge of Gods will and the power to carry it out. For a long time I had no idea of what Gods will was. I thought if things went well for me then that was God’s will and if they didn’t work out that it wasn’t Gods will…somewhat confusing to say the least because I never knew if it was God’s will or not until I saw the results. It was a sigh of relief to learn that I really could know Gods will and that God wanted everyone to know it.
As I sought God more, I learned that the meaning of ” Testament” is will or covenant. I thought about how when my daughter was born my husband and I decided to get our Wills made up. In case anything ever happened to us, we wanted to decide who would care for her. It was our will written down by a lawyer so that after our death someone could carry out our wishes. I learned that the Bible was Gods will written down by men so that we could know what He wants us to do. There is His Old Testament and His New Testament or you might say: His Old Will and His New Will. To learn God’s Will, I just needed to read the Bible but I had no idea where to start. I had heard that in the early days of AA, before there was a Big Book, that they read from the Book of James so I started there. I realized very quickly that a lot of what I was reading was principles I had learned and had already begun practicing in the rooms of AA. But, I still had that nagging question: How do I know if I’m really hearing God or if it’s just me. Then I was shown the answer.
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Hebrews 4:12 NLT
The Word of God, the Bible, is the way to discern whether or not it’s just me or its God. The Word is sharp enough to cut or divide between my soul and my spirit. My soul is my thoughts, my will and my emotions. My spirit is who I really am. I am a spirit with a soul and I live in a body. The Bible says that the word of God is so sharp that it can actually divide or cut between my soul and my spirit. If my actions and thoughts line up with the Word which are Gods thoughts then its God. If my emotions and thoughts don’t line up with the Word then it’s my will. Simple, yes. Easy..no. So now you might ask.. How do I know if my thoughts line up with God’s word? Well..that means that you must spend time reading it. You can read it by book or you can look up topics just like some of our popular meditation books. We don’t have to wonder whether something is Gods will or not we can go to His Will and look it up. He wants us to know His will so that we know what to do in EVERY situation we find ourselves in. God has something to say about everything we face..anger, loneliness, love, frustration, jealousy, relationships, sickness, money, family, children, employment etc.. You might try looking in your bible for topical references to find the scriptures that deal with what you need. If you need help, just message me and I’d be glad to help.
Next up: My Will, Your Will or God’s Will