Finding God’s Will :: Part 2
Finding the will of God for major decisions in your life can be challenging. In my E-paper, Six Steps for Finding God’s Will, I discuss this very idea.
The first step in finding the will of God is to peel away, or distance yourself from, your own self-will.
You’re right. It’s not that simple. But the process can be powerful! Lets take a closer look.
When Jesus found himself in Gethsemane, He was a nervous wreck. Jesus agonized over His predicament, knowing He was in the final hours leading to an appointment at the cross. The burden placed on Him was unbearable and felt even deathly to Him (those were His words).
Jesus was desperate and called out to God. In finding his way to the center of God’s will, the first thing he did was to strip away the self will.
Stripping away the self-will
Finding God’s Will starts with identifying what the “self-will” really is.
For Jesus, he did not want to die. “Take this cup from me,” He said. Jesus was in agony and desired a Plan-B. He was direct and honest with God, wishing to avoid the pain and suffering ahead.
Jesus cried out to the Father for a rescue plan, much like a child reaching out to his daddy. Jesus knew his Father had changed His mind before (Exodus 32:14, Jeremiah 26:19). Perhaps He would offer an alternative plan here also?
But in the very sentence Jesus asserts His will, he strips it away saying, “yet not as I will, but as you will.”
He pleaded to God, “This is my desire. This is what I want. This is my great wish. BUT…. I only want it as long as it’s in accordance with your will. Your will trumps my will, Father.”
That’s a paraphrase of course. But Jesus knew that above else, God’s will is what matters. When He taught the Lord’s prayer on the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6), it includes this will-stripping clause: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (v10).
Suppose you’re seeking God’s will regarding a new job offer. Often if the job is for more money or for what we consider a “better opportunity”, we might hastily take the job. But seeking God’s will starts first with clearly identifying the self-will.
a. Start by listing reasons why your self’s will wants the job:
- more compensation
- a promotion
- better alignment of gifts and abilities
- the feeling of being recognized and rewarded, etc.
b. Next, pray through each item:
God, I will not accept the new job solely based on any of these self-will reasons. Your will be done, not mine.
c. Make a second list of the reasons why your self-will does not want the job:
- unsure of your qualifications
- content with your current job
- fearful of the added pressure and responsibilities
- reluctant to relocate away from comfort zone (family, friends, etc.)
d. In the same manner as #b above, pray through the list:
Father, I will not reject the job for any of these reasons alone. I desire to act according to your will, not mine.
The idea is to divorce yourself from your will. And this can only be done once you have defined it!
By recognizing the pros and cons for a given decision, and then setting them aside, you’re in better position to know God’s will.
In my own life, whenever I face a major crisis or decision, I begin to think through my will. That’s very easy because my emotions have already done the work. Whatever I’m sweating about, my self has already formed opinions!
The process of laying these self-concerns before God is freeing. And prepares me for the next steps in the process.
To take a peek at the rest of the six steps – just subscribe to the E-Paper on this page. I know you’ll find them helpful!