The will of God is good, acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
Have you ever wondered how we make decisions ? How do we make good decisions? What does God really want from us? Does God care about every little choice you and I make? In any decision we have a choice of who we will honor and worship. Will we worship God or will we worship ourselves? You might say, everything isn’t about God/or Church. It might be and God still cares about everything what is going on in our heart. He desires to be the highest priority in every parts of our lives. From the very beginning of human creation, the will of God is good, acceptable and perfect as St. Paul expressed in his epistle to Romans. God's intention was to make Adam and Eve to live forever that he even created them in His image. For human to be perfect and acceptable in the eyes of God, he was supposed to do one thing, "Following the Commandment- you shall not eat?" (Genesis 2:17) Even now, God only expects us to do his commandment if we really love him. Therefore, the will of God for all of us is perfect, it lacks nothing, and it is good for us in satisfying our spiritual, physical, psychological and emotional needs. God knows the future and therefore He knows what will be good for you and I in the long term. On the contrary our own will is not perfect. If I try to do any thing in my way, I may probably end up looking the short term benefit without considering the long term consequence. Therefore, we all need the WILL OF GOD IN WHAT EVER WE DO to prevail any challenges. In some aspects of life it is clear that there are right decisions and wrong decisions. Other times, the choice may be some of gray area - something that is not necessary right or wrong. These are an opportunity to exercise wisdom/ Discernment. But how? Discernment is the ability to judge a situation accurately to see the full reality of the situation, relationship, experience, or circumstance. It is the capacity to understand accurately and clearly what it is, to see the truth of things as they are from God’s viewpoint. Discernment for the believer is seeing and understanding as God sees and Understand. “ And they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the unholy, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. Ez 44:23” Four aspect of Discernment
Between Good and Bad- To know what is right and wrong. There are occasions , however, when the evil can cloak itself in what appears to be good. We need to able to discern the motive and heart of a servant who is in church leadership.
Between what is real and what is illusion - We need to be able to tell if what we are seeing and hearing is fact or fiction. Some opportunity that come in our way may appear to be real, valid and wondered- only later do we discover that we have been tricked. Some people may come to into our lives and give the appearance of good character - only to be shown later to have had very bad motives. Some substances may be offered to us under the guise of being helpful or healthful- only to be shown later to have a deadly long term side effect.
Between what is Good and what is Best-- Many people have failed to receive God’s best in their lives because they settled for what seemed to be good. God doesn’t want us to live an average life. He desires everyone to live an excellent life- morally excellent, spiritually and rationally. It isn’t about how much status , fame, money a person has, but whether a person has excellent health and excellent friendship and family relationship or the degree of love, Joy and peace a person has.
Between God’s will and our desire- God plan is for us is the plan that fit us perfect. Don’t settle for your own deed-end goal- get in line with God’s goal and be all He created you to be. In order for God to reveal His good, acceptable and perfect will to us, as one Father stated, we have to renounce our will. This means you and I have to prove to God that we really seek His will. The problem with most of us is that we ask God to reveal His will to us, but deep inside we have already made up our minds - according to our will. Sometimes we only pursue the will of God if it only agrees with our own will. However, our Church fathers teach us, "God will not reveal His will to anyone unless we bury our selfish will."
How can we do God's will, when we make a decision? A). The first step is to neutralize our will. We always have bias either against or for anything we are considering as a plan. Let me give you an example. Let's say I have been accepted in a good university in my hometown and I have also received an offer from another university that is far from home. The lure [idea] of "freedom" might make me to ignore the negative aspects of studying far away from home. However, if I really want to know what is perfect, good and acceptable will of God for me in this matter, I should neutralize my bias. I should intentionally identify and point out the negative and positive aspect of going versus staying. For example, going far will make me lonely; and will leave me with loose connection with my confessional father, no family and friends, and above all there will be no church around. Therefore, identifying the pros and cons of the idea will be the first step to recognize what is acceptable in the eyes of God. The first requirement for living an acceptable, good and perfect will of God is to neutralize or bury our selfish will. B). You have to make sure you're seeking to obey what God has already revealed in the scripture. This includes obeying your parents. This is a clear instruction from God. Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.“Honor your father and mother” (Exodus 20:12)—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” (Eph 6:1). It doesn’t really work to ignore God’s revealed instruction and yet expect Him to make everything possible for you. C). The third step is to go to your Confessional Father and get counseling, direction and to ask him to pray for you, so that God may reveal His will to you. (I know many of us don't have confession father, I hope you might learn from this lesson how important it is to have a father of confession in life). “The act of submitting yourself to your father in confession is an act of humility a very necessary prerequisite for God to reveal His will to all of us”. Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. [Proverb 15:11]. D). The final step is to pray, ask and listen to God. You need to be specific when you ask God. The three steps, above, would help you clearly to what kind of question you pray for. This requires spending time with God through studying His Word, participating in the liturgy, and listening God. Through these steps, your relationship with God grows; and you begin to understand God’s character. Finally, you would be in a right place to hear God’s instruction and will for your life. What about those of us who has made a bad choice in life already ? Are we forever out of God’s will? No. That is part of the beauty of scripture, It has story after story of people who make a bad choice/ decisions, and yet God uses them - look at the person who was crucified on the right, Titos, Mary the adulterer , and King David; to mention few. Our God is a God of Mercy and chance. In all history, we have seen God to work through our messed up decisions and accomplishes great things. God could work/use through all our decisions if we choose Him first. One benefit of accepting the will of God is that whatever life brings your way, you will have no fear, knowing that if God willed this, it is certainly good, perfect and acceptable even if ? in the short term we don't like it. Therefore, for youth like you and me life is like a boat where two people have to work. One has to row and the other has to hold the rudder (the device that direct the boat to turn right and left). A wise person would hand the rudder to the lord and say, "God, hold the rudder and I will row!". Unfortunately, many times we insist on holding the rudder and we want God to row!
O! Lord show us Your ways, teach us your path so that we may know the plans You have for us. I believe Your plan are plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future. [Jeremiah 29:11]
May God help us to do His will.Dn Fre-senbetSource- "practical spirituality" by father Athanasius Iskandar Others Have something to say? Leave a comment or share a post!