Thy Will Be Done
I am going to discuss three areas where we need to learn to discover and accept God's will in our lives: But I Wanted..., Whatever You Try, and Let It Happen!
But I Wanted.... As children grow up, it is common for them to identify one of their parents as the primary "need satisfier" and one as the primary "want satisfier". The need satisfier is the parent a child perceives as providing those things that are required to survive, like food, clothing, and shelter. The want satisfier is the parent a child perceives as providing those extra things that we crave, but are not truly required.
A child takes his needs for granted. To him, it is a given that his parents will provide his needs. So the parent who is perceived to be the want satisfier is often the child's favorite parent. When a child matures into an adult, he may look back and realize the roles that both the need satisfier and the want satisfier have played. Then again, he may not!
It is the same in our Christian life. We see two parents (God and Satan) who could be our need satisfier and our want satisfier. And just as with our biological parents, whoever satisfies our wants (not our needs) will likely be the parent to whom we pledge our allegiance. Satan, the fun guy, promises us pretty baubles and a good time to satisfy our limitless cravings for the things that we want. While God, the provider, is taken for granted as the need satisfier.
Even if we know something is a want (and is not required), that still does not stop us from wanting it just as much! And Satan knows that. Can a Christian resolve the conflict between needs and wants? Just as a child can mature and gain a better appreciation for both the need and the want satisfier, a Christian can mature and gain a better appreciation of God. You can resolve that conflict between needs and wants. How? "Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him ..." (Psalms 37:3-5)
Do not make the mistake of assuming that God always frowns on us having fun, or any wants or desires of our own. But you have to follow God's will. You have to make the same things important to you that are important to God. God wants to demonstrate His love for us. Christ's death on the cross for our sins is surely proof of that. Don't you think? Follow God's will and see just how demonstrative God really is!
Whatever You Try. When you set goals in your Christian life, do these goals provide guidelines that are helpful in directing your actions? Or do these goals just frustrate you? Don't know what to try next? Consider trying these suggestions.
Try Harder Do you find it difficult to make a commitment? Once you have made a commitment, do you have trouble following through on it? Or maybe you do fulfill your commitment, but you didn't really give it your best shot. Is God leading you to some commitment at this time? Accept that commitment, but try harder this time.
Try Something Else Are you in a rut? Are your tried and true methods becoming stale and ineffective? Then you need to try something different to broaden your perspective. If you always make decisions that are practical and logical, do something based on what you are feeling in your heart. If you do everything based on your emotions, try using your head for a change. If you are a quiet person, speak up more. If you are outspoken, listen to what others have to say more.
If you are always taking care of others, do something for yourself. If you are always thinking about yourself, do something nice for someone else. If you plan everything, do something spontaneous. If you do everything on the spur of the moment, try planning ahead. Try something else.
Don't Try Quite So Hard Maybe you have made some commitments. Maybe you have tried some different things, but you still aren't seeing enough results from your efforts. Then don't try quite so hard. Give yourself a little breather. Instead of looking at the little, day-to-day picture, try stepping back and look at the bigger, long-term picture. Maybe your goals need realigned or refocused.
Maybe you need to learn to depend on God and others more for helping you reach your goals. After all, they aren't just your goals. And you don't have to carry the burden alone. We share common goals (and burdens) with Jesus and our Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
Whatever You Try "In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:6)
Let It Happen! I have said to try harder, try something else, or don't try quite so hard. I told you how to act. Maybe you don't need to get your "act" together. Maybe you need to get your "attitude" together. Do you think that God (or other people) have let you down? Are you disappointed with their contributions to either your personal goals or the shared goals of the body of Christ? Maybe you can't believe that God (or other people) will ever come through for you.
We talk a lot about having faith in God. That faith, or belief in God's character, is a very powerful, positive force. Your disbelief that God and others can ever live up to your expectations is a very powerful, negative force. Your disbelief prevents God and others from working in your life.
Maybe you are a spiritual overachiever. If you aren't reaching your goals, then maybe you are exercising your mind and your muscle when you should be exercising your faith. Do you think you need to work so hard because you don't have faith that God and others will do their part? Or maybe you are too disillusioned to even bother trying at all.
Your bitterness or disbelief started as some small point and grew until it overshadowed your feelings, decisions, and actions. Your faith, as well, can start as a small point and can grow until your belief is greater than your disbelief. You will then realize your goals and more. (Luke 17:6)
Go to God in prayer and admit to Him that you have not trusted Him the way that you should. Admit that you cannot do anything without His help. And ask Him why you are not reaching your goals. And take time to listen to God. Are you not trying hard enough? Do you have the wrong goals that are not Christ centered? Is your bitterness toward God and others interfering with their attempts to help you?
Ask God to help you choose some simple goal. Then ask God to set in motion the events necessary for you to achieve your new goal. Make a commitment to God that you will give Him credit for reaching the goal. And when God responds, tell someone how God came through for you! Believe in God's unchanging character, and His undying love. Place all your trust in Him. And let it happen!
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