Danny Morris ~ Asking the God Question

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God, is this your will? Yes or No?”

Let us consider the God-question – a vital question for any person, any church, any day.

While doing discernment workshops with numerous churches, I discovered a major surprise: many people in the church are actually afraid of God’s will. I was frequently told, either publicly or privately, of the fear that if they asked for God’s will to be done, it could bring a definite hardship – as if God’s will is the worst thing that can happen. Many feared that God’s will might have cutting edges or hard and unhappy results. “God always wants you to do the most difficult thing. Ask for God’s will and you might have to quit your job, or become a missionary, or sell your boat! It is best not to get too close to God for, after all, God will get you, or make things difficult for you.”

I have found that just the opposite is true. God’s will is absolutely the best that can happen to us under any circumstance. Cooperating with God doesn’t produce hardship, but harmony. God’s will is not intended to cause problems but to produce power that cannot come to us outside of God’s will.

So, the God-question may be our most important question: “God, is this your will? Yes or no?”

Asking the God-question is not necessary at every turn of one’s life, but it is essential for all major decisions where you feel or suspect that it would be good for God to help. (If it would be, you need to know it.)

Therefore, here are two questions to consider: How different would your life be if you had frequently and earnestly been asking the God-question?

And, what would your church be like if you were corporately, consciously, asking the God-question about every ministry, every feature, or every action of it?

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Danny Morris is a retired United Methodist Minister. He served as a staff member of the General Board of Discipleship and The Upper Room, and played a signal role in developing spiritual formation resources, among those, the Academy of Spiritual Formation, The Five-day Academy, and The Living Prayer Center. He also helped guide the transition of the Catholic Cursillo into The Walk to Emmaus, which recently welcomed the one millionth Pilgrim. Danny is the author of a number of books in the area of discipleship and spiritual formation and with Chuck Olsen co-authored Discovering God’s Will Together, which has become a foundational book on discernment.

1 COMMENT

  1. After my own reluctant and “devastating” experience of pursuing God’s will–which left me feeling like I was on the edge of the abyss–three books by M. Craig Barnes helped me make sense of what I had experienced. Barnes nailed it when he put it within the context that when it comes to God, we have control issues. To follow God’s will is to open yourself up to God’s grace; but for us there is a problem with grace because as Barnes states, “Grace confronts the accusation that you can not save yourself.” Barnes was also right when he characterized being in the grip of God’s grace as “…being in the crucible of God’s creativity. That is always a painful and yet wondrous place to be. The pain comes in having to encounter the truth about the loss of our dreams and godlike illusions. But mixed into that despair is thewonder of the creativity of our God. We know he is up to something.”
    It took a long while for me to understand the benefits of pursuing God’s will. I am still wrestling with God over something else I feel He is pushing me to do.

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