Danny E. Morris ~ How Do You Feel About God's Will?

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“God’s will is the greatest gift we can receive under any circumstance.”

If this is true, shall we tap into the infinite wisdom of God, or shall we “pool our ignorance” and go it alone? We have been discerning God’s will all of our lives: Some of us have spiritual intuition; we attend corporate worship.

Consider the multiple choices you are presented in just one day – we read the paper (God’s will is involved in current events). We discern God’s will every time we buy groceries . . . instead of arsenic!

Some think that fulfilling God’s will would be a hardship.

Many think God’s will is fixed and rigid. You may easily believe that God’s will is frightening. “God might want me to become a preacher, go to the foreign mission field, or sell my boat, for goodness sake!”

I moved through many of these attitudes and stages of running from the divine will.

My early image of discerning God’s will was a wheat field: I was standing in the balcony of heaven. God took his will for me and dropped it (like a concrete block!) in a wheat field. My task in life was to run and run until I found God’s will. If I failed to find it, or stumbled over it, I would never be the same as before.

This was a terrible image!

What do you think of my present image of discerning God’s will?

God and I are together as co-creators in my life.

With that as my image, my present goal is to seek God’s will; to know God’s will; and to do God’s will.

How do you know if you have a discernment issue? This doesn’t mean, “which shopping center shall I go to today? What should I put on my grocery list? What color shall we paint the speed bumps in the church parking lot? Which kind of car shall I buy?”

Rather, the test is the question, “does God have anything to do with it?”

You must ask the “God Question”: “God, is this your will? Yes or No?”

The “God Question” is a vital question for any person, any church, any day.

While doing discernment workshops in numerous churches I discovered a major surprise. Many people in the church are afraid of God’s will. I was frequently told, either publicly or privately, of fear that if a person asks 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 of us fear that God’s will may have cutting edges or hard and unhappy results. “God always wants you to do the most difficult thing. It is best not to get too close to God; 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 your church?

It’s worth pondering.

 

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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.

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