The 11th Step mentions "knowledge of His will for us..."
How does this "knowledge" come to you? Or do you seek it out?
How does this "knowledge" come to you? Or do you seek it out?
This is a journey for me, as I continue to let go of old ideas and try out new ones, allowing myself the freedom to grow in my personal relationship with God. I am grateful that God is patient with our journey, as it takes some of us much practice and effort to grow in this area. The simple effort of practicing prayer and meditation allows me to seek a clearer understanding or knowledge of God's will in my daily life. To pray is to seek; to uncover and discover my clearest of intentions and continue to surrender my will to His. After that I get up and take the next right action or pause.
The process of surrendering my will to God's care allows my will to be aligned with God's through His power, not mine. When this occurs, a sense of peace and serenity is produced, leaving stress, worry and concern behind and I am better able to think clearly and recognize God's participation in guiding and providing me with the power to carry out His will. As I surrender over and over again a specific request, desire or need, until it is in harmony with the will of God, I can then clearly discern and seek to know what God would have me do or be. When I am not struggling with making my will happen, no longer convincing myself 'it' is God's will, as I continue to surrender my cares and concerns to His direction, I become aware that my will has come into alignment with God's. I can then relax and trust that I will be guided by His Spirit and He will supply what ever is needed to bring forth His Divine will, leaving behind the need to manage again by trying to figure out 'how to make it happen.'
I no longer have to worry about doing the 'right' thing, as long as I am applying spiritual principles and trust God to lead the way, confident my job is to follow as I recognize His guidance, being present to the moments of each day. I am willing to take the course of action I discern needs to be taken, using all of my senses, relaxing in the knowledge that everything needed to fulfill God's will, even courage and willingness, is supplied by God, I just have to surrender and trust. Remembering that He meets me where I am and that whatever He calls me to do, whether it is to start a new career, or make specific changes in my daily life, He provides what I need to fulfill His will with joy.
Once my will is aligned with His will, confident by practicing self-examination as I recognize that I am applying the principles in my life, and then I can seek with greater ease the knowledge of His will for me. I do this through several ways. Some of these are; being aware during prayer and meditation if I have a sense of 'knowing' what the next right thing is for me to do, or not do. I am willing to listen to my intuition, knowing that I will make mistakes and that my reliance on intuition grows as I listen to Spirit's still voice within. Sometimes, I seek by reading Scripture and then meditate on the words I read or discuss this with another person.
I am expected to use my God-given brain and common sense as I think about those things that I surrender to God, trusting that as I do so, He will guide me at every turn as I discover what His will is and what course of action to take. I also trust that He will provide the necessary power, ability and every need I have to carry out His will. Sometimes I need to discuss the issue with my spiritual director, spouse or trusted friend. If I am still uncertain what His will is, regarding a specific issue, then I simply take the next right action, trusting that the way will unfold one step at a time. Also, I will most often not know what the whole picture looks like or what every step is in advance, so I take one step at a time. Faith in action, even with fear, is often called courage.
Since, I have surrendered my will to God's management I am reminded that my decision to seek His will has already been made. I also need to take the time to be aware, listen and pay attention, by living in the present, to recognize God's guidance and act accordingly. Sometimes I may get a phone call from someone who brings up the very issue I am 'seeking' and other times a 'coincidence' or a chance meeting will reveal God's will or my next right action will be clear. I am called to seek His will and trust that He will reveal this and provide the power to carry this out. No matter how small the issue may seem to be, it all matters to God, as every area of our life matters to Him.
If I am still doubtful about what action to take, or if I am to take any action, then I need to 'pause' and this can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few days or longer, until I no longer have the intense sense of doubt. This is an opportunity to learn how to live in harmony with the Spirit of the Universe and this can be an exciting part of our journey, if we leave unrealistic expectations of ourselves and of God, behind. Sometimes we go off in the opposite direction of God's will, confident we are on the right path to fulfill His will, only to find out during self-examination that we were in fact trying to make God's will fit into our own. How do we know this when it happens? Our actions usually do not produce peace, harmony or positive results.
This is an opportunity to learn and grow in our relationship with God and to surrender at a deeper level our will to His, knowing that God truly wants us to be happy, joyous and free. One old idea that interferes with my seeking His will is that God does not want me to be happy. Happiness truly comes when I have aligned my will, my mind and heart to whatever God has in store for my life, with the confidence that this will create the wholeness, peace and harmony in life that I want.
So, yes I seek, using all at my disposal, knowing that this is a process of surrendering my will to God's will until the two are in harmony in all areas of my life. I am expected to use my God-given gifts as a human spiritual being to seek the knowledge and fulfillment of His will. Sometimes, I have to be still and know that God has His part to do, and trust His will as it unfolds in my daily life.
I listen with my 'spiritual' ears and look with my 'spiritual' eyes and walk confidently into each day, knowing that God and I are partners in life.
I can be assured that He will disclose His will for me and this will become clearer with each opportunity to live in harmony with His will for my life. He will continue to disclose more to me as I serve Him well and I do this best by trusting His love for humanity.
My purpose in life has become my deepest desire and this is to serve Him and to help my fellows to the fullest and best that I can do. Trusting His plans for every area of my life are for my highest good, trusting Spirit to guide and provide for me to live as He calls me. Even when I may not fully know what His will is, I must always remember that I am to serve God and help others and all roads in my life lead to this simple purpose. This purpose fills my soul with such satisfaction and joy that no other purpose can compete. Sometimes the awareness of God's will with specific concerns comes in hindsight, after I have walked in faith, trusting my journey with Spirit, a journey with principles as my guideline, and the Spirit of Love as the voice I recognize and follow.
Carol Ann Preston ©2007