We all have goals and plans for our lives. But sometimes those plans don't work out, and we have to choose a different way. Often, we discover that the way we didn't plan was actually better. But, why is that? Why didn't our original plan work out?
It may have something to do with the will of God and what he wants and needs us to do, instead of what we think is best.
Just like the relationship of a parent and child, the child has things he/she wants to do, but the parent asserts their will to the child, both for protection and learning. The child may fight it, but not without consequences. Parents often have to correct a child's actions to protect them and help them to know better.
Bending your will to another person's is not easy. But, it is necessary to match your will to God's will. Here are some keys to helping you accept God's will as your own:
1. Exercise faith
Faith is more than a feeling, it is an action. It is something we do to move ahead in times of uncertainty and when we need strength beyond our own. Faith is going forward without knowing the outcome. It takes faith to follow God's plan for us, especially when we might not want to do what he wants us to do. Dieter Uchtdorf, a religious leader, said, "the purpose of faith is not to change God's will but to empower us to act onGod's will. Faith is trust-trust that God sees what we cannot and that he knows what we do not. Sometimes, trusting our own vision and judgment is not enough". Faith enables us to take the difficult step forward.
2. Have behavior that aligns with God's will
God gave us commandments, not merely as suggestions, but as a way of life. As we keep these commandments, we can more willingly accept God's will as our own because our behavior is already in accordance with what he expects from us. Obeying God's commandments helps us live how God wants us to live. We will also be more in tune to listen to what God needs us to do. As we practice obedience, our will matches God's.
If you want to know what God's will is for you, pray and ask him. You can and will receive clear answers as you exercise faith and listen for the answer through the influence of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes, the answers can take time to come as God wants us to think and act for ourselves, to seek out the best answer, and then he will confirm that we are on the right path or not. The key is to be willing to be corrected and take a new direction when necessary. You must also be willing to trust he knows the what's best for us. Proverbs 3:6 reads, "In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
We can emulate the example of Jesus as he sought after God's will over his own when he was suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane. Recorded in Luke 22:42, Jesus prays, "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." Jesus was obedient and sought the will of his father over his own. We can learn to do the same through obedience, prayer and our faith.