EASIER SAID THEN DONE - LEARNING GOD'S WILL FOR OUR LIFE & THEN BEING A VESSEL FOR GOD
Psalm 40, Verse 8 - I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.”
Psalm 143, Verse 10 - Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
Matthew 6, Verse 10, from the Lord's Prayer - "Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven."
Matthew 26, Verse 36-44 - Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.” And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more.
2 Titus 2, Verse 19-21 - Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.” Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.
12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous
Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Step 7: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Step 10: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Step 11: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Genesis 2, Verses 16-17 - ...the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Genesis 4, Verses 4-7 - ...the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
I attended Alcoholics Anonymous for many years as a heavy drinker. The time was not wasted, and I overcame my issues. It was in big part, or full part, the doing of God. I often struggled with Steps 3 and 11, somewhat puzzled at how turning my life over to God could be realized and prevent me from following bad instincts. It is true that since the fall of Adam and Eve that we have known within our very beings the difference between good and evil, between righteousness and unrighteousness. However, our instincts and patterns of behavior may often trump our inner-knowing, especially before we dedicate our lives to God, and especially if our parents practiced and taught us unGodly behaviors. Our inner-knowing may not be what comes to mind as we decide our actions in our daily lives. We must practice being a righteous person before it becomes instinctual, and even then we know mankind's instincts are never perfect, for "the flesh is weak." Step 11 in Alcoholics Anonymous is key and pertains to a life of prayer; it is only through prayer that we can realize answers to our prayers. Being a vessel to God requires doing what is righteous, but reinforcement is needed. In the Old Testament God gives Israel the Law; in the New Testament Jesus fulfill's the Law. Besides righteous actions we need guidance on how to best move forward in our life plans, so that we may glorify God in some pursuit or another. In answer to prayer, God's will for our life can be revealed to us through the Spirit. It is vital to read and absorb the Word, know God and His commandments, and study the example of Jesus and other saints and Christians. These are tools to inspire us. In Jesus's last days he was depressed and prayerful. He spoke to God three times in prayer about "Your will, not Mine". Even the Son of God struggled with this mission, because he was also a man. So what does that tell us about us - fully man and fully woman? It tells us it is difficult to honor God in our actions; it is not easy to glorify God. We need constant dedication - knowing the righteous path God would have for us, and then following through.
Dear God, I confess I have not prayed enough for direction from You in my life. I have also not prayed enough to know You more intimately so that my faith would be strengthened and I may better understand Your direction for my life. And I struggle with righteous daily living - having a limited sense of my God-given purpose. I am sometimes wavering in the wind instead of being a solid rock. Help me to know Your will for my life, and to develop better patterns of behavior so my daily living is righteous. Remind me that "Your will, not mine" does not mean my life will be all sugar and roses. Jesus suffered and He is our number one example. I pray that I will be a better servant of God and honor You the remaining days of my life. I pray that my life up until this point has been pleasing to You in some ways. Glory and honor are Yours. Amen.
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