Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries.
~ Psalm 81:13-24 ~
Father in Heaven knew that you would face challenges and be required to make some decisions that would be beyond your own ability to decide correctly. In His plan of happiness, He included a provision for you to receive help with such challenges and decisions during your mortal life. That assistance will come to you through the Holy Ghost as spiritual guidance. It is a power, beyond your own capability, that a loving Heavenly Father wants you to use consistently for your peace and happiness.
I am convinced that there is no simple formula or technique that would immediately allow you to master the ability to be guided by the voice of the Spirit. Our Father expects you to learn how to obtain that divine help by exercising faith in Him and His Holy Son, Jesus Christ. Were you to receive inspired guidance just for the asking, you would become weak and ever more dependent on Them. They know that essential personal growth will come as you struggle to learn how to be led by the Spirit.
What may appear initially to be a daunting task will be much easier to manage over time as you consistently strive to recognize and follow feelings prompted by the Spirit. Your confidence in the direction you receive from the Holy Ghost will also become stronger. I witness that as you gain experience and success in being guided by the Spirit, your confidence in the impressions you feel can become more certain than your dependence on what you see or hear.
Spirituality yields two fruits. The first is inspiration to know what to do. The second is power, or the capacity to do it. These two capacities come together. That’s why Nephi could say, “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded.”2 He knew the spiritual laws upon which inspiration and power are based. Yes, God answers prayer and gives us spiritual direction when we live obediently and exercise the required faith in Him.
~ Richard G. Scott – To Acquire Spiritual Guidance – October 2009 General Conference ~
The hardest aspect of living a more mindful and spiritual Christian life was to learn to fully submit to God in all things. Christ taught that his yoke is easy and light (see Matthew 11:29-30). Remembering to be bound by His yoke is something that is entirely different and difficult. The desire to worship Him for his goodness, I do desire to thank him for his love, my pledge to be his disciple, and ask him to for wisdom. All the while, I sometimes find it challenging and hard to grasp at times. When it comes to making decisions, I still desire some independence and autonomy.
What is it about my own independence that so intrigues me? How is it that I am so captivated with my decision-making powers? Knowing that autonomy is sometimes the adversary’s specialty and the very root of my sin. Do I still insist on maintaining little pieces of it in various corners of my lives? The difficulty appears to lay within the difference between God telling me one thing and my internal compulsions direct me another way. It is often that I give into choosing compulsions of my humanity over God’s guiding wisdom. Ultimately to my own folly and disappointments. What does this say about my trust in God?
Seeking after my own interests begins when I mistrust God’s wisdom and guidance. This is what I have come to understand about my own personal sinful nature. When I give over to choose my own will over God’s I am essentially mistrusting him and trusting in my own self motivations. Such idea has become quite absurd since I have come to understand the basic teachings of scripture: God’s will and care for my life is in his best interest.
The question is before each one of us. Are we convinced that by giving our will and life over to God’s care is in our best interest? The Christian life will be a struggle until each one of us come to know deep down in our hearts that His commands – even the hard ones – are ultimately for our own benefit. The assurance is given when we come to be God-centered over our own self-centered motivations. This is what the savior meant when he taught that whoever loses his life will preserve it (see Luke 17:33). My happiness is deeper and richer since I’ve started fully giving my will and care over to God – as I grow to understand him.
In this sense, it is a sacrificial act of humility to forsake my own will and submit to his. Submission seems so noble and there is much at stake for each of us. When I serve him, the ability to serve others becomes more meaningful. True sense of meaning and purpose is giving ourselves wholeheartedly over to God’s care.
How difficult is it for you to come to realize the need to give your life and will over to God’s care? What are you struggling with in your life today where you are experiencing some sense of powerlessness? In what way is God’s guidance and wisdom a blessing upon your life? What prevents you from experiencing true grace and peace through a humble act of submission to God?
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Damascus Way Recovery