The Loudest Will
When it comes to the will - that thing which is desired or ordained - which one is the loudest in your life... your will or God's will for you?
How can we know the difference between God's will and ours? How can we position our hearts to accept the will of God and deny our own? How can we be sure it's God leading us and not our own decisions and desires?
These questions have been on my mind more lately than ever. As I started seeing some of God's promises coming to pass in my life, I tried to be consistent and focused on making sure I remained in the will of God and fought the temptation of allowing my own desires to take precedence. Unfortunately, I encountered a moment where, despite my prayer and seeking... I missed the mark and chose my own will over God's.
Mark 26:41 (TLB) reminds us, "Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For the spirit indeed is willing, but how weak the body is!”
Joanna Beck said, "It's hard to hear the voice of God when you've already decided what you want Him to say."
I've always been a woman who takes God at His word, so I believe the Word of God when the Bible says, "If you do not have wisdom, ask God for it. He is always ready to give it to you and will never say you are wrong for asking." - James 1:5 (NLV)
I believed that the choice I made was the will of God. After all, I know what God promised me, I know His voice clearly, and I know His Word. I stand on it boldly, speak it consistently and do my best to live it out, so in my mind, I just assumed that what I was sensing had to be the will of God... right? Not even close.
What happens when our own will is louder than the will of God? In short: disaster. I learned from my own experience that it is possible to receive a word or promise from God, then link or attach my will to a thing, person, or situation and call it the will of God. I will gladly share with you my experience.
I started to see confirmations that I believed were from the Lord, but in actuality, I was ascribing those things I saw to fit my own desires (my will). I didn't just ascribe those things to my own desires, either. I began decreeing, speaking, declaring, claiming it for my life- and even did so "in the Name of Jesus". When I saw that things were not working out in my favor, or according to how I believed they should have been working out, I immediately attributed the lack of progress to an attack of the enemy. So, then I started "waging spiritual war" against these demonic attacks that I believed had been launched against the fulfillment of God's will for my life. The more I spoke against what was happening, the more things spiraled out of control. I believed the enemy was angry that I wouldn't give up, but I now know the Lord was blocking the things I was speaking in order to try and get my attention and realign me back in His will for me.
There was even a time that I began to doubt the Lord's love for me and His desire to see me happy. I also began to question my own ability to know and hear the voice of God.
As I reflect, I'm sure the Lord was probably looking at me and listening to me... shaking His head and saying, "My dear, sweet daughter. Why do you insist on attaching My name to your selfish desires? If you would just take time to be still and silent in My Presence, I can show you that what you're praying for is not My will. What you think is for you isn't even good enough to fulfill what I promised." There were so many times that the Holy Spirit would take over in my prayer time and intercede. I believed the Holy Spirit was battling on my behalf for things to progress. I realize now that the Holy Spirit was indeed battling on my behalf, but for my flesh to surrender and yield to the true will of God and no longer be deceived by my own will.
How can we know the difference between God's will and ours? Our human will brings feelings of mental "fog", lack of clarity, no direction, confusion, anxiety, stress, hesitation, doubt, insecurity. self-loathing, emotional instability, depression, sadness... do any of these things sound like the kind of life our Heavenly Father desires for us to live? Absolutely not.
Philippians 4:8 (TPT) says, "Keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising Him always."
Those were certainly not my thoughts during the time I was going through this experience. Instead of praising God, I was blaming God... for not being faithful, for not coming through for me, for refusing to honor His will for my life, for punishing me without cause... thank God for grace in the midst of my ignorance!
When God's will is the loudest, He brings clarity, direction, assurance, peace, hope, overflowing joy, favor, blessing, enjoyment and fulfillment. I'm in no way implying that we don't or won't experience trials and difficult situations when we're in God's will. But, in the midst of those trials and difficult situations, we will still maintain a God-given peace, clarity and assurance that we are covered, protected and cared for.
How can we position our hearts to accept the will of God and deny our own? Surrender, submit and release. Write out every single thing you want or desire for yourself, your life, your family, your friends... no matter how extensive that list may be. Write it all out and then tell God, "I lay every single desire, for myself and others, at Your feet. I submit to however and whenever You choose to move in my life and in every situation, and I release every outcome into Your fully capable and loving hands."
How can we be sure it's God leading us and not our own decisions and desires? Proverbs 3:5-6 (TPT) gives us a beautiful road map, "Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on Him to guide you, and He will lead you in every decision you make. Become intimate with Him in whatever you do, and He will lead you wherever you go."
When God is leading us instead of our own decisions and desires, we can rest in His understanding, spend time listening to His voice, allow ourselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit, and we see a change in our perspective, the position of our heart and the growth in our level of trust in the Lord.
"For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn't understand growth, it would look like complete destruction." - Cynthia Occelli
When we allow God to change our focus from our own will to His will, and allow His will to remain the loudest in our lives, here is what I can guarantee. God's promises are always faithful, reliable and set in eternity. There is absolutely no one and nothing in this world that can hinder His promises from manifesting, bursting forth and being fulfilled in our lives. Some may try, but they will always fail... God's Word and His promises NEVER do. When God speaks something into our lives, He will always bring it to fulfillment- it will just never happen the way we anticipate it to happen, nor should we want it to. If we had a say in how God fulfilled His promises and plans for us, we would sell ourselves short every time because our humanness tells us we only deserve so much. God's grace, mercy and love says that we deserve far more than we believe we're worthy to receive.