Many people are highly suspicious of doing God's Will. For one thing, it sounds very hokey and simple-minded, like something you'd read on a bumper sticker. But even more important, we may think that doing God's Will is contrary to our individual will. We might think He wants us to do something that we don't really want to do or wouldn't like doing. Maybe He wills us to change everything in our life as we know it and become selfless like a Mother Teresa. Or even worse, we could be afraid of God's Will. Maybe He wants us to sacrifice our children, like those stories contained in the Bible. Or maybe we think He wants to punish or destroy us, because we are so bad, so disobedient, and so wasteful. Truly, who would want to know or do God's Will if it's going to be so awful?
The most important thing to remember is that God is love and only love. He does not have an ego and is therefore not punitive, vengeful, demanding, or controlling. These are human ego characteristics, not divine ones. God is only good and therefore He wants only good for you. He wills your happiness. And why does he will your happiness? Because your happiness is the one thing that makes you want to stay alive. God is life, and He wills the experience that promotes and extends life.
What Makes Me Happy?
When you ask to know God's Will, you are really asking to become aware of what makes you happy. As you repeatedly ask God for His Will over and over, you come to realize that He will lead you to happiness by always reminding you to extend your love. Being love is happiness now. It's a big leap in awareness to understand that being love is more useful and satisfying than getting a result or achieving a goal at some unknown future time. This is because form, no matter how pleasing or desirable, is a substitute for love, and will therefore not result in happiness. Things may pacify and distract you for a while, but they will not fill the empty hole in your heart.
There is a mistaken and deep-rooted belief that the will of the individual and the Will of God can be separate, but this is not possible. You want to be happy, and God wills you to be happy. So you see, the goal of happiness is the same. Your will to be happy cannot be separate or apart from His. So if your will and God's Will are the same, why bother to ask? This is a very appropriate question.
When you make decisions independently, without knowing God's Will, you are making a decision with your ego mind. As you already know, the ego is not your friend, and it will not advise you to think, talk, or act in ways that are always harmless. The reason for taking the time to ask God's Will is to disengage and filter out the ego. Then you can know, without any hesitation or doubt, which decisions will make you happy.
Sacrificing Happiness Does Not Lead to Happiness
Many of us do not know how to make ourselves happy. Some of us think that our happiness is expendable or unimportant, so we willingly sacrifice it. However, the sacrifice of happiness does not lead to happiness. It leads to despair. Happiness is occasionally sacrificed as an offering to God, so that He will look down on us in mercy or favor. But our happiness is most frequently sacrificed in the name of maintaining a special relationship. Loss of self in another is not usually perceived as sacrifice. More typically, it takes on an elevated meaning. There are terms like "sacred love," or "holy matrimony." We all joyfully buy into the idea that a special relationship will make us happy and that getting and keeping a special relationship is the most important thing in our lives. This idea is based on the concept that we are incomplete and can be made complete by someone else. We think someone else can make us better than we are. Or that someone else can make us happy. Someone else wants you, so therefore you must be valuable, worthy, and lovable. This distracts you from doing the work of learning how to love yourself.
Authentic and real expression of self is often suppressed in the name of maintaining a special relationship. You don't say what you really think, because your partner, children, relatives, or friends won't like it or might get mad at you. You don't do what you really want to do, because they may disapprove or reject you. When you're authentic, you sometimes risk losing a relationship, experiencing anger from another, being shunned, and/or becoming the recipient of a variety of other unsavory treatments.
Decisions That Are Loving to Self and Others
God wills us to make decisions that are loving to self as well as to others. By asking God's Will, we can always be sure that we are doing the right thing and that we're not forgetting our own happiness in the process. Asking first prevents mistakes, saves time, and fills our acts with boldness and confidence. When we're not timid, our acts become big and magnificent, because we are not withholding anything. A decision that is reached with the help of God becomes a full expression of being.
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Even more, a decision that's in alignment with God's Will is a way of going with the Life force, rather than against it. The characters in the Star Wars movie series would say, May the Force be with you. This is the little farewell prayer that the good guys say to each other before they start on a mission against the bad guys. It's their way of asking for life to win over death, or for light to overcome darkness. What we don't realize is that the Force is always with us. We, however, are not going with the Force when we give the ego control of our decisions.
In our fast-paced world, it's easy to forget to consider God's Will in every decision, but there is a way to remember. The reminder is your own misery! Whenever you're miserable, it's a sure sign that you have made an ego-based decision. This is the clue. Look for these clues in your life. Then ask to know God's Will in every situation, so that you can lift yourself up out of the muck and move yourself in a positive direction.
This article is excerpted from:
10 Radiant Ideas
by Karen Anne Bentley.
About the Author
Karen Anne Bentley is author of the Awaken Your Passion book series. Big Heart Books is dedicated to increasing awareness of A Course In Miracles one of the most important and profound spiritual works of our time. The Course teaches a wary of living based on love of self and others, inner peace, and guidance from within.