HOW TO KNOW GOD’S WILL FOR MY LIFE
One can never exhaust this subject, but one can develop
well-proven disciplines and skills for “Getting Life Right.”
"In his will is our peace."
- Dante -
I WANT TO SHARE ABOUT THIS SUBJECT GENTLY, TO THE KINDRED SOULS OF OTHER CHRISTIANS, WHO DESIRE, LIKE ME, TO BE TRANSFORMED INTO A GENUINELY SAINTLY FRIEND OF JESUS CHRIST.
GOD DOES NOT WANT US TO BE STUCK.
IT IS NEVER GOD’S WILL FOR US TO LIVE IN DESOLATION. THERE MUST BE CONSOLATION AS WELL. WE EXPERIENCE BOTH IN THIS LIFE.
MANY CHRISTIANS NEED TO BE SET FREE FROM FUTILITY IN ORDER TO LIVE THE LIFE AND TO DO THE WORK TO WHICH GOD HAS CALLED THEM.
HOW ARE CHRISTIANS SET FREE TO DO THE WILL OF GOD?
CONSIDER St. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA on Discernment in Life:
1 Repentance - in light of the Love that brought Christ to this life.
2 Immersion in the life of Jesus - by intensely reading Gospels
3 Prayer & Spiritual Guidance from a leader / guide
(confession is vital to this part of your success.
(spiritual disciplines become lifelong SKILLS ).
(Practices) (Predictability) (Muscle Memory) (Sports) (Study)
THREE MODES by which we arrive at a sense that God is speaking to us:
1- An unexplainable clarity beyond all doubting
2- An attraction of the heart that grows and remains
3- A preponderance of reason and careful consideration
CONSOLATION & DESOLATION – Both exist and can be expected - Each has its own characteristics
A deep sense of "I am in the Will of my loving Heavenly Father."
- Peace that passes all understanding
- Know the Love of God that passes knowledge
- Filled with inexpressible Joy –deep &/or effervescent
- Heaviness of heart
- Sadness and struggle
- Dryness and suffering
We must LEARN (Which I will mention shortly)
1. How to resist and reject satan's attack.
2. Our heart must become pliable to God’s Will.
3. A price must be paid for progress.
- Never Mind that i don't feel jovial.
- Never Mind that I feel perturbed at myself &/or others
- Never Mind that my task may be difficult and I am weak
- Never Mind that others don’t understand me, or won’t follow me
- Never Mind that I don’t have all I need or want for the mission today
We must understand that there are times when spiritual benefits cost us more than at other times, but these always lead to times of consolation.
SEVEN THING TO HELP YOU FIGHT THE DEVIL
1) NAME THE THING - the obstacle, the desire, or the sin, the pain
2) QUIET YOUR HEART – focus & clear your head – the mind is the battlefield
* Establish moments of silence in your life worship – no distractions
3) REJECT THE “BAIT” – not just sin, but lesser things too – second things
4) FOCUS ON THE “MISSION” – God has something for you to do.
"God has created me to do some definitive service; he is committed some work to me which he has not committed to another. I have my mission. Somehow I am necessary for his purposes, as necessary as an Archangel is for his." - John Neumann -
God's Mission in our lives is the MOST important part of the calling of God, but it cannot be acquired without the proper foundation of listening for and knowing God’s voice.
5) SPIRITUAL DIRECTION –
* We need spiritual direction like we need daily food.
* How do we keep our eyes on the prize?
* Spiritual Direction is about including responsible “others”
* We will hear the “Still Small Voice” better through the Body of Christ
* We must always focus on Jesus and his amazing love, wisdom & power
WHY A SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR?
• God said, "it is not good for man to be alone." And, this is probably true in every area of one's life. It is not good for people to be alone in their spiritual walk. This is why we all have need of a spiritual guide.
• We must have dialogue… We cannot live the spiritual life based on our own spiritual sensitivity, reflection, intelligence, energies, and wisdom.
• Life is so much easier when we have a spiritual guide and can learn some spiritual disciplines.
• God does not want us to be mired down, he calls us to journey on. As we have a dialogue with a spiritual guide our lives have away by which they may move forward and deliver us from "being stuck."
• The Spiritual Director is a contemplative, prayerful, listening, observing presence when in dialogue with the directee. They help the directee hear and see what they would never hear and see on their own. WE CANNOT SEE OURSELVES AS WE ARE – a Spiritual Guide can help with this.
6) TAKE ACTION –
Rid yourself of anything standing in your way of doing God’s will
There are things that stand in our way – TAKE ACTION
. . . like the wealth of the Rich Young Ruler –
Jesus gave him an immediate task
Jesus was saying, “IF YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW WHAT IT WILL TAKE TO BE SAVED, I WILL GIVE YOU A TASK ON WHICH YOU MUST TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION – THEN – WATCH WHAT WILL HAPPEN. ACT ON YOUR DESIRE FOR SALVATION. I WILL GIVE YOU THE FIRST STEP. “SELL ALL . . . & GIVE.” SPIRITUALITY IS ABOUT ACTION – AND THIS IS WHAT JAMES TELLS US IN OUR LESSON FOR TODAY AS WELL.
• Jesus did not ask the Rich Man to renounce his wealth because it was evil – he asked him to transform his wealth into a tool of salvation, both for himself and for others. His wealth had held him back – but by taking action – that is – by UNDERSTANDING THE WILL OF GOD FOR HIS WEALTH, AND BY TAKING ACTION (the action Jesus prescribed for him), he would see the Kingdom of God appear both for himself and for others. Jesus was asking the Rich Young Ruler to become like Jesus, -- He who was rich, but became poor for our sakes, so that we might become rich toward God.
• USE YOUR MONEY FOR OTHERS’ SOULS rather than consuming your wealth for yourself. “MAKE FRIENDS . . . WITH UNRIGHTEOUS MAMMON . . . ” Said Jesus in Luke 16:9
7) REPEAT until these things become you regular disciplines and normal skills
• Develop an “expectation” that God will speak to you, reveal his will to you, comfort you, instruct you, and build you up.
• You can COUNT ON IT.
• This WILL HAPPEN – it is never “maybe.” You should envisage and fully anticipate God’s intervention.
The content for this teaching was largely supplied by an online interview on youtube (podcast) from
The Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH - (Faithandreason.com)
with Fr. Timothy Gallagher, OMV - Spiritual Director and Author of
"Discerning the Will of God: An Ignatian Guide to Decision Making"