Step 3: Decide to turn your will and your life over to the care of God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
But what if God’s will for my life is not what I want? What if Their will involves discomfort, suffering and pain? What if Their answer to the righteous desires of my heart is, “We have a different plan for you?” What if Their plan involves slogging through a jungle or staggering across a desert? Even worse, what if Their plan involves allowing my loved ones to make bad decisions?
What if I don’t like Their plan? Why should I overcome my fear, trust God and turn my life over? The best answer I have even seen can be found in an apostolic promise from President Ezra Taft Benson, quoted in the Guide to Addiction Recovery and Healing. It appears in Step 12, on page 71.
“Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace. Whoever will lose his life in the service of God will find eternal life” (Ezra Taft Benson, “Jesus Christ—Gifts and Expectations,” Ensign, Dec. 1988, 4).
In this quote, President Benson offers us ten blessings that come from turning our lives over to God.
1. “Deepen their Joys”
In the Book of Mormon, Nephi teaches us that “men are, that they might have joy.” (2 Ne. 2:25.) Who would not like to have deeper joy? But what am I willing to sacrifice to have it? I want this. Am I willing to let go of my own will and embrace God’s will in order to receive it?
2. “Expand their Vision”
What if I could shed my self-limiting beliefs and visualize the full potential God has created for me? What if I could expand my ability to see as the Father sees? I am reminded of the story of Elisha and the chariots: “the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” (See 2 Kgs. 6:14–17.) I would like to be able to see — to have increased awareness of — the spiritual support the Lord is providing me to do and accomplish more than I could have imagined possible. I want this. Am I willing to let go of my own will and embrace God’s will in order for my vision to be expanded?
3. “Quicken their Minds”
What does it mean to have one’s mind “quickened?” According to Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, one definition of “quicken” is “To make lively, active, or sprightly; to impart additional energy to; to stimulate; to make quick or rapid; to hasten; to accelerate; as, to quicken one’s steps or thoughts.” What a blessing! As I think about what happens to my mind when I am trying to control my own life (and especially the lives of those around me), the kind of words that come to mind are: overwhelmed, frustrated, discouraged. Am I willing to let go of my will in order to have my mind quickened?
4. “Strengthen their Muscles”
Now this is quite a promise! Stronger muscles. How can letting go of my will enable the Lord to bless me with stronger muscles? I don’t know! Perhaps it means better health? In any case, I want this! Am I willing to let go of my own will and embrace God’s will in order to allow God to strengthen my muscles?
5. “Lift their Spirits”
There sure are times when I feel overwhelmed and discouraged. President Benson promises that if I turn my will over to God, He will lift my spirits. Wow! I want this. Am I willing to let go of my own will and embrace God’s will in order to permit Him lift my spirits?
6. “Multiply their Blessings”
I already feel so blessed by the Lord! My heart is filled with gratitude for the blessings He has showered upon me. Nevertheless, there is always room for more! I am not yet perfect at turning over my will. I want God to multiply my blessings. Am I willing to let go of my own will and embrace God’s will in order to receive more blessings?
7. “Increase their Opportunities”
There have been times in my life when I have felt boxed in – that I didn’t see any opportunities to expand my horizons and my life. I have begun to see opportunities all around, but sometimes I am afraid to pursue them. Am I willing to let go of my fears and embrace God’s will in order to receive the opportunities He would like to give me?
8. “Comfort their Souls”
The more of life I experience, the more I am vulnerable to disappointment and grief. I love to feel the arm of the Lord around me, comforting me. I want more of this. Am I willing to let go of my own will and embrace God’s will in order to receive His comfort?
9. “Raise up Friends”
When I moved across the country I left behind many friends. I haven’t lost them, but I am far away and don’t get to spend time with them and socialize with them like I used to. But I felt a confirmation that I was supposed to make this move. Within a few months I had found my best friend – my eternal friend and companion, but it took longer to find my circle of friends. Having embraced God’s will I have received this blessing and hope to continue to receive it as I let go of my own will.
10. “Pour Out Peace”
I am so grateful for the peace of the Lord. I am so grateful for one-day-at-a-time serenity. I have found in Him, and in surrendering my own will in order to embrace His, The Great Source of Peace. I am willing to let go of my own will and embrace God’s will in order to maintain this peace.
- Which of these blessings would be most welcome in your life right now?
- Are you willing to let go of your own will and turn your own life over to God in order to receive it?
- What will you do today to make progress in this area?
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