Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What About God's Will...?

God's will ... what is God's will? Both in general, and specifically?

What have you learned over the years about God's will? Here's how I was previously taught to view it - your mileage may vary:

- There is only one good and right way to do a thing (any thing) - I must find and do God's will - or else!

- If I do not find and do God's will, I will face dire consequences (in the temporal, that means God will have to punish me to teach me a lesson; in the eternal, that may mean that God will have no choice but to send me to the endless torment/separation of "hell").

- Of course, the problem is that God's will is elusive ... there are seeming contradictions within Scripture (not to mention within Christianity!), which can lead me in various "biblical" directions -- and I have to figure out what God's will is for me, now -- and there's always a looming deadline (at some arbitrary point, when God runs out of patience and long-sufferingness, that it is *too late*..!).

- If I miss God's will, then I'm doomed to living a life of "Plan B" ... being regarded by God, and all those folks who successfully discovered (whether by cleverness or accident) God's will, as a spiritually second-class person. Being continually reminded by God (& all those God's-will-finders) that I *failed*... enduring their looks of pity and judgment for having "missed God's will."

- Since God's will is so hard to find, I'd better listen to "spiritual authorities" and do what they say, in order to be "safe" (i.e., fear will serve to keep me safe).

- God's will is something that I can thwart, either by commission or omission, to my detriment, devastation and even destruction.

LIES!!! (she says, with gleeful conviction!)

Changing from that perspective into the perspective I now have, was a process. No momentary theophany, nor sudden revelation, but a slow series of encounters with the Real God - replacing the god I had created in my own image (yeah, we keep doing that -- the Bible is *full* of examples of humans doing that, which we then turn into "doctrine"!).

I remember reading a little booklet put out by Frank Viola, about rediscovering the will of God ... he said that most of us had the notion that God's will was akin to "finding the right parking space" ... but that God wanted us to know that HE owns the entire parking lot, and He delights to allow us to choose to park where we desire. Even to change parking spaces, at will. In other words, it's all His -- we can move freely within those very-broad boundaries.

That was a new and startling concept to me ... it began to unravel the fear-knot I had about God & His will ... it began the process of seeing God through new and astonished eyes.

Much has happened since I read that ... many experiential encounters with the Living God which have shown me who He really is, and thus who I really am (more connected than I had ever dared to fathom!). To me, life is more about being connected (Spirit), than about being correct (ego).

Here's where I am now, with regards to God's will:

I see God's will and my will as one and the same.

Yep - I said that. Does it strike you as blasphemous..? ;)

(all truths, I notice, first appear to be blasphemies ...)

I see God's will being about lavish freedom -- rather than God saying, "you'd better figure out what I want," I experience God asking, "what do *you* want?" I hear Him saying, "I am in you, and you are in Me -- we are One -- I have given you and all of humanity this wonderful gift called life, to be lived out on this glorious planet. In this context of relativity, you may freely explore ... you may discover, through the gift of trial-and-error, what works, what doesn't work so well ... what defines you and what no longer does ... what is helpful and what is harmful ... what draws you closer to Me and others, and what causes you to *feel* separation (even though you will eventually realize that there is no separation from Omnipresence, nor from everyone to whom you are connected as One) ... the point being for you to learn from your choices and the naturally-occurring law of consequences (as real as the law of gravity) ... to dive headlong into live, and live - really live - (trusting-through-experiential-discovery that I really *have* put My/your very desires within you!) ... to discover the Abundant Life that I've provided for you, here and now, in My Presence, here in My Kingdom, which, while you may not *observe* it, is far more real than anything tangible you can physically see ... to realize that I am with you, that nothing can separate you from Me (including yourself!), that the outcome (union with Me) is assured ... that you have nothing to fear but your own delusional fears ... that life is not about win/lose, pass/fail, heaven/hell (except in your perceived experience - for have I not said, "Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds " and have I not called you to renew your minds, replacing your perspective with My own?) ... that you can move out of the egoic-duality of your thinking (derived from the tree of the knowledge of "good" and "evil" - each determined by your own illusions & judgements) into the liberating mystery of Divine Dichotomy, wherein all things are good from My ultimate perspective ... and merely need to be worked out in your own unfolding journey, as I continue to show you just how VERY much you are made in My own image ..."

(OK, so maybe you hear Him differently, but I've discovered that God speaks through my feelings, thoughts and circumstances ... and so too is His/my will revealed ... AS I live my life, AS it unfolds before me, AS I hear and respond to the inner Voice which leads me, as me, the REAL me, which is spirit/Spirit, and not my ego, which is only masquerading as me, sneaky 'lil thing that it is ...!)

I've learned that God's will is revealed in what *IS*. God comes to me, cleverly disguised as my own life.

And so, I do not any longer experience His will as something elusively-beyond me, something to seek, find and lay hold of (& force myself to *do*), but that which will emerge, because of what I experience with Him (& not because of any concepts/doctrines I have studied). The former is on the Spirit level - the latter is on the egoic level.

I experience the will of God as the very air I breathe, the very life I live, the very steps I take ... for in Him I live and move and have my being. He is nearer than breath, closer than hands and feet ... He is HERE, NOW ...!

Breathe Him ... taste Him ... hear Him ... see Him ... experience Him -- all around and within you.

Shalom, Dena



P.S. Word-of-the-Day (composed by my main-squeeze, Mark):

Oppor-unity - The potential for people, with differing perspectives, to enjoy the experience of Oneness, anyway.

12 comments:

mamazee said...

thanks, dena - i liked this... i feel like God is trying to pry me away from seeing what is wrong with the world and just *enjoying* what is. Because i'm not really big enough to do much after i do my little bit. But He is big enough to both take care of it/me and big enough to include me if i ask Him to...

Anonymous said...

Great stuff, Dena! Did you make all that stuff? Quite talented.

We think of you ad pray for you often... we don't care WHAT they say. HA! We see Jesus!

Blessings,
Michael and Barbara

dena said...

I love that perspective, mamazee ... very healthy, very heart-of-God!

dena said...

Hi Michael and Barbara...!

Thanks for visiting, you prolific one-fingered-typist, you!

Yes, that's my artwork ... getting ready for a show. I blogged about the story behind it all here: http://shalomdena.blogspot.com/2009/06/creativity.html

Soooo, what've "THEY" been saying now?!? LOL!

Jesus is smeared all over y'all, too!

Darcy said...

ok... but I always feel/think/believe that my own will is suspect.

My will wants to eat the entire cake. I don't think this is God's will. My will wants to yell at my children - I don't think this is God's will.

I know that I am becoming more like God as He changes me. That my will and His will link up more and more but I feel that I am not there yet.

I don't disagree with you - I just don't get it. I don't get how to be closer to God...I don't get how to center my life around Him. I still find myself looking at your first list (before the "LIES!") and I know that I am/was/is right there.

I don't want to go through what you have gone through the past year. I don't want to read all the books that you have read to get to where you are now.

I feel slightly guilty reading your blog sometimes - like I am thinking thoughts and feeling emotions that go against what I have always believed.

I want to know Dad's perspective, a pastor's perspective....your perspective so that you all can tell me what I am to believe. I've always been lazy about all of this. I don't want to do the hard work that I think is probably necessary. I don't even know what the work is.

I have ALWAYS felt that there was something missing from my relationship with God. Well, not just something but the whole relationship has been missing.

I wonder if God is who I have always thought HE was.....sometimes, every so often, in the very still quiet of my mind I even secretly wonder if God is really there at all.

MysticBrit said...

Darcy - I'll let Dena reply in her own inimitable way, but I'll just say this - I believe your heart, which is all that you are, knows this all to be true. Listen closely, know that there is no fear in Love, and let Love gently lead you. This isn't a matter of reading a lot of books - Dena is just made that way, with an insatiable appetite for all flavours of Truth (right, Dena?:)). I've read a few of her suggestions (for which I was very grateful), but it's my heart which brought me to a place of 'living loved', of growing in the sweet knowledge that nothing can separate me from the love of God shown in Christ Jesus. That's nothing:)

Read the Book of your Heart, and be assured that it tells you no lies. Your heart has a language your head will never understand...

Peace on your fine soul.

Harry

dena said...

(((Darcy)))

First, I love what Harry wrote to you -- and he's right. My path won't necessarily be your path - that would be odd. I don't know *why* it is that I have to wrestle so hard with a new concept ... why I have to read so much (pro and con), and pray, and discuss, and read more and pray more and discuss more ... then I share a concept with Mark, and he thinks for a minute, tests it out, and says, "Yeah, I see that."

Argh! NO! you have to SUFFER for truth..!

LOL, I do have to say that it's getting easier to see things ... some of us have to believe, before we can see. 'Course, there are those who say I'm just freefalling down that dreaded slippery slope..! ;)

(BTW, I no longer read things that agonize me ... the agony is gone. I now read what I'm drawn to, and I delight to read and learn and discover what resonates as truth for me!)

Secondly, the fact that you SEE that you have never trusted you own will is a wonderful revelation! Perhaps you can explore a bit whether you're confusing your will with your ego. It's the ego that wants to run the show and pretend to be "us" ... but our will is more fluid ... it's part of our mind that gets renewed. We learn, from trial and error (i.e., the too-full tummy, or the way our children pull back from us), that we don't like the consequences of our choices, and we can change our perspective, which changes our experience - thus our choices.

At some point, you will determine just how important this stage of your spiritual journey is to you. Not to please Dad, or me, or any pastor ... but to be who you really are. We all get there in a myriad of ways.

Sure, I could throw books at you. Sure, I could invite you over and lecture you all night. Sure, I could teach you. But we live in the era (covenant) wherein we have NO need for anyone to teach us about God -- for He is within each of us. To access that, you just have to believe that ... thinking it not possible will get in the way (and you can read what the prophets all said about what this new covenant would be like - Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel and Ezekiel for a few). It was always all there, hidden under the traditions of man.

At some point (& I suspect it's already begun), you'll start to want to know for yourself ... not because of what anyone else has told you, but to experience this level of knowing personally.

I understand how the fear gets in the way (fear is not of God). And I don't know what it is that you'll experience that replaces that fear with perfect Love ... it snuck in over time for me ... slowly, unawares, like a silent cat who suddenly took up residence and made itself at home.

I've discovered that the gpd I thought I believed in really *isn't* there at all. God has been revealing God-self to me slowly, over time (ok, some days feel like it's fast and all at once, LOL!). The real God is beyond human comprehension -- too good to not be true. It's us humans who tend to project our own human-stuff onto Him, and remake Him in our own image. Just because generations of humans have done so for millennia doesn't make it true...!

Keep in mind that it's not about being correct, but about being connected.

Let it flow - let it come to you - just like how it happened for Andy. One day he just knew he believed. One day you will just realize that you know God in a whole new way.

And, sure, we can always talk if it would be helpful.

dena said...

LOL!

"gpd" is meant to be "god"


(& I only use "Him" for God because of habit ... I no longer see God as solely male)

dena said...

Just found this from a friend; so apropos!

"You must find your own way. Unless you find it yourself, it will not be your own way and will take you nowhere. Earnestly live your truth as you have found it, act on the little you have understood. It is earnestness that will take you through, not cleverness - your own or another's."

Searcher said...

Jumping in without thoroughly reading every comment, etc. but it all reminds me of what I heard at the Renovare Conference. We have many options within God's will but it is God's will that we do whatever we do "The Jesus Way" (Eugene Peterson's book). The question is not "What would Jesus do?" but "How would Jesus do it?"

Anonymous said...

Hi Dena...your last couple paragraphs sum it up well. As I've faced serious illness this past year, I've learned to not "seek" His will, but to thank Him that His will IS done. When we as humans face "loss of control" over our circumstances, we turn and face Him, and find Him faithful to help us, knowing, ultimately, that we can trust Him who knows us so, so well, and rest in His plan (will) for our lives. Love you! Julie Farr

Dena said...

(((Julie!)))

I had no idea you were here...! I think about you SO often, and I get torn between wanting to contact you, and wondering if you need time and space to just *be*. Let me know - my heart is with you, and I'm SO thrilled to see you here!

I'd love to hear more of your own journey ... how your illness has affected you, both the challenges and the joys (and don't the joys most often emerge out of the challenges...?).

I love you right back!

Shalom, Dena