God’s Will or My Will?

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Please help me on this. How do you know if something ‘amoral’ is God’s will or your just your own will?

Supose you are studying music for masters and are currently working in your family business, doing various jobs. One day, relatives from another city invited you to work with them as their resident conductor, and they will even provide you with training and all. Though your relatives assure you that this can be short term and that you can still work with your family, you clearly see that they weren’t thinking about that concern at all and were more eager to see you work with them (which is something you also like). Your heart tells you that helping your relatives is a wonderful avenue to practice what you are studying and will provide valuable training, but you also see a possible conflict in schedule and priority that will affect your work and relationship with your family (which is something you don’t want to let go).

Working with your relatives is a great opportunity to broaden your horizon, but it feels like the devil’s temptation. Ultimately, how do you know what decision to take?

I am currently facing a similar dilemma now? And is unsure of what the will of God is.

Using the illustration above as an example, will it actually matter to God where you work or where you serve Him? Is this oportunity from the Lord? Will God want you to take the opportunity or will God want you to stick close to your family?

Is God using this situation to teach me how to resist temptation or is this a blessing from him that I should accept?

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9 responses »

  1. Some more additional thoughts: in matters not relating or resulting in sin, I agree with per that the options is a matter of good and best. My belief is that regardless of how things turns out, the result in itself is God’s will in that He allowed it to happen as He is always sovereign. And because we believe in a sovereign God, things are never as bad as they may seem even if they don’t turn out in the way we expected or hoped for. Everything serves a purpose whether we see it or not.
    Since you added an additional contextualized example for my benefit I presume, here are some things I would likely consider in that situation:
    1) Burden – what is my burden and which of the option is more in line with it.
    2) Loyalty – to what degree do I feel an attachment to the current people I am working with.
    3) Priorities – would I want to work with something more familiar and further develop it or am I willing to expand my horizon and plunge in for a few months/years (agreed upon before hand) into the new experimental/related field.
    4) Commitment – how committed will I be to either choice no matter how things turns out.
    5) People – what are the people I will be working with like? Do our personality mesh well together? Though honestly, this is something people usually find out after they plunged in.
    6) Flexibility in schedule – knowing you, this is something you probably want to consider as well. Will there be possible conflict of schedule with your work as an event host?
    There might be a few more considerations but these are the ones I can think of at the moment. The most important thing to do through out the whole process is to pray, pray and pray. Hope this helps.

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  2. This reminds me when I am choosing a college course, in this situation we can choose to fulfill your family’s desire before going for what you want making necessary sacrifice and have long term peaceful relationship with family which is important. If we go for something we want ignoring the consequences we might get… you will have a short term satisfaction and might have a long term regret. we prioritize peaceful relationship unless that opportunity is something that could help you in future and not something that just inviting you to quench your thirst.
    On the other hand, you can choose to take the rare opportunity and face the challenge of maintaining your relationship. The challenge that we ARE not resistant to change and does not remain on our comfort zones. For every decision we make there is BENEFIT! PRICE AND CONSEQUENCE! kamusta ka na?

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  3. in cases where there is a right and a wrong way, God’s word is the final, uhm, word. 😀 but in cases where both options do not go against the scriptures, then it’ll just be between good and best. i agree with Phil that walking closely with God is the way to know what’s His best for us is. and i also agree with Dong that if you ‘miss’ the best He’s planned for you, that doesn’t mean you’ll never get blessed anymore in what you do because of one wrong decision. the Heavenly Father isn’t like that to His children. and He is perfectly capable of accomplishing His will through imperfect means.

    i think it’s comforting to know that it’s not really ‘we are doing God’s will’ but rather, tis more like we’re letting God accomplish His will through us. so just keep praying, keep searching the word, and keep submitting to Him and His wisdom and guidance, and He will lead you to where He wants you to go.

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  4. just being practical shands, i would take up the offer of the relatives, saglit lang naman eh, this is me, i dont bombard myself with ” advance thoughts ” just as long as i dont hurt anyone, you may be delayed sa plans mo, but in essense its still helping you out, and its something you want din naman , so go for it

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  5. correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems that there are two sources of conflict within you. first one is your need for control, and the second one is dealing with your guilt.

    regarding sense of control, it seems that you already have both a career path and a family lifestyle planned in your mind. you have already set some goals, which includes both the end results and the means on attaining it. so when your relatives offered you a means of obtaining the end results – a potentially fulfilling career, you are “tempted” to take it. “tempted” because you’ve already fully prepared yourself for working for outsiders, but not as much when it comes to working for relatives. perhaps your resistance comes from your awareness that working for relatives comes with an additional set of obligations – and these obligations can take a portion of your personal freedom away. and for you, the freedom to willingly do things for your own personal development and family is a very precious resource.

    as for the guilt, many Christians fear of making the mistake of failing to catch one of God’s blessings. perhaps this is because many of us have been taught since childhood that to miss God’s blessing or instruction is synonymous to direct disobedience to God. i believe that you already have the moral stuff memorized, so no problem with that. as for the “amoral” stuff, the question is, how do we catch something that we don’t recognize? well, i believe there are two solutions, of which the first one has already been mentioned – if you spend a lot of time with God, you’ll eventually get to understand His standards on the “grey” topics. second, i believe that God is not too fickle and weak that He makes wasteful actions. if He wants you to have a certain blessing, you’ll get it – regardless if you missed the opportunity to catch it many times before. so don’t feel too guilty if you failed to catch this blessing – if He planned it, you’re really gonna get it. if you do miss it, He’ll surely drop you another one! : )

    i recommend that you sit down and talk with your relatives regarding your concerns, and make the effort to negotiate your work terms. set your boundaries and conditions. if in all business relationships, the currency used is money, then in all sorts of relationships, the hidden currency used is trust. don’t be hesitant to negotiate – willingness to negotiate is a sign of willingness to trust another person. if you can’t reach a satisfactory conclusion, then politely decline the offer. better that you refuse and be content with your decision than become an “employee” with a grudge – i don’t think a career with a grudge is good enough to be called a “blessing”.

    and most of all, continually pray!

    -this merely represents my view, so keep asking until you’re satisfied! : )

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    • What if the situation is like this? You are the youth pastor of a church, and another church wants to get you as their missions pastor? And you are currently taking missions subject in ummm… ATS or BSOP?

      Gets?

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  6. Interesting dilemma you have there. A favorite pastor I listen to, Timothy Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, affirms that God doesn’t just magically reveal what His will is to us. But the closer we walk with Him day by day, our mind becomes more in line with His and that enables us to discern and make wise decisions from a variety of choices.
    You are the one who best knows your situation. It seem as if you would like to grab the opportunity because it is in line with your direction in studies and work but the only hindrance is the “possible conflict in schedule and priority” with your own family. Not sure if you are referring to your husband, mother or someone else, but I guess you’re being intentionally vague here. Maybe it all boils down to what is of more priority to you, your family or your career opportunity. Praying for you to make wise decision after thinking and praying everything through. God bless! 🙂

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    • So you mean to say there is no absolute right or wrong answer when it comes to things like these?

      Btw, the family thing is just hypothetical. The real question is something else.

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