- isolating proof texts
- contrasting, comparing and analyzing scripture
- devouring various Bible study tools
- being Berean in rightly divining biblical truths
- taking prodigious notes in the 3 services per week that I attended
It seemed to me that being a good student of the Bible would elevate my thinking, my relationship with God and my life experience; not to mention elevating my status in the non-denominational church I attended. So while I was levitating above my church chair (pews were too traditional), I gazed down upon the royal red carpeting and believed I had answers that escaped others. Most of what I experienced in the church and in my methods, did escape others, thankfully. I was increasingly self-deceived…genuflecting at the altar of education and saluting the leaders.
What is God’s will? I’m still asking the question. This is how I seek the answers in recovery:
- ask God every morning what His will is for my day
- pause during the day when I face indecision and ask specifically for wisdom in the moment
- use the Serenity Prayer throughout the day when I face options
- review my day per Step 10 (Alcoholics Anonymous, 2013, p 86-88)
- seek guidance frequently from those who have found the kind of life wisdom I desire
The difference is obvious. It’s not that I currently never read the Bible or hear a sermon or talk to those in church leadership. It would be inaccurate to leave that impression. (I make the following observation about me, not anyone else.) I think the approaches, when contrasted, show an emphasis on study or analysis of the Bible versus a genuine seeking of relationship with Him; not studying about Him but seeking and relating to Him.
Perhaps it’s possible for me to feel so much peace in my life today because I don’t have to ‘prove’ anything to you or to me. I just have to ask in the moment what my next right thing is. I believe it works because it works for me. Alcohol or co-dependence never were the problems, it was me. Those symptoms of the problem, however, nearly cost me my life.
The problem was me trying to fix my life. Today, I consciously stop looking ahead and just ask Him to tell me the next right thing to do. Anymore than that and I get too confused, too controlling and too busy to relate to Him.
Finding His will is asking for the next right thing. It’s that simple for me. We all know how much I need ‘simple’.
PS: I pray that my faith increasingly becomes based on my own experience of His power in my life, not on my ability to ‘figure it all out’.