Speaking on a very personal level, I agree that one of my mission while in mortality is to “conquer the enemy of all righteousness”. This I have come to understand from the Book Of Mormon, Moroni 9:6 which says “…let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God“.
Satan is the enemy of all righteousness and is striving to lead me and you to condemnation. His purpose is to drag with him as much as possible, those who will follow him unto eternal misery as we read from 2 Nephi 2:18 which says “And because he had fallen from heaven, and had become miserable forever, he sought also the misery of all mankind…” . Satan is fighting and not stopping. So you and I need to defend ourselves properly. One will ask, but how?
When Satan tempted the Savior three times as recorded in the Bible Matthew 4:1-9, I will agree with Elder David A. Bednar who is an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ that “the overarching and fundamental challenge to the Savior in each of these three temptations is summarized in the taunting statement, ‘if thou be the Son of God.’” I have come to learn that Satan tempts each of us by attacking our identity. Rightfully daring us to realize who we really are, and then to act against that knowledge . Knowing what is right in the eyes of God and not doing It or doing otherwise is known as sin. When we sin, we give Satan power over us. That is exactly what he wants, the power of our agency in his hands willfully given to him by us.
Believe it when I say that the only thing we can give to God is our agency so His will can be done in our lives. It is no wonder that when we sin, we hand our agency to Satan hence limiting us in our range of choices.
Jesus Christ knew He was the Son of God and had power to do all things but gave no heed to the temptations of Satan. He knew His identity and the power that comes with such knowledge He had was able to dismiss Satan. So also we are children of God with great power to become like Him. There is power in the statement “Children of God”. Satan has no power until we let him have the power. Remember, God will not allow temptations too hard for us to resist. I wonder why it is that way.
The more we grow and understand our true identity, the more opposition or resistance or challenges we face from Satan. If not, we are stagnant and not growing. To whom much is given, much is expected.
So resisting the attacks of Satan isn’t a difficult task, really. All we need to do is remember who we are; we are children of God. We are here to follow the example of Jesus Christ and where we go is to be with Him. As we find out our true identity, we are better equipped to resist the temptations of Satan. Remember the power is in your hands and that has been made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ our savior and redeemer.
To finding the will of God, there is a prerequisite.
The prerequisite: Submit your will to the Lord:
How does one simply submit their will to the Lord?. May I suggest that the first step is to seek His will, not your own; and below is why.
When the Savior of the world Jesus Christ came to us, He exemplified the attitude of submitting ones will all together to another as He stated and as it is recorded in the book of John 5:30 “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me” and John 6:38 “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me”. Jesus Christ submitted His will to His and our Father in heaven even God almighty.
He not only stated that that was His intent but He practically acted upon His statement by being obedient to the commandments of God here on earth. As recorded in Luke 22:42, while in the Garden of Gethsemane he offered these words as he prayed to His Father Saying, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done“.
As you follow the example of Jesus Christ, you show the Lord that you are willing and are humble enough to follow Him to the end listen when His will is being expressed.
The next step is to seek and trust the Lord:
Why is this important?. May I clarify using scripture which is the word of God. I believe that in the scriptures are the answers to our many questions.
Beginning with Psalm 37:5 “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass”. In other words, give up yourself as stated earlier unto the Lord. Now trust that the Lord only wants good for you and not evil. You are His child and as we know, a parent only always desire what they believe is the best for their children. Proverbs 3:6 says ” In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct thy paths”. The Lord is offended with those that do not recognize His hands in all things. The life we live in is a gift from God.
All experience we have brings us one step closer to his thought for us which is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man”(Moses 1:39). All you have to do is acknowledge Him. Psalm 143:10 says “[Pray:] Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.”. I strive to learn from the Lord what he wants me to do. As I desire to do His will, I might at least want to know what his will is for me. So I pray for His Spirit and His direction for me. Another scripture that goes just well with the previous is Colossians 1:9 “..desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.”
As you do these things there is a promise that He will direct your path, Lead you and grant you wisdom. All of these so you can know Him.
All stated above cannot be made possible unless you have a desire. Which brings me to the next step.
Sincerely desire to do God’s will:
The Psalmist said in Psalm 40:8 “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.”. To delight, is to have a strong feeling of happiness : great pleasure or satisfaction. Have you ever felt this way about anything in particular? maybe your hobby, friends, favorite type of snack or food? If you have, then you know what the feeling of desiring is like. Desire to do God’s will. In the Lords prayer taken from Matthew 6:10 He said ” Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”. Indeed Gods will for you and I is enormous which is for us to become like Him some day. Your as the Savior’s meat in John 4:34 “[should be] to do the will of him that sent [you]”. Believe it or not, you were sent to earth for purpose and a great work just like Jesus Christ. He learnt His fathers will and so should you. When you desire to do God’s will, it is “Not with eye service, as men pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart” (Ephesians 6:6).
As you obey Him, He will reveal His will to you:
Hosea 6:3 says “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” That is such a wonderful promise to you if you obey His will. He will let you know and “unto you that hear shall more be given” (Mark 4:24,25). The Savior speaking to the Jew in John 7:17 said “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” Therefore all are invited to obey “that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”(Romans 12:1,2). Be Obedient to every word that proceeds out of the Mouth of God.
You now know what you need and how to submit your will to the Lord. I will state a very important aspect now before moving on.
When Jesus Christ spoke with His disciples before leaving earth, He promised them of a comforter saying “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”(John 16:7) The Comforter is the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit guides us to find God’s will:
The Savior continued in John 16:13,14 saying “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” The Holy Spirit is part of the GodHead which includes God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. All are separate beings. The Holy Spirit is a guide to us unto knowing the will of God as we so desire. It is important to have the Holy Spirit in the picture because in 1 Corinthians 2:10,11 it says “God [does reveals unto us] by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” and that is true. Without the Spirits direction, we are lost. The Book of Mormon scripture talks about the Holy Spirit saying “And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:5). Search out the Holy Spirit, seek to have it as your constant companion and He will guide you to knowing the will of God for you.
Now Where can We find God’s will?
Personally, the first place I will look for God’s will is in His Word:
Why?. In the psalmist , Psalm 119:105 it says “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Not knowing the will of God for me first of all puts me in darkness not to talk about my everyday sins but having His word, and studying it, begins to lighten my life as a whole. My feet is directed as I begin to make right choices. It is the same for all.
Well does it have the will of God?, one would ask and I will ask back well does it?. It does, Romans 2:18 says “[thou] knowest his will,…being instructed out of the law”. In other words, as you learn His word, you know His will. Plain and simple because “All Scripture is given by…God…for instruction”(2 Timothy 3:16).
“HE THAT TURNETH AWAY HIS EAR FROM HEARING THE LAW, EVEN HIS PRAYER SHALL BE ABOMINATION.”(Proverbs 28:9). You want to know the will of God yet turn away from His word, your prayer will be an abomination and you will receive no light. Hold on to the His word and do not let go.
I have both heard of and seen individuals interpret His word as they please. Beware of Interpreting God’s word as you please. 2 Peter 1:20 says “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.”. That is true you cannot twist and turn God’s word as you may. Explanation of His word comes from Him through the Holy Spirit. I warn because the “unlearned wrest scriptures to their own destruction” as 2 Peter 3:16 says. Allow the great teacher to teach you. This you do through prayer.
As you prayerfully study the Word of God, His will is made manifest unto you “precept upon precept…line upon line; here a little and there a little”(Isaiah 28:10).
Read and study the word carefully:
Don’t worry, His will is in there for you. Ezra read to the people the Law in Nehemiah 8:8 “So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading”. Study distinctly until it makes sense and you gain an understanding of God’s will for you. Also Jesus Christ commandeth in Mathew 9:13 “go ye and learn what that [Scripture] meaneth…” . Now I had my witness with Paul saying “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”(2 Timothy 2:15).
As you do so, you’ll begin notice that verses in the scripture will speak specifically, and directly to you. When that happens, do not freak out because it is a good thing. So here is what you do “Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word” (Psalm 103:20) because, “The entrance of [His] words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple”(Psalm 119:30). Now it is time to allow the Lord to “Order [Your] steps in [His] word” (Psalm 119:33) and “When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:” (Proverbs 6:22,23).
As this moments occur, pray and ask the Lord to help you understand what all you learn mean to you. Ask if it is His will for you and as you do so, He will answer you. If it is right, the Holy Spirit will cause your heart to burn as it happened in Luke 24:32 and the disciples asked “…Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” referring to Christ. You will be pricked in your heart as the Holy Spirit confirms the Will of God for you to you.
It is wonderful that we are super humans from a super God, but magnificent to know that we have a power given us to literally govern our actions and or reactions towards the different situations we get to experience whilst in mortality. Elder David A. Bednar explains to us how we could use our God given moral agency in a situation like Offense.
Enjoy the 2013 Christmas devotional of the Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints. December 8 at 6:00 p.m. MST. just follow the link on that day or check it out now
I got home from work this morning feeling really cold because it is Rexburg Idaho here and in the negative this early. I got on the love sac and stared at the ceiling for a good while when I noticed how empty I felt at the moment. I needed a solution, I needed to get out of that state fast. I called my mum and talked to here about how she was doing. It was a very usual conversation we had which did made me feel relived. As soon as I got done with that call, I immediately fell into that state of emptiness. The relief I felt, was not permanent, it wasn’t what I needed. Then the thought “say a prayer” came to me.
I knelt down and begun to pray only to find out that I was actually being directed on what to pray about. I let it out as I spoke with my Father in heaven. I felt a need satisfied, my emptiness was filled, and my sadness turned to joy.
To feel empty inside us is not necessarily a bad thing. Just as when our physical body needs certain things at certain times it gives the signs, for example thirst is the body needs water, hunger it needs food, tiredness it needs rest, even so does our spirit or spiritual body show signs of needs. In the physical, we feel only lonely when we want people around, we want to talk with them but there is no one around for that to happen.
Even so, when our spirit is deprived divine communication, it feels lonely and so sends out that feeling of emptiness. We begin to wonder why we feel that way like I did. We try to get occupied which in the process will lead us to two types of solutions. Temporary solution or Permanent solution.
Temporary solutions: This is the type of solution that isn’t that required of the spirit at the moment or at all. This is because this solution may not be bad like me talking to my mum; that is a good thing but not just what was missing. This solution could also be detrimental when one moves to the dark side for help like getting drunk or shooting up drugs just to fill up the need. It doesn’t help because the spirit gets weaker and so does the flesh. Remember that “that which inviteth and enticeth to do evil is of the devil“
Permanent Solution: This is the type of solution that when found, is actually what our spirit yearns for. I needed that communication with my Father even when I wasn’t sure about what to pray for, It was given me what needed to be said. It was a divine communication. It can be different from time to time. It may be the need to study the scriptures, or serve someone whom you will be directed to, maybe even sing a hymn, just remember this that “that which inviteth and enticeth to do good is of God“.
The Holy Ghost will tell us all things. The Holy Spirit communicates with our spirit. We need to be attentive to this communications so we do not miss out the blessings that comes from acting accordingly. Emptiness feels like darkness. When the Holy Ghost is invited in, light comes in and the darkness is pushed away. Our whole body is then filled with light such that we can see and know what is required of us at certain times.
I am indeed grateful for the opportunity to act upon the yearnings of my spirit in a positive way. When I feel empty from now on, the first thing I will do is to get on my knees and say a prayer specifically for that moment and begin to act in search of a way to fulfill the will of my Father and God. It is something I believe can help all who put it to the test like I did.