Step 03 – Turning your will over to the care of God

October 18, 2006

Step 3

Decide to turn your will and your life over to the care of God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.

What does it mean to turn our will over to God? Turning our life over to God has tangible results: we begin to keep the commandments, which are physical, tangible acts. Our will is elusive, even to us. I mean, what do you want, really?

If you have read much on this blog, you already know how I answer this. I think that God changes our desires. I think that God helps us to want the things that He wants. As an addict, you don’t want what God wants. As a recovering addict, you begin to.

Remember Moroni chapter 7, where we are told that a gift given grudgingly has the same effect as the gift not given. Why is that? Because the gift given grudgingly accomplishes the goal sought and that is all. Such gifts are given in order to get us something; in fact, they are not gifts at all, instead we look at them as down payments on future investments. Sometimes they are viewed simply as the price to be paid in order to achieve some other goal.

There is a difference between a gift and a price. One is given freely, out of love for the person to whom it is given. Prices are paid in order to oblige others to us. If you give a gift because you know you will get it back or will get something better in return, that is no gift.

Of course, this is difficult in relationship with God. As King Benjamin makes clear, God has given us everything that we have and when we choose to give him something, he gives us something back. We will forever be unprofitable servants. However, there is, in the words of Elder Neal A. Maxwell, one thing that we can freely give God, the only thing that is truly ours. We can give God our will, our agency.

What does that mean exactly? One thing I don’t think it means is becoming robots. God doesn’t need robots. So, since giving him our will is something that is required for both discipleship and recovery, it seems pretty important to consider what it means.

I would suggest that giving our will to God consists, in large part, in taking that “What Would Jesus Do?” question very seriously. If we ask God what he would like us to do on a daily basis, He will tell us. After all, aren’t we supposed to counsel with the Lord in all our doings? God wants to be involved in our lives. Turning our will over to him is mostly the process of inviting Him in.

That said, there is something else involved. As you know, I really believe that God can change the desires of our hearts. What is our will, if not the desires of our hearts? As we allow Him to influence our will, he can change it. As he changes it, we will lose the desire to act out in addiction and we will gain the desire to seek His will in sanity. That is what recovery is all about. God and sanity. What else could you want?

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