Podcast Episode 62 – Figuring Out God’s Will

Jul 1, 2023 | Podcast

I’m Diana Swillinger, and this is the Renew Your Mind podcast. Episode 62 Figuring Out God’s Will 

DIANA: Hey. Hey, everybody. What’s up? How’s everyone doing today? I’m doing awesome. I’m eating watermelon again. Yes, watermelon. I think when I cut up a watermelon into, I cut it into cubes. Or if my kids want to eat it right away, I cut it into spears. I saw someone do that. I’m like, that’s fantastic. Easier to put in Tupperware containers if you want to bring to a party too, cut it into spears. But if I’m just mostly doing it for myself, I cut it into cubes and put it in a massive Tupperware container. And then I pull it out of the fridge with a fork and sit with it and eat it. Um, yeah, lots and lots of watermelon. And when I’m cutting it, usually I don’t need to sit down and eat any after I’ve cut up a watermelon because I probably ate a quarter of it just while I’m cutting it up. Just saying I love watermelon. 

Anywho, today I’m going to share with you some ideas I have, like I always do. Today we’re going to look at ideas about figuring out God’s will for our lives. And since this is well, it seems like a spiritual topic, maybe even a theological topic. I know there might be some people that might not quite agree with me, but I’m not a theologian. I don’t consider myself a spiritual guide. I’m just somebody who shares practical tools. And, uh, I’m coming at this from my own experience and understanding. These are the thoughts of Diana Swallinger. I do learn from religious scholars. I try to learn from a lot of thought leaders. I learn from psychologist and neuroscientist. But you know what? I recognize that all those people are sharing their thoughts, too. And even when I share things that come from scientific or psychological studies, it’s just people in charge of all of those things. They’re human constructs. And none of the things that we study are ever going to replace God and the Holy Spirit in our lives. 

So I’m just sharing my thoughts. It’s okay if you don’t agree with me. It’s okay if you don’t agree with somebody else. What I do encourage you to do is think for yourself. You get to examine, scriptural truth for yourself. You get to listen to other people and read things and learn from humans. But ultimately, tune into God, tune into the Holy Spirit for your guidance. And, uh, that’s always the case. I don’t know why I haven’t said it before today, but I always encourage you to do that. You’re on your journey. Okay? But today I’m going to share with you my ideas about figuring out God’s will in our lives. These ideas were formed from all sorts of places reading the Bible, listening to pastors and spiritual teachers, going through study, um, guides, my own experiences, hearing from other people in my life and my clients, and my own personal journey with God. So in a way, it’s a little bit like my own testimony of what works for me also mixed with what’s worked for my clients and the feedback I’ve gotten from hundreds of others that I’ve been able to speak to and encourage, who’ve told me that thinking of things like this has offered them more peace. You know, the three things I always say, more peace, more contentment, more joy, right? 

We get to chill out a little bit when we get our minds in the right place. So take what works for you, discard the rest, and stay in relationship with God, who is the source of all truth. And here we go. My thoughts on figuring out God’s will. Let me start by remembering one of those fabulous game shows from the was a kid in the watched them all. You know, the one that had the three doors to choose from. Let’s make a deal. It’s called I think they even revived the show recently, though I haven’t watched it. The format of the show, though, if you don’t know, is members from the audience get selected to play kind of like in the prices, right? But they’re making blind deals with the host. The contestant first gets offered something of value, and then they’re given a choice whether they want to keep it or exchange it for something different. But the items that the contestant can trade it for are hidden behind the doors. They don’t know if they pick the door, if they’re going to be getting something even better of greater value or a prize. I say that loosely because there’s some prizes that they could trade for behind the door, and they referred to them as a zonk, like a white elephant prize that would have little or no value to the contestant. 

So basically, it’s a lot of guessing and hoping that you wouldn’t make a wrong choice, and you definitely didn’t want to get the zonk. I think of this game, it’s fun to watch, right, if someone else is playing and we’re observing. But if I was the contestant, it seems pretty precarious and kind of risky. If we’re the one that has to be in that position and make the choices and we really don’t want to make the wrong choice, wouldn’t that be nerve wracking? And I think this is how we feel a lot of the time when we’re trying to figure out God’s will for our lives. It’s like, okay, I’m on this path, but it’s just kind of a basic path right now. Like, this is nice. Like the basic prize the contestants first offered in the game. And then we start to judge ourselves for that. Like, my path is boring and I’m not doing enough, and so maybe God’s not happy with me, so I’m going to have to try to pick a path that leads me more on God’s will for my life. But it all seems so mysterious, like the prizes that are hidden behind the doors. I don’t know which door to pick, even if the doors had pictures on them. Think about that. Like, door number one has a picture of a new career. Door number two has a picture of a new city to live in. Door number three has a picture of volunteer ministry at church and or whatever it is. So maybe we have some idea of what’s behind there, but we don’t really know what’s it going to entail. What’s it going to be like if I pick the new career, is that going to be good or is it going to be bad? If I pick a new city to live in, is that going to be good or is that going to be bad? If I try that volunteer ministry at church, is it going to be good or is it going to be bad? It doesn’t even help us. It’s kind of like us trying to figure out what’s God’s will. I’ve got these three things I could do. What does he want me to do?

I don’t know what it is for you. It could be two doors. Like, do I break up with this guy or do I marry this guy? Which one is God’s will? Maybe there’s four doors. Do I donate this money to church? Do I donate this money to charity? Do I put this money in an IRA? Do I split the money among all three of those things? God. What’s your will? What am I supposed to do? And we do it all the time. And what I see most often with this is not a, uh, peace that is surpassing all understanding. What happens with this is anxiety and worry and fear. Or overwhelmed by all the choices. You m know me and emotions. Let’s take a look at those emotions. Do any of those emotions sound like resting in God’s will? Anxiety, worry, fear. Does that sound like resting in God’s will to you? No. But that’s what we do. And here we are. We’re freaking out, pretty much. And we’re like, I still have to pick a door. It’s so stressful.

I think it’s stressful if we think about the emotions of this, because there’s fear. And I guarantee our fear in choosing which way to go is about the emotions that we think we’re going to feel if we pick the wrong door. We think if we pick the wrong door, it could end up being a big old Zonk. And then God’s going to look at us with our big old Zonk and shake his head in disappointment. He’s not going to be pleased with us. Maybe he’ll think we did it wrong. And then we’ll feel shame or defeat or embarrassment or inadequacy. All of those things making us feel like we’re worthless, we’re m not enough or we’re not doing it right. That’s why we’re afraid. That’s why we worry. That’s why we’re so anxious over making a move or a choice or doing something new or whatever it is for you. It’s all the pressure we’re putting on ourselves with our own thoughts and with our fear of what we think is going to go wrong if we end up with a Zonk. It sounds like this in our brain. Like, I have to get this right. I need God to tell me the right path. I need to figure out God’s will. I need to pray here. And God needs to tell me the right thing to do. Pressure, pressure, pressure. And I’m telling you that pressure is not coming from God. That pressure is coming from your thoughts. And I’m telling you that if you pick a door, any door, god’s never going to hit that game show button that sounds like or that the buzzer for the wrong answer. Uh, he doesn’t do that. That’s not our God. He’s gracious and loving and patient. Might God test us? Maybe I’ll give her a few choices and see if she picks a certain one. Not the right one, but, uh, let’s see what she picks. 

Maybe, but it’s never with the intent to trip us up and give us a big old Zonk. That is not my God. That is not your God. That’s only our distorted view of God. Okay? God doesn’t zonk us. End of story. So does that mean we can pick any door and things will turn out okay? And I’m saying yes, emphatically yes. My mom likes to say whatever it is, whatever’s going on in your life, Dito oh, um, she calls me Dito. Anyway, whatever’s going on in your life, Dito, god is bigger than that. Whatever it is, whatever choice you have to make, whatever path you pick, god is bigger than that. I’m telling you that today. God is bigger. God is still God. It’s not like you have the power to screw up his plan. You don’t. Sorry. You’re not that powerful. God stays God, no matter what you pick. God stays sovereign. No matter what direction you go in, he stays loving, gracious, patient, connected, caring, compassionate. No matter what you pick, you aren’t going to screw up his master plan. And you’re not going to screw up his plan for your life either. You want to know how I know that? Because I think he already knows exactly which door you’re going to pick. He knows. Spoiler alert. You don’t know which door you’re going to pick. But God does. And I’d like to suggest that his will for our lives doesn’t really have a whole lot to do with what we do or which door we pick. It has much more to do with who we are becoming. I’ll help you figure out what God’s will is for you right now. Ready? You know me in definitions. I looked it up. 

The definition of the word will is desire or wish. So when we’re talking about God’s will, we’re talking about God’s desire, god’s wish. Now, what do you think God desires? What does he really desire? I’ll tell you. He desires relationship with you. That means his will is for you to connect with Him in relationship. His desire is to connect with you in relationship. If you want to be in God’s will, seek Him in relationship. How do we get to know someone else? How do we get to know a person? How do we build relationship? Well, we spend time together. We have conversations, we dialogue with each other. We ask each other questions. We think about the other person. We’re curious about the other person. We want to learn about the other person. We think being in God’s will is about picking the right door and not getting the zonk door. But what God desires most for us is to draw near to Him. 

For me, I have come to this place where the doors don’t matter. I mean, I see them, I pray about them, I wonder about them. I make pros and cons lists or plans or I consider them. I ask God to guide me. But ultimately it doesn’t matter what door I pick. I can pick any door. God already knows the door I’m going to pick and he doesn’t mock me if I pick the wrong one. There is no wrong one. He’s not ashamed of me if I pick a different one. Because every time I have to pick a door or a path or have a choice to make about something or someone, I don’t wonder what God’s will is ultimately, because I can’t read his mind. What I try to do is get close to Him, be curious about Him, align with him, relate to him, connect with him. The door takes care of itself. When I do that, you might be wondering about the door that causes pain. Are you? I used to be like, uh, wait, but what if I pick a door that something’s really hard or emotionally painful? Maybe one door causes pain and another one’s going to be smooth sailing. And then I’d think, oh, God’s will is going to be to choose the door that’s easier and less emotionally painful for everyone involved and doesn’t cause problems, right? No way. 

That is not true. That’s only our human nature talking. It’s our human nature to desire a system or a formula or an easy way through a challenge or something difficult. That’s just because our brains are wired to try to avoid pain and conserve energy and pursue pleasure. It has nothing to do with God’s will. What do we actually know about challenging things? Y’all, what we know about challenging things in our lives is that we grow through challenges. They refine us. We mature through challenges. We get refined in the fire, not sitting on a beach drinking pineapple juice. So what if you pick a door that seems to create more hardship or brings an unexpected trial or uncomfortable emotions? Well, yahoo. Welcome to God’s will. We get to lean into Him. We will need his strength. We’ll pray. We will desire him. We’ll want his help. We’ll ask for his help. We’ll draw near to him. And what if we pick a different tour and we’re showered with, like, awesome blessings and it feels like relief and reprieve? Well, yahoo to that too. Welcome to God’s will again. We’ll get to celebrate Him and thank Him for all of it and appreciate Him. I’m telling you, you’re not going to get it wrong. If you care about being in God’s will, if you’re turning to Him for guidance, whether you get a clear answer or not doesn’t matter. Just keep turning to him. Care about what he cares about. Be in relationship with him. This is how you live in God’s will. I don’t think there’s a true figuring out God’s will. We only know pieces of it. And his will is his business. 

Our business is growing in our relationship with Him and learning to care about what he cares about. And when you live in that space, the door you pick is the right door. When you live in that space, you’re actively participating in and living in God’s will. That’s freedom. That’s where peace is at. When we’re always trying to grab the wheel and think we’re in charge, it’s like a manic and stressful control grab. But when we trust the driver of the car, we can sit back and enjoy the journey. Let God be in the driver’s seat. Uh, do I have to say it? Y’all, carrie Underwood, jesus, take the wheel. Let God be in the driver’s seat. He’s in charge. He’s working it all together for your good. That’s his job, not yours. Okay? All right, before I go, let m me ask you this have you left a review on itunes yet for this podcast? Have you hit the subscribe button? I need you to. I really do. Here’s why. This is how the show grows and we reach more women just like you who need to hear some practical perspective and mind renewal tools that work. I need your help. 

So go to the Renew Your Minds podcast show in itunes. Hit the subscribe button. Click on five stars if you really like this podcast, and type a short review. Takes a couple of minutes, all of that stuff. When you do that, it tells itunes to have this show pop up in more searches that’s how we spread the renew your mind movement. That’s how we reach more people who need this. That’s how we let this movement grow. So I really, really appreciate your help. Don’t do it later. You’re going to be like me and forget. I have to do it now. When someone asks me to do something like this, I have to do it now. So do it now. While you’re thinking about it, go to itunes, subscribe, hit five stars, leave a review. I really, really appreciate it, and so do all the women who are going to find the show because you are willing to do that. All right, y’all, that’s it for today. So I will catch you next week. Until then, take care, you. 

As an advanced certified life coach, I help Christian women trying to live their best lives, but they still feel unsatisfied and stuck. I teach thought management skills that work so you can enjoy life again and step into who God has created you to be. Don’t forget to head on over to Rympodcast.com to get my free resources or a free coaching call.

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