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  • Writer's pictureElpidio Pezzella

The Divine Will

Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.

Psalms 86:11 (NKJV)

Once faith is known and Grace is grasped, I believe each person has asked the Lord the question, "What do You want me to do?" or prayed like the psalmist, asking "Lord, teach me Your way," a way of saying "let me know Your will." This is a crucial and expectation-laden question that can turn into anxiety, and, if unanswered, into confusion and bewilderment. We constantly need to discern what choices to implement, what to prefer or give up, so that we do not make mistakes or walk paths far from the ways of the Lord. At the same time, nothing is more complex than grasping the divine will. How can I be sure that it is not the result of my own expectations? It is not at all easy to clearly recognize God's will in one's life, at least for me. Understanding God's will requires not only humble prayer, but much discernment, time (unquantifiable) and much prudence. Discernment is based on several points, if all the points confirm our intuition then one can proceed to make choices in that direction, but without ever giving up caution.

Certainly the Scriptures remain our only source of guidance and the events of some become typological. It could not have been easy for Moses to come to terms with the experience of the bush, but that voice did not turn out to be foreign. Several times in Scripture men vocated to a mission find themselves in the wilderness, the place of absolute silence, to exercise first and foremost listening: hearing the Word of God and its resonance in the deepest part of ourselves. The shepherd of Midian replied to each statement, resisting it, but he had to bow to JHWH and charge himself with the task of leading a people out of Egypt. Not all of us will be vocated to accomplish similar feats, but until we are clear about our purpose, we may be wandering around losing the taste for existence. However, we all wish for paths of victories and conquests, the achievement of great accomplishments, and we ignore the fact that Moses himself did not enter Canaan. Before that, it is necessary to end up face to the ground, like Paul on the road to Damascus. After the desert, there is always a journey to be made and a toil to be lavished with all the risks attached, but the voice heard will instill the necessary confidence. The point is to be certain that you have heard precisely His voice and that you are not prey to your own desires or an unwitting victim of some "piper."

God speaks in different ways and not always eloquently, which is why we must learn to recognize His languages. He can make use of anything and anyone to call to conversion, to bring the distant closer, to warm the lukewarm, to reach out to those who wish to follow Him, and He never has a predefined cliché. I believe there is a very large number of those who feel a growing need to understand God's will, so with willing and humble hearts we ask, "Lord, what do you want me to do?" Over the years I have learned to recognize some distinctive features of His speaking to reveal His will to us, of the specific ways He uses in the concrete. I hope they can be helpful to you. Make sure they are all there, because one does not exclude the other, but together they can make the voice louder and clearer. First of all, situations that materialize as coincidences, but which a believing heart might call "God-incidences," as manifestations of His inscrutable plan. Without fretting in the search, you will find the right people along your path; indeed these people will come to you. Opportunities arise of their own accord, without artifice of any kind. And if a door closes, it will not throw you into despondency, for a closure will soon be matched by an opening elsewhere if that is the path to pursue.

Receive confirmation in God's word, finding a feeling of peace, even when it comes to acknowledging a denial. The lamp to dispel darkness and clouds of doubt remains solely the Bible. Through personal preaching or meditation, the Word will echo deep inside pushing us beyond our resistance if we are hesitant, or dispelling our certainty if we are chasing our ego. Moses, Joshua, the judges, Elijah, Elisha, and how many others passed at the crossroads of the Word, that is, of God speaking. I recommend being careful from which pulpit the message comes because it is not always "cast gold" and it remains possible to listen to a donkey like Baalam. Finally, a confirmation. What has accrued should be placed under the scrutiny of a manager, a more experienced and trustworthy person. This might be an equivocable or contestable passage, but I think it is an additional point not to be mistaken. However, it remains an additional element to curb any temporary impulses. Remember that the flame will have to burn in your inner self, and if it is such as Isaiah you can only declare, "Here I am!".


Weekly Bible Reading Plan #41

October 02, Isaiah 14-16; Ephesians 5:1-16

October 03, Isaiah 17-19; Ephesians 5:17-33

October 04, Isaiah 20-22; Ephesians 6

October 05, Isaiah 23-25; Philippians 1

October 06, Isaiah 26-27; Philippians 2

October 07, Isaiah 28-29; Philippians 3

October 08, Isaiah 30-31; Philippians 4

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