Be Who God Wills You to Be

Teaching of Virtue

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Be Who God Wills You to Be

The maxim—

“Be who God wills you to be.”

sums up God’s entire calling for your life. For you are called not to be who the world wills you to be, not to be who your sinful desires will you to be, but to be who God wills you to be. God does not will for you to travel the wide road to destruction and emptiness, but the narrow road to holiness and fulfillment. God does not will for you to be of the vices of pride, envy, anger, sloth, greed, gluttony, or lust; but of the virtues of faith, hope, charity, prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. But God has given you free will. You must choose it, pursue it, practice it.

The teachings of virtue light the way to—be who God wills you to be—by revealing how to wisely and willfully weave the thread of both the inner-beauty and outer-brilliance of character. A sort of spiritual training for your soul; with the goal being, not to turn the non-believer into a believer, but the believer into a holy warrior. So when your race comes to an end, you may unerringly say, “I have fought the good fight; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7) and hear the long-hoped response, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23).

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Related Scripture

“...equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” — Hebrews 13:21 (NIV)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” — Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)

“Watch carefully then how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise, making the most of the opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not continue in ignorance, but try to understand what is the will of the Lord.” — Ephesians 5:15-17 (NABRE)

“For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what was promised.” — Hebrews 10:36 (NRSV)

“Not serving to the eye, as it were pleasing men, but, as the servants of Christ doing the will of God from the heart.” — Ephesians 6:6 (DRC)

“Therefore, since Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same attitude (for whoever suffers in the flesh has broken with sin), so as not to spend what remains of one’s life in the flesh on human desires, but on the will of God.” — 1 Peter 4:1-2 (NABRE)

“But if we obey his word, we are the ones whose love for God has really been made perfect. This is how we can be sure that we are in union with God: if we say that we remain in union with God, we should live just as Jesus Christ did.” — 1 John 2:5-6 (GNTD)

“Surely you know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you!” — 1 Corinthians 3:16 (GNTD)

“For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil.” — 1 Peter 3:17 (ESV)

“Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’” — James 4:15 (ESV)

“I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” — Psalm 40:8 (ESV)

“I have fought the good fight; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.” — 2 Tim. 4:7 (NRSV)

“...Well done, my good and faithful servant...” — Matt. 25:23 (NABRE)

Related Quotes

“For each one of us, there is only one thing necessary: to fulfill our own destiny, according to God's will, to be what God wants us to be.” — Thomas Merton

“Commitment to the will of God—the purpose for which we are designed—offers freedom to become the person we are meant to be.” — Charles E. Hummel

“And shall I pray Thee change Thy will, my Father, Until it be according unto mine? But, no, Lord, no, that never shall be, rather I pray Thee blend my human will with Thine.” — Amy Carmichael

“I am Thy servant to do Thy will, and that will is sweeter to me than position or riches or fame, and I choose it above all things on Earth or in Heaven.” — A.W. Tozer

“All that the beginner in prayer has to do—and you must not forget this, for it is very important—is to labour and be resolute and prepare himself with all possible diligence to bring his will into conformity with the will of God. As I shall say later, you may be quite sure that this comprises the very greatest perfection which can be attained on the spiritual road.” — St. Teresa of Avila

“Being a Christian is less about cautiously avoiding sin than about courageously and actively doing God's will.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“The basic purpose of prayer is not to bend God's will to mine, but to mold my will into His.” — Timothy Keller

“The first end I propose in our daily work is to do the will of God; secondly, to do it in the manner he wills it; and thirdly to do it because it is his will.” — St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

“God's will is hard only when it comes up against our stubbornness, then it is as cruel as a ploughshare and as devastating as an earthquake.” — Oswald Chambers

“When we want to know God's will, there are three things which always concur: the inward impulse, the Word of God and the trend of circumstances. Never act until these three things agree.” — F.B. Meyer

"Perfection is founded entirely on the love of God: ‘Charity is the bond of perfection;’ and perfect love of God means the complete union of our will with God’s." — St. Alphonsus Liguori

“True love of God consists in carrying out God's will. To show God our love in what we do, all our actions, even the least, must spring from our love of God.” — St. Maria Faustina Kowalska

“Prayer is designed to adjust you to God's will, not to adjust God to your will.” — Henry Blackaby

“Obedience to God's will is the secret of spiritual knowledge and insight. It is not willingness to know, but willingness to DO (obey) God's will that brings certainty.” — Eric Liddell

“If life is to have meaning, and if God's will is to be done, all of us have to accept who we are and what we are, give it back to God, and thank Him for the way He made us. What I am is God's gift to me; what I do with it is my gift to Him.” — Warren W. Wiersbe

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Lesson Plan

For your family, small group, or personal reflection.

STEP 1: Introduction

Example: "I'm going to play a short video on the topic of being who God wills you to be. After the video, I have some questions to gather your thoughts and get the discussion started. We’ll then wrap up with a closing prayer."

STEP 2: Watch Video (or listen)

Watch (or listen to) the video of the teaching (cast to your TV via YouTube). If time allows, also read the teaching, related Scriptures, and related quotes.

STEP 3: Discussion / Reflection

  • What does it mean to you to “be who God wills you to be”? (Hint: There are times when we do well to follow God’s will, but there are other times when we clearly act contrary to God's will; being who God wills us to be requires us to practice and pursue God’s will in all situations.)

  • Have you noticed how when you act against God’s will (even when it’s pleasing in the moment) you are left feeling a sense of weakness and emptiness; whereas, when you act in accordance with God’s will (even when it’s really hard in the moment) you are left feeling a sense of strength and fulfillment? Please explain and share some examples.

  • There are forks in the road all throughout life, one way is of vice (sinfulness), the other way is of virtue (holiness); God’s will is for you to take the virtuous path; but he has given you free will, so you must choose it; he will not force you, you must will it — how can you go about building the habit of willing and choosing the virtuous path? (Note: To run a good race, fight the good fight, and “keep the faith” one must consistently will and pursue the virtuous path. If you’re on the path of vice and sin, at any moment you can point your free will back to the good and virtuous path; you decide.)

  • Did any of the related Scriptures or quotes stand out to you (please elaborate)?

  • Any other thoughts you’d like to share?

STEP 4: Wrap Up & Closing Prayer

Summarize and wrap up the discussion. Then, conclude with a sincere and humble prayer from the heart.

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