In recent years, I have noticed that I generally respond differently to challenges and difficult situations that life brings forth. I have learned (the hard way at times) that God is in control of our lives and wants for us to build a personal relationship with him according to His will for us.

That is not to say that we do not have free will. Most people can do whatever they choose in life. But, choosing to live according to your own free will and that of seeking God’s will are very different avenues.

We all have or had biological earthly fathers. Some of those relationships are good while others are not. But, we also have a heavenly father. Like many earthly fathers, our heavenly father wants to guide us in the right direction and be an important part of our lives.

For people like me, who naturally desire to do things my own way, relationship building with God can be difficult. I have always believed in God, but I have not always thought that he believed in me. Thus, for many years, and from time to time even now, I wake up in the morning ready to take on the day according to my plan and my own will. This approach has time and again produced less than desirable results at the end of the day.

Fortunately, a few years back, a man showed me a new way to approach each day that life gives us. Instead of “steering the boat” myself, I would just ask God for knowledge of His will for me and the power to carry that out.

At first, I did not like that idea. What if God’s will is different than my own? Why would I give control to a God who I did not think believed in me anyway?

Well, I decided to give it a try. I just thought of it as an experiment with God.

This experiment changed my life in ways that I would never have believed. Giving control of my life over to God has been the most important thing I have ever done. It has significantly reduced stress, increased the level of happiness in my life, and placed me in a position where I know that whatever circumstances I am facing, God will take care of it.

What a relief. Imagine walking into court, a hospital, a new job, a difficult decision, a challenging personal struggle, or the millions of scenarios that life brings our way with the confidence that you do not have to rely on your own human power to “take care of the situation.”

And it works too. While I am far from perfect in this endeavor, when I turn things over to my heavenly father, the outcome always turns out ok. Notice that I did not say that the outcome turns out “my way”, but ok. Sometimes God has a plan in place that we cannot see at the moment. It can be difficult to trust Him when we cannot see His intention.

Now, allowing God to lead you throughout each day does not mean that we can just sit up on the back porch and put down some cold beers waiting for Him to do all the work. It is just the opposite. When we are following God’s will for us, oftentimes we are more active and involved in activities than when we thought we were in control of our own lives.

Each of has a different purpose. God has a different plan for every one of His children. The important thing is to follow His plan to the best of our ability.

Some folks may say that they are too independent to give it over to God. Others may not believe in God at all. For those of you who struggle with what I am telling you about this way of living, I would simply suggest that you perform the experiment. Just for one day.

You can be the judge of whether living according to God’s will or your own will is the path to peace and contentment in your life.