Give up the “story” you’ve created for yourself and accept God’s will. That’s the message Brother Merrill shared in today’s BYU-Idaho Devotional in his address, “Thy Will Be Done.” 

Brother Merrill, a faculty member in the Humanities and Philosophy Department, highlighted the sometimes stark contrast between where we want to go and what Heavenly Father has in store for us. 

“You will note, as I have, that almost all of the best things in my life have come in the meantime, while I was busy with other things,” he said. “While I was planning my future, doing my thing, living my life in my way, my Father in Heaven had other plans, was doing his thing, gently leading me toward his life in his way. Our Father in Heaven works for us in the meantime, usually quietly, behind the scenes. While we are doing our thing, He is doing His.” 

Some of the major obstacles to living how God would have us live include pride and focusing too much on the story that we’ve created for our life, Brother Merrill taught. 

“We are naturally reluctant to sacrifice our story and to give our will to God, for ‘the natural man is an enemy to God,’” Brother Merrill said in his address.  “There are all kinds of reasons for that reluctance. Perhaps we are too comfortable with our story.” 

In an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio, Brother Merrill explained more about what he meant by “our story.” 

“We often try to take hold of our lives, make them what we envision,” he said. “My basic premise is that the Lord has asked us to give our will to Him. That contradicts an awful lot of what we say about goals and plans, but I think we need to take the Lord seriously with that.” 

As we practice what Brother Merrill called “the skill of living God’s will,” we must begin with a desire to more fully accept Heavenly Father’s will. It is then a steady process of making small improvements until we one day become like Him, he taught. 

Ultimately, it’s a matter of will. 

“What we have to do is sacrifice that story,” Brother Merrill said, “put it on the altar—and take the life that God wants to give us.”