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How do I know if I am living in God’s will or self-will?

Apr 9, 2020

Chad Lentscher, Regional Director of Alumni, Texas

I can begin by looking at one sentence in the Big Book.

“We are in the world to play the role He assigns (page 68).”

Determining God’s will for us can be much less confusing than we think. I need to ask myself some simple questions. What are my assigned roles?  What are my responsibilities in those roles? Who are my authorities, and who am I accountable to in those roles?

I want to discuss two roles we have been assigned during this pandemic. One role is a person in recovery, and the other is that of an American citizen.

The role of a person in recovery was assigned to me in August of 2008.

My responsibilities in this role remain the same, regardless of what is taking place in the world. I am asked to continue to take personal inventory, make amends when I harm others, pray and meditate daily, carry the message to another alcoholic, and be part of a fellowship. My ultimate authority is God and the Big Book, and I am accountable to my sponsor, the men I sponsor, my 12 step fellowship, my employer, my family and friends, and society. If I have been assigned a role, and I am following the direction of authority, I can bet that I am living in God’s will.

The role of an American citizen was assigned to me in February of 1974.

My current responsibilities in this time of pandemic are: stay at home, with the exception of things deemed necessary; stand six feet from others; wear a mask in public; only travel on even-numbered days (I have an even-numbered license plate), and wash my hands regularly.  My ultimate authority is God, but God has appointed some other authorities in my life: the national, state, and local government; and my employer. I am accountable to just about everyone. Again, if I have been assigned a role, and I am following the direction of authority, I can bet that I am living in God’s will.

Just to the extent that I fulfill my responsibilities and trust God is fulfilling His, does he enable me to match calamity with serenity (Big Book, page 68).

The alternative is that I start going through the steps in reverse order. My fear will lead to self-seeking motives, which will lead to delusion, and eventually, selfish actions (Big Book, page 67). Resentment will appear, and I will begin to believe that my problems are not of my own making (Big Book, page 62). I may admit to being somewhat at fault, but I will be certain that other people are more to blame (Big Book, page 61). The victim in recovery loses perspective and the connection with a Higher Power. It is only a matter of time before the insidious insanity returns.

We can all find peace in any situation, but it requires effort and humility.  Playing the role He assigns is the easier, softer way. We let Him demonstrate, through us, what He can do (Big Book, page 68).


Origins Behavioral Healthcare is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For information on our programs, call us today: 844-234-3451.

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