A deeper dive in to Pres. Nelson’s counsel to “Let God Prevail” in our lives. How we can shift to this mindset and what it really looks like.
As we approach the next General Conference session, my favorite phrase from the previous session keeps popping up in my mind, “Let God Prevail.” President Nelson talked about this interesting definition of “Israel” in the Saturday morning session of October 2020 General Conference.
I instantly loved it.
As an English major, I love to dissect words and phrases to try to draw out more meaning and insight. And those three little words are a goldmine of insights.
LET God Prevail
I couldn’t help but notice that the word “let” was an interesting choice. “Let” is passive, and requires almost no physical effort. It’s almost the opposite of physical effort, its dropping the tension and stress, and simply allowing or accepting. It requires nothing of us beyond our permission.
If we “let” God prevail, we are just allowing him to, that’s it!
I mean, how silly of us to think that we have to give God permission to do anything. As if He needs permission for anything. He is in charge! He has always been in charge and He will always be in charge. Of course God will prevail!
So letting God prevail is merely allowing the thought that God is in charge. Its deciding to stop fighting for what we think is supposed to be happening. We just surrender to God. We get on board with Him and His plan.
As President Nelson said, “We can choose to let God prevail in our lives, or not. We can choose to let God be the most powerful influence in our lives, or not.”(source)
It requires no real effort to decide to “let God prevail.” Its just a mental switch in our head from, “I’m in charge” to “Of course God, YOU are in charge.” Similar to my recent thoughts on how to develop an abundance mindset, nothing has to change but your thoughts, and then that changes everything.
What it means
To be clear though, President Nelson isn’t advocating a lackadaisical response to this concept. He said,
“Now, my dear brothers and sisters, it takes both faith and courage to let God prevail. It takes persistent, rigorous spiritual work to repent and to put off the natural man through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It takes consistent, daily effort to develop personal habits to study the gospel, to learn more about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and to seek and respond to personal revelation.” (source)
So while the decision to let Heavenly Father prevail doesn’t require any physical effort, the natural next step of that decision does lead us to try harder to draw closer to God and Jesus Christ. But when our efforts to study and connect with God are fueled with the peace and faith that He is helping us succeed, we find that it almost flows naturally. We want to pray to Him, we want to read His words.
Let God PREVAIL
“Prevail” is a definitely a positive word. It implies success or triumph. It means victory, to reign, to conquer, to win in the end. I love that this was the word President Nelson chose.
This isn’t about slogging through and enduring to the end. This is about allowing God to lead us to success. To joy. To triumph. Let God Prevail. He has a plan, and it is perfect.
God’s plan is a plan of happiness. We came to earth to learn and grow and experience life. Though our life will definitely not be free from struggles and low points and sorrow and frustration, ultimately God is providing the means for us to grow, and in that growth is deeper understanding and peace. Each struggle can move us closer to who God intends for us to be, if we let it. If we surrender and let God do His work with us.
Its humility. It’s knowing that we are nothing without God. That with our tiny little view, its comical to think we know better than God. And we can rest in that. We can let God prevail.
What Does Letting God Prevail Look Like?
This is often something I ask myself when trying to understand new spiritual or growth related concepts. Sometimes its hard to wrap my head around what the day-to-day looks like when you’re embracing a new perspective. What does “let God prevail” actually look like? How do you DO it?
As I said earlier, at first, it is a mental decision. Its a switch that we flip from “I’m in charge” to “God is in charge.” And sometimes that switch has to be flipped repeatedly until it stays. When we find ourselves getting worked up about something, a situation or circumstance, an encounter with someone, anything frustrating, as soon we recognize that’s what happening, we can pause and reflect on whether we need to flip the switch again. And depending on the situation, we can tap into what “letting God prevail” would look like.
Often it means surrender. Not in a defeated way, but in a peaceful way. It means surrendering our will to Him. We can rest in the peaceful knowledge that He has everything under control. That this is all part of the plan, and ultimately God will prevail for us.
When we let Heavenly Father prevail, we stop fighting against reality, against Him and His plan. We stop insisting that we know what would be best, what should happen, what should be different. We stop our inner tantrum and choose to drop our frustration, and close our eyes and take a deep breath and choose to believe that God will prevail.
And we can choose to believe everything is going to be ok.
And then, as Pres Nelson counseled, we can take that opportunity to draw closer to the Savior, and to Heavenly Father. We can recommit to praying, or praying differently, to align our will to His. We can choose to access the peace and counsel that reading scriptures can provide.
Will YOU Let God Prevail?
President Nelson ended his message with a personal call to each of us, “Are you willing to let God prevail in your life? Are you willing to let God be the most important influence in your life? Will you allow His words, His commandments, and His covenants to influence what you do each day? Will you allow His voice to take priority over any other? Are you willing to let whatever He needs you to do take precedence over every other ambition? Are you willing to have your will swallowed up in His?”
“My dear brothers and sisters, as you choose to let God prevail in your lives, you will experience for yourselves that our God is “a God of miracles.” (source)
What an incredible promise!