Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Your Will, Not Mine

From time to time we hear our preachers encouraging us to "strive to remain in the will of God."  It sounds good.  I have even said it myself.  But to be encouraged to live lives in the will of God, suggests for some who wear the name of Christ, there is a struggle. 

I know we all wrestle with the fleshly nature.  God knew we would, and knows we still do.  However, is it really possible for us to know the will of God and live in the will of God, or is that just a dream we have, similar to dreaming about the Cowboys winning another Super Bowl some day?

Another thing we can know from scripture is connected to our prayer lives, and that is to pray our prayers according to the will of God.  We may pray for anything and everything, but we have learned, just to be safe, we have a very well positioned, "Thy will, not mine," in our prayers.

In looking to Jesus for our example, from the prayer we call "The Lord's Prayer," even Jesus himself prayed, "Thy Will be done." He said that in his prayer immediately after saying, "Thy Kingdom come."  William J. Carl suggests in one of his books, 'It naturally follows, if the Kingdom of God is in the process of coming, then it must be God's will that is driving it."

Mr. Carl's next observation is, "And since the Kingdom is God's, not ours, so is the will of God."  The issue is further revealed when he writes in the next sentence, "We wish it weren't so. We had rather pray, 'MY will be done.'"

No, we probably wouldn't pray like that, but the suggestion remains.  We want things to go the way WE think they should go, we want to call the shots on how everything in our church works, we want to be the decisive party to make the church and everyone in it, function according to OUR will.

While reading from Mr. Carl and thinking of some events I have witnessed in some churches over the years, every problem that has arisen, and every problem that continues to plague the churches where we attend, can be traced back to one person insisting on having his own way.  That type of leadership thinking is the very thing that brings churches down. 

I say these things not only in the way of informing, but also as a message of confession, because I, too, have been in the frame of mind that I wanted things MY way.  It might not have been anything that would bring me the glory or the praise of success, it just had to be MY way.  

Perhaps our preachers should preach more often about remaining "in the will of God."  I fully support every prayer including a plea for God's will to be done.  I have taken an inward look and see how real is the fact that I, and we, sometimes get in the way of God.  We used to sing an old song, "Would you live for Jesus and be always pure and good?  Would you walk with Him within the narrow road? "  After the verses ask questions like those, the chorus repeats with, "Let Him have His way with thee."  I see that as a giant step toward learning and living according to the Will of God.  His way, not mine.


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