Embracing God’s Will

He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:41-42)

In our verses for today we see Jesus fleshing out what He taught His disciples on prayer:

“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:9-10)

I am reminded of Paul’s words to us in Romans regarding God’s will for our lives:

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

God’s will for our lives is always good and pleasing and perfect–whether we are able to ascertain that through our emotions and feelings or any other of our senses. God has prepared profitable, useful and beneficial things for each one of us and it is His desire for us to walk in them:

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)

When we do not submit to God’s will for our lives, we do ourselves much disservice. Our prayers should echo that of King David:

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. (Psalms 143:10)

Like Jesus, David’s prayers were solidly based on his trust in God. David not only wanted to be shown God’s will for his life but also to be taught how to stand firm in it–knowing with certainty God’s way was for his ultimate good and for the good of others. In our frailty, being both lame and blind (not to mention dull), we would often choose wrong paths simply because of ease and comfort not to mention fleshly desires and lust.

“Enable me to do what is pleasing to you; give me that grace that is necessary to the right knowledge of your will, and an acceptable obedience to it, that we may neither displease God in anything we do nor be displeased at anything God does.” (Matthew Henry)

I am presently reading a wonderful book entitled 50 People Every Christian Should Know by Warren Wiersbe. In discussing the life of the famous hymn writer Fanny Crosby–blinded at the age of six weeks old by a doctor’s careless treatment–we are able to see her wonderful perspective on God’s will for her life:

“‘It seemed intended by the blessed Providence of God that I should be blind all my life,’ she wrote in her delightful autobiography Fanny Crosby’s Life Story, ‘and I thank Him for the dispensation.’ The doctor who destroyed her sight never forgave himself and moved from the area, but Fanny Crosby held no ill will toward him. ‘If I could meet him now,’ she wrote, ‘I would say ‘Thank you, thank you’–over and over again–for making me blind.’ In fact, she claimed that if she could have her sight restored, she would not attempt it. She felt that her blindness was God’s gift to her so that she could write songs for his glory. ‘I could not have written thousands of hymns,’ she said, ‘if I had been hindered by the distractions of seeing all the interesting and beautiful objects that would have been presented to my notice.’”

What an amazing testimony! How often I flee from the difficult–seeking relief–desiring ease–rather than embracing what is allowed in order for God to make me into the image of His Son. Filled and empowered by His Spirit, how much better to prefer our lives to be beautiful songs played for His glory than to delve into the pleasures of this world for such a short time. It would do us well to remember this when we are tempted to kick against His way.

Take It to Heart

“Somehow in the wonder-working providence of God, our worst problems become our best pulpits. God turns our tragedies into testimonies and our emergencies into evangelism. Our testimonies are forged and crafted in the trials of life, our pain has an evangelistic purpose, our problems become His pulpits, and the things that happen to us turn out for the furtherance of the gospel.” (Robert J. Morgan)

“God always gives His very best to those who leave the choice with Him.”
(Hudson Taylor)

“How it pays to take one step at a time with God!” (Isobel Kuhn)

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)