I’ve been thinking a lot recently about my future, what God’s plans for me are, what He wants from me and what might be ahead for me. It’s been a challenging time, as God has asked more and more of me, and to surrender more and more control to Him. One thing that has really struck me in this whole process is the simple truth that we need to be honest with ourselves before we can be honest with God, and before we ever dare ask for His will over our own.
When was the last time that you prayed for “God’s will to be done” and there wasn’t at least some small part of you holding back. It may even have been a tiny teeny part, but I think often praying for God’s will is dumbed down so we do it almost automatically, because we think we should, and because it’s the ‘right thing’ and ‘Christian thing’ to do.
But to ask God’s will be done is a major thing to do. It’s a huge risk.
If we are truly asking for God’s will to be done over ours, then we must be willing to do whatever God asks of us. Whatever it is. Even if its something we don’t like or don’t want to do. Otherwise we might as well not bother asking, because we won’t do it anyway.
We need to be honest with ourselves.
If we sincerely want God’s will in our lives, then we need to be honest about how we really feel, and what we truly want. Anything else is just disrespectful and dishonest. It’s not like you can keep a secret from God, is it? Yet we seem to act all the time as if God won’t know or mind what’s really in our hearts as long as we say and appear to do the right, Christian thing. When you say it it sounds silly doesn’t it, keeping a secret from God. But we all try to do it on some level or another I think – and that’s what we’re doing when we aren’t totally honest with ourselves or Him.
In these situations we need to sit down and think about what we really feel, what we want and don’t want in a certain situation, and take that to God. We need to confess what we want, or what we don’t want, and ask God to help us to truly ask for His will into that situation – and we need to be honest with God that if His will is a certain type of outcome, how it will make us feel.
That’s a much more constructive way of doing things, and it’s a much more open and relational way of doing things. We can dialogue with God about how we feel, about what we think, and engage with Him and wrestle with Him, and ask His help to seek His will.
The greatest example of all this is Jesus. It’s exactly what He did in Gesthemene, having to face up to the reality of the cross. He was honest that He didn’t want to go through what lay ahead of Him, that He wanted there to be another way than the one God had mapped out. It overwhelmed Him to the point of death – I mean, to be honest, you can’t blame Him given what was being asked. It’s one of the times we see Jesus’ humanity to its fullest extent. He didn’t necessarily like what lay ahead, it wouldn’t have been His choice. But when it came to it, He finally came to the point where He was able to say with His whole heart
“Yet not my will, but yours be done”
Once He had done that, He silently and obediently submitted Himself fully to God, and abandoned Himself to God and His purposes. He never protested, He never resisted, He submitted completely to what happened to Him, and the end result was His death and ultimately resurrection. If He hadn’t chosen God’s will in that moment, then history – and all of our lives – would be very different.
Now I’m not saying God is going to call any of us to something similar. But God does call us sometimes to make difficult decisions or do things we aren’t comfortable with, even if its for a short time. But ultimately He wants us to trust Him, because He has our best interests at heart. This is something I have struggled with a lot, and I am really only starting out in my journey of really surrendering my whole heart to God. It’s a process, it’s a journey, and it’s not easy.
We need to be honest with ourselves and honest with God, and work through this process with Him, so we can finally come to that place where we can truly ask for His will to be done.
Have you ever prayed ‘Your will be done’ and deep down been putting conditions on it?
How honest have you been with yourself, and with God?
How can you begin the process of surrendering yourself to God so you can pray ‘Your will be done’?
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