Many of us wrestle with the will of God – “what is God’s plan for me in this?” There are aspects of the will of God that are hidden from us. Deuteronomy 29:29 tells us “The secret things belong to the Lord our God….” But the aspect of the will of God that gives us the most trouble are those things described in the latter half of Deuteronomy 29:29 “…but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (ESV).
We are like Mark Twain, who quipped, “It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it’s the parts that I do understand.”
We all as Christians pray that we’d do God’s will. It is when that revealed will rubs us the wrong way, or inconveniences or interferes with some part of our lives in which we have not yet surrendered to the Lord, that we find trouble. We are constantly challenged in our trust of God’s promises and power and provision and protection. And every believer knows the answer of God time and again of His gracious provision, even in the lack of our trust of Him. We all know of our lack. The question is if we in that lack go to the One Who alone can fill us.
The Heidelberg Catechism in its instruction on the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer addresses what we pray for in the petition, “Your will be done,” at Lord’s Day 49 – “Grant that we and all men may deny our own will, and without any murmuring obey your will, for it alone is good.”
Christ is not truly owned as our king when we do our own will, but when we default to His.
Can you say that the will of God alone is good? Does your speech reflect that? Is it the settled conclusion of your heart? Christ is not truly owned as our king when we do our own will, but when we default to His.
Dear brothers and sisters at Grace, we must realize that if we are praying that God’s will be done on earth, we are committing ourselves to two important personal and congregational responsibilities.
The first is this: that we pledge ourselves to learn all we can about God’s revealed will, the Bible. That means the sustained and humble study of the Scriptures. Do we labour to learn what God has said? What have we learned from God’s word this week that we are now prompted to see implemented in our lives?
The second responsibility is that we are pledging, with God’s help, to do His will, as much as we know it! My friend Joel Beeke, a pastor in America, put it this way: “Is it your prayer every day, and we meet sin and we get our boots muddied, so to speak, do we come back to our gracious Lord to be washed clean, to be realigned, to renew again our covenant with God, to again, as it were, pledge our allegiance afresh to our gracious Lord and King Jesus? To again say, Lord, I want to hallow your name, I want to participate in your kingdom’s extension in my life and with all men everywhere, I want to do your will – but I cannot, I will not, apart from your grace and supply! The apostle Paul’s cry: the good that I would do, I find I don’t do it, and that which I would not do, I find I do it! O wretched man that I am! (Romans 7:24) It is a cry from each of our hearts that we direct to Him. Come, gracious lord, heavenly king, and supply my need. Help me to renounce my will – Oh Lord, not my will, but Your will be done! Is this your struggle? Is this your desire?”
Yours in His Service,