A few weeks ago (See Practical Exam) I told you about my sudden vision trouble. After more testing, both eyes have “just” one retinal problem, rather than the three conditions originally diagnosed. I need surgery, but weather has delayed us, and I just rescheduled my appointment with a retinal surgeon.
God’s Sovereign Will
In this fallen world, I expect trouble. I know that God allowed the problems with my eyes, and controls the weather. I also know that God loves me, has a purpose for me, and will fulfill that purpose. The sovereign will of God will prevail.
At the same time, He has given us meaningful choices and will hold us accountable for our decisions. With every choice, we do His will or go our own way.
“Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)
When I pray this, am I talking about myself … or the other guy?
Here is what I want to mean: “Lord, I love You and want to please You. I am determined to do everything Your way. Help, please.” (And, yes, I also am to pray about the world.)
Jesus prayed that the Father would find another way than His crucifixion. He prayed earnestly, fervently, with sweat poring off Him, that the cup might pass from Him. But He ended His prayers, “Yet not My will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)
Jesus surrendered to the Father, and obediently went to the cross.
When we have a choice between what we desire and the Lord’s will for us, we need to identify our Lord’s will and do it.
His Will and Our Will
Paul tells us to work out our [sanctification] with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work to you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:12-13)
We also know that God, who began a good work in us, will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)
So, God’s sovereign will is to complete His good work in us.
And, it is our own responsibility to work on our sanctification.
Paul prayed that the Colossians would be filled with the knowledge of His will… so that [they] would walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. (Colossians 1:9)
Pray to be filled with the knowledge of His will.
As you consistently study God’s Word, pray to learn about His will.
Strive to be conscious of the many choices you make throughout the day.
Determine, in advance, beginning before you get out of bed, that you will choose His will and not your own.
Pray without ceasing.
Not my will, but Yours be done.
(P.S. I’m talking to myself.)
I don’t have a choice about my eye trouble (although I’m praying He will heal me), or about the weather (although I’m praying for good road conditions so I can make my doctor’s appointment). However, I do have choices how I behave through this trial and how I talk about the Lord. Am I honoring Him with my behavior and speech? Am I declaring my trust in His love and power? Lord, help, because that is what I want to do.