For much of my life, I’ve lived as a “Christian.” Not so much as a Christ follower.
Most likely because I was in the driver’s seat telling Him where we were going.
Please, please, please bless this.
Please fix this mess.
Please give me that job.
As I steered the car down the road I pointed out all the things that needed His attention.
Then I moved into the phase where I belted myself into the passenger seat, held my hands docilely in my lap and prayed for His will to be done.
Jesus taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:9-13)
But I wonder if we misinterpret what He meant by, “Your will be done.”
Angels aren’t laying around on heavenly couches praying for God’s will to be done. They are doing God’s will. They have discovered His will and are carrying it out.
I believe what Jesus prayed is a declaration. A call to action.
But I think we tend to read it as something we let God take care of. We take more of a passive stance in prayer, rather than becoming empowered to do His will.
So what’s His will and how do we find it?
The simplest and most powerful form of His will is: Love God, love yourself and love others (Mat. 22:37-39)
Love in Action
His will is love in action:
- That none would be lost (2 Peter 3:9)
- Rejoice always (1 Thess. 5:16)
- Be thankful (1 Thess. 5:16)
- Pray for those who are mean to you (Matt. 5:44)
- Don’t worry (Matt. 6:25)
- Don’t judge yourself or others (Matt. 7:1)
Many of our issues would dissipate if we started practicing His will.
It could be finding that one thing to rejoice in—–that I made it through the day; that I still have my sanity; that I don’t have to wash my clothes by hand.
Or being thankful—–that I held my tongue when I could have lacerated them; that God has me protected when everything feels out of control; that I don’t have to fix this.
Or stomping on the brake when we start judging other’s or ourselves and practice instead praying for the difficult people in our lives—–sometimes the one staring at us from the bathroom mirror.
Hebrews 10:36 tells us that we can know God’s will and do it. So how do we find His will for our specific situation?
We take Him our problems and ask what He’s doing, so we can pray in line with how Jesus is praying (Rom. 8:34). And ask what (if anything) He wants us to do.
It can be hard to hear a specific answer, so listen for the peace.
You might be in mess at work so you say, “Jesus, do you want me to say something to her?” Then bend your ear to His heart and sense if there is peace in speaking up or in remaining silent. Just start practicing.
I didn’t even clench my fists to keep from grabbing the steering wheel.
It’s getting easier to trust Him because I’ve experienced Him working on my behalf so many times (most frequently when I stay in the passenger seat).
But He doesn’t get agitated when I leap across the consol and attempt to take over. He just grins and lets me have a go at it until I drive us into the ditch…again.
He’s used to me saying, “Oops. Sorry.”
Jesus, give me ears to hear when You are speaking to me. When you are drawing me closer to You, to practice Your will in my life. Help me to be gentle with myself and others. Teach me more about You. Thank you! In Jesus’ name, amen.
Sunrise photo via Pixabay