Saturday, February 21, 2015

Willing His Will

We serve a God who is loving, gracious, gentle and kind... but... we serve a God who is a Sovereign God, omniscient beyond our comprehension, who sees the greater picture of His creation (and its best interests) and who makes decisions that our spirit does not always understand. We seem to accept that God answers prayer in His time and in His will, but do we truly accept it, much less understand it.

 The two greatest examples are found in the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6) in the phrase: "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" and in the example of Jesus Christ's statement (Matthew 26) as he knelt in the garden, facing alone his impending death and wanting that that cup of death to be removed from him: "Yet not my will, but Yours (God’s) be done!"

What do we see here in these two examples taken from Scripture? In the Lord’s Prayer there is the request that things happen on earth the way they would happen in heaven. What does that mean? Can we allow ourselves to relinquish control of outcome in life, to God’s will; all those things which we do not understand and most that we cannot see? YES! This is the true test of our faith; to allow God to reign in our lives here on earth, as though we too were in heaven. Here then is the value of our understanding of that phrase that is most often thought to mean that we want earth to be pure, innocent and as virgin as heaven is. If we accepted God’s will here on earth, as it is accepted and followed in heaven… earth and our lives on it, would be so different.

This first phrase, from the Lord’s Prayer, then leads us to a greater understanding of a fuller meaning of Christ’s prayer in the garden, before his death. The will of the Father (God) for His son was ”this death He faced”. Cruel, in our eyes perhaps, but necessary, as humanity alone could not atone for the sin we commit daily in our lifetime. How do we come to understand that God’s Holy Will was secured by this one phrase? It was secured in the knowledge that God, who created, must now not only sustain, but deliver… deliver from death (which He did in the end), deliver from guilt and deliver from the pain of that guilt. That kind of true love, and the fullness of true love, could only be found in heaven. Our peace therefore is only found in true and full surrender in love; that being the relinquishing of our will to that of the Father.

When we pray therefore, we pray for the Father's will to done. In other words, that our will be in accordance with His will, yet it most often seems to be the opposite; in us wanting God to bend His will to fit ours. Yet our prayers must meet the criteria of a loving selflessness that was found in Christ's new command, to we who would yearn to be His true Disciples: "Love one another as I have loved you". Can we see any greater love than that of Christ surrendering his life so that we might gain life? In this knowledge therefore, we learn to pray for others in love, desiring their health, safety and blessing. We pray that God might show us favour in our prayers, while leaving everything fully in His hands. Can we truly pray with that resolve…That God's will be first and foremost, even when it does not seem to fit our picture of what is right, good and expedient? We who stumble and fall our way through life have no other recourse or answer, but to approach God through Christ, in reverence and humility, bringing our petitions for ourselves and others to Him who hears and then answers.

There are so many things that I desire for those I love, as well as those things I covet for my own personal life. Knowing that we expect God to hear and answer prayer, it is suggested that we must blindly follow the ideal praying not just knowing that God can, but that He will answer, granting what we ask. This though depends on how we approach that ideal. It must be understood that there has to be a full releasing of each request in prayer, to the Will of our Sovereign God. It is true that not only can God, but He will… but, within His will.  I do not ask therefore: “God bend Your will to mine, but that You hear my loving prayers directed to You, the Giver and Sustainer of life, and bring peace within my heart and the hearts of others as I pray, and for whom I pray, as Your will desires. Then Your Will shall become my will and my heart shall not relinquish its love for You, if I find that I do not get my way because my will is not found being in accordance with Yours. This is not fatalistic… it is the reality of surrender, the very basis of peace; that which sustained Christ.  He was sustained not only in the garden, but from the garden to the cross, even as he cried; “My God, My God, why have your forsaken me?” This seemingly not a cry of one sustained, but surely of one deserted? This was merely a cry from the human part of that human soul found in Christ… a cry we most often utter when life’s disappointments befall us. It is a  cry to our God who knows better than our mortal understand, what which is greater than our need, the need of the Father for His will… and beyond us perhaps, the need of some other. Here God acts beyond our human frailty with grace, forgiveness and love.

Help me then to pray Lord every day that I may find peace in the midst of this life which I do not understand and on so many days finding tears to be more prevalent than laughter. Let satan not rob me of my joy, but let any peace reigning within my heart and my will, be only found in accordance with that will which is Yours. Forgive me for when I have fallen, quicken my heart to the needs of others that I may give fully and freely even, as You have give unto me. This I pray in faith believing and in Your most Precious and Holy Name… That Name which is above all names. … Jesus Christ Our Lord.  Amen.

Today living life near the edge these past weeks has not been fun, it is has been hard and it is challenging. But ,even so, I am granted opportunity to see, in faith, beyond that which I do not understand, to that point of grace in faith where walking becomes easier because I am not alone. Today I pray that you as well will perhaps realize this for yourself. You are not alone. Someone is with you even as He is with me, and that changes our perspective as we walk near the edge… and it is all about perspective! Blessings to each of you who read today, tomorrow or when opportunity and God’s providence brings you here to this page. May your trip to the edge be done while holding God’s hand, awaiting His will to be done and may you too be granted peace.

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