A few weeks ago, I wrote about the song “My Way” and in fact I even offered up some new lyrics called “His way”. This week I want to dig into this topic of aligning our will with God’s plan for our life even further.
Just before teaching the Apostles the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus said this: Matthew 6:8 “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” With full knowledge of the fact that the Father knows what we need before we ask, Jesus taught us to pray “thy will be done.” He knew that through the alignment of our will to the Heavenly Father’s will we find the true meaning in life, and we experience inner peace and joy.
Notice also that not only did Jesus teach us to pray the words “thy will be done,” but at a critical moment in His own life in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus also prayed these words to the Father in Luke 22:42.
“After withdrawing about a stone’s throw from them and kneeling, he prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done.”
If we are called to align our will to that of the Father’s then we must know what the Father’s will for our life is. So allow me to ask you, do you know what God’s will is for your life? Do you? Really?
If God’s will for our life is what really matters most, isn’t it interesting that from early childhood children learn very quickly the possessive words of “my” and “mine.” Then, as we become adults, is it any wonder that we become lost in our possessions on our ego satisfying quest of me, my way, and my stuff?
Have you noticed that the more we focus on ourselves, our desires, our needs, and the direction “we” have chosen for “our” life, that we become less focused on God’s will and when that happens the distance between us and God seems to grow? Have you also noticed that as we pursue the world according to “our will” that our stress level tends to rise, especially when things don’t go our preordained way?
We read in the Bible about Jesus asking which one of us can add one moment to our life by stressing over something? Does not the Father take care of the birds and the flowers? Then how much more will He care for us? The Bible even tells us that He knows the number of hairs on our heads (that’s easy for him with my bald head). If God knows us this well and He knows what we need even before we ask; then it stands to reason that we should seek His will for our life.
Notice, that in a moving display of human emotion, Jesus just before His passion and death, prayed to the Father asking that if possible, He wanted to be spared of the trial that He knew was ahead for Him. But look further at what Jesus did in this critical moment. His prayer went on to say “but not my will but yours.” Jesus handled the most grueling and difficult trial in His life by subjugating His will to that of His fathers. Are we prepared to do the same?
Subjugating our will for our lives to the Father’s plan for us means we must be willing to follow where He leads us. As I have previously written about in Followship, following is a skill we often lack.
So take time today to do a self-assessment. Where are you at and where are you heading in life? Do you find yourself concerned and stressed over life’s circumstances? Is the direction you are heading out of alignment with the direction God is calling you to? Are you facing difficult trials in your life, be they medical, financial, career, family or something else, that you have not turned over to the Lord? Do you perhaps have a general lack of direction in your life? Has life become boring or routine? Are you chasing after the wrong things in life like wealth and power? Have the possessions that you have sought after in life reached a point where they now possess you?
If you have answered yes to one or several of these questions perhaps it is time for a realignment in your life.
We know that when our car is out of alignment that it puts stress on the entire vehicle and the car will shake and the tires will wear out prematurely. Similarly when we are out of alignment with God’s will, we are at stress and we tire from the struggle. Maybe it is time for our spiritual realignment.
Do you have an accountability group or person to whom you can seek direction? Do you have a Spiritual Director? Are you spending enough time in prayer seeking to know and accept God’s will for your life? Do you spend enough time each week in the Scripture for the purpose of knowing both yourself and God better?
I believe it is clear in the Bible that to align ourselves to the Father’s will we must become more in tune to those in need around us. We must, as I have previously written, be able to “get out of our comfort zone.”We must become less “me” focused people.
I will end today where Pastor Rick Warren began in his top selling book “Purpose Driven Life” when he stated “It’s not about you!” No you see life is the quest to seek out and do the Father’s will. The sooner we can all accept this, believe this, and live this, the sooner we will experience what the Father has in store for us; endless joy!
Lord help me to really mean the words I pray each day as I say the Lord’s prayer and I utter the words “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Help me to surrender my will to yours. Help me to realize Lord that the path you call me down may not be easy but even in difficult times of trial, if my will is aligned with yours, I will find peace and joy and true happiness. Amen