“Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”~Matthew 6:10
Because we do not know what is best for ourselves, we must continually entrust our souls into the will of our Father. This is especially true as we follow our Lord Jesus Christ. For we often find ourselves in circumstances beyond our control, where the earth breaks apart beneath our feet, and where we are powerless to accomplish our vocation. Indeed, so often does the Lord lead us into perplexity, that we must reckon our permanent dwelling place to be confusion and powerlessness. Yet the Lord Jesus, knowing that the calling is too great for us, leads us by the hand so that we might ask the Father for assistance. It is impossible to follow Christ without the assurance that God is our helper, because our only security, in the midst of so many assaults, is to be fortified in the safety of his will.
Many religions assent to a divine will. This was true in the ancient world, and it no less true today. Because so many people claim to follow God’s will, each of whom conceiving of that will in different ways, our souls are tempted to doubt whether we have truly known God’s will at all. Indeed, Satan stirs our world into such confusion in order to pour doubt into our hearts. This is why God’s people, in seeking to honor his will, must always focus our eyes upon the Lord Jesus Christ, knowing that we open ourselves to all the forms of doubt if we remove our gaze from him. All our surety in following God rests in trusting Christ, apart from whom all our ideas about God’s will are mere inventions. Yet when we cleave to Jesus as our only law, we know that God supports us in all our circumstances. For this reason, let us forsake all our doubts, believing that Jesus is truly worthy of all our trust.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, amidst much confusion and inner turmoil, the Lord Jesus prayed for the Father’s will to be done (Matt 26:39). In praying this way, the Lord Jesus invited us to view him as the model for our prayer life. Though Christ knew that he must carry the cross, he was also filled with confusion and perplexity. If the Master was baffled in his vocation, then the servants should not be surprised to find themselves in the same condition. To follow God’s will does not entail a perfect knowledge of his intentions or designs. Rather, all our confidence rests in one thing: that Christ approves of us. If indeed the Lord granted us advanced knowledge of our lives, yet withheld his approval from us, then we would have no remedy for our impotence. Yet with Christ’s endorsement, we are able to march into hostile territory with full vigor, even as circumstances seem to oppose us, being filled with all confidence that the Lord favors us.
Let us never, however, use God’s will as an excuse for lethargy and fear. It is easy for us to retreat into some hiding place, because we fear failure or suffering. Whenever we desire to block the commandments of God from reaching our ears, we must remember that we are not our own. Rather, we belong to Christ, and as such we have no input in God’s providence. We were nonexistent when God framed the world with his word, and in a few short years, we will recline on a bed of death. For this reason, we are to resign ourselves to doing our duty, knowing that our short lives find their value in being conformed the will of Christ. Let us therefore resist all our impulses for self-reliance, but let us rather find all our stability in cleaving to God’s will, believing that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit continually surround us in the sure bonds of love.
Who can calculate how the Lord will use us for his purposes? Those who yield to the will of God can hope that their efforts will be used for mighty ends. Indeed, the Lord might be pleased to use our obedience for purposes beyond our comprehension. With so many ailments attending this world, it is easy to view every malady as a permanent fixture of this world. Yet our confidence in our vocation must spring from a knowledge that God is able and willing to overcome all of Satan’s devices. As we follow the Lord, we are to believe in the power of God, knowing that his will is destined to prevail over every strategy of Satan. Let us proceed, therefore, with confidence in our mission, having full assurance that the will of God is always victorious. We are to fling away every doubt which attends us, whatever difficulties surround us, holding the conviction that our lives are not wasted in God’s service. Let us not wander aimlessly, as if confusing circumstances proved that God has forsaken us, but let us hold the confidence that God will be favorable to us, so long as we trust in Christ. To this end, let us pray as Christ taught us: “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
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