I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the following line in the Lord’s Prayer:
‘Your will be done’
There’s no way of telling how many times I must have said those words. For people who have been in the church for years, these words have a tendency to become stale and we just read them or recite them without really thinking about what it would mean to let God’s will be done in our lives.
How would our lives be different if we truly surrendered to God? So often in church, we sing songs or recite lines or prayers that speak of us surrendering our all to God. We request that God takes all we have, that we abandon ourselves to Him completely and become totally His.
If you are like me, however, there is more often than not a catch. God, have Your way with me…but. Don’t send me there. Don’t make me talk to that person. Don’t make me give up on this thing I love. Don’t push me too much out of my comfort zone.
It seems that we’re happy to ask God to do His will with us, but as long as we can control it. We’re happy to be submitted to God, as long as it doesn’t require us doing the things we don’t want to, or giving up the things we love like money, relationships, gadgets or our time. The thought of giving up our popularity and status – even within our church communities – is something that scares us.
Philippians 3:10-11 says, ‘I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.’
There’s bits of that verse I can fully get behind – knowing Christ, attaining resurrection from the dead. These things I will run after and fight for and follow forever. But sharing in His suffering, becoming like Jesus in His death? Can’t I just omit that part? Well, no. Surrendering to God’s will means opening up to the possibility that we will share in His suffering, that we will become like Christ in His death. That, however, is truly following Jesus, truly giving all we have to Him.
Stop for a minute, and think what your life would look like if you really, absolutely and completely abandoned yourself to God. Where would you be? Where would you go? Who would you spend your time with? Would you have the latest phones and computers, the big house and the nice car? Or would you be living on the kindness of others, on the grace and provision of God? Would you be uncertain of where you were going to be day in day out, unsure of how to even make ends meet?
Submitting to God’s will is something that it’s easy to want to do, but hard to actually do. It’s the desire of every follower of Christ, but gets pushed aside by our desire for things of the world.
But if we simply pay lip-service to God, then we aren’t fully living for Him. In fact, I sometimes think God must get a little annoyed at us claiming to be surrendered to His will but not really giving ourselves to Him.
Next time we read the Lord’s Prayer, or sing a song of surrender, or pray for God to take our lives, stop and think about whether you really mean it. Then think of the love God has poured out for us, and how He loves us and desires us to be fully devoted to Him. Make a conscious effort to will for God’s will in your life.