Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Not my will but Yours...

Not as I will, but as Thou wilt. Matthew 26:39

Thy will, not mine, 0 Lord,
However dark it be!
Lead me by Thine own hand,
Choose out the path for me.
I dare not choose my lot;
I would not, if I might;
Choose Thou for me, my God;
So shall I walk aright
. Horatius Bonar

Choose but the will of God, and thou willest with His wisdom, thou choosest with His all-perfect choice; thou enterest into His counsels; thou lovest with His love. Be this our watch-word, brethren, for the Church, for those we love, for our own souls. Be this our rule in action, "not what I will, but what Thou"; this, in suffering; "not what I, but what Thou." This shall hallow our hopes; this shall hush our fears; this shall ward off disquiet; this shall preserve our peace; this shall calm anxieties; this (if so it must be) shall soothe our heart-aches; this shall give repose to our weariness; this, the deeper our trouble, shall be the deeper foretaste of everlasting peace and rest. "Lord, not what I will, but what Thou"; not what I, in my misery, and ignorance, and blindness, and sin, but what Thou, in Thy mercy, and holiness, and wisdom, and love. -- E. B. Pusey

My friend John Piper says, "God has a right to command of us things we cannot perform." This is true. I don't know many people who can look through the commands of God and think "Cake!"

"Be holy as I am holy."
"Thou shalt not covet."
"Honor the Lord's day and keep it holy."
"Thou shalt have no other god's before me."
"Love your neighbor as yourself."

I don't know about you, but I look at the first one and I'm done. I can't do it. It is against my nature and often times even against my will. But God.

God does command of us things that we cannot perform, things that even go outside of biblical commands. Commands that are personal, that are intended to make us holy as He is holy in a very specific and individual way. Commands that require us to change an attitude, a habit, our relationships, push us into an area of service, call us to walk in a manner contrary to our feelings or thoughts or wants.

[But] God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)

Whatever the command, whatever estimation we have of our ability God is able to make all grace about to us, in all things at all times. The particulars and our ability or weakness are of no account. God is able. Period. The real question is not, whether we think we are able or God is able, but who's way are we going to choose: Ours or His.

If I am honest, I have to say that mostly, I want my way. I want what I can see, what I can manage, what doesn't require waiting or suffering. That way, consequently, often does not require God. If I am honest, I would also have to say that hindsight has shown me that 100% of the time my way was not the best way. My way was also paved with fear, unbelief, anxiety and a lot of needless and pointless suffering. But His way...His way, while it may involve suffering, thorns, even darkness and stillness along the way is paved with God's goodness, truth, promises and faithfulness. And, it has proven time and time again to be the best way.

"Not my will but Yours". "not what I, in my misery, and ignorance, and blindness, and sin, but what Thou, in Thy mercy, and holiness, and wisdom, and love." (E. B. Pusey)

1 comment:

  1. Great post. It sounds like it is coming out of personal experience and triumph. The topic hits close to home for me as I have just had a daughter struggle with issues of will and she has emerged triumphantly as well. PTL!

    Thanks for the reminder.