Monday, August 1, 2016

Choosing the Will of God

   Hello readers! Today, I want to talk to you about God's will. How willing are we to follow the will of God and to choose it over other things? Even Jesus had to acknowledge His Father's plan and follow His will. But how do we do this?

And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed,
saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.
And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. ~ Luke 22:41-44

   Jesus separated himself from His friends. We don't like to separate ourselves from our friends and family. It's human nature to crave connection with those around us, even with things of the world. But if we really want to seek out God's will for ourselves, separation from the world is required and sometimes, separation from our friends and family is necessary. Are we willing to separate ourselves from the people and things that can distract us from God? I'm not talking about becoming a hermit, never interacting with anyone ever. But when you need to seek out God and His will, do you distance yourself from the distractions and take the time to worship the Lord and pray for an answer? Luke 5:16 says "So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed." Like Jesus, we need to understand the importance of separation from everything else to pray.

   Jesus recognized that He had to give up His own will to follow His Father. Here's something we don't like to do... give up our plans for someone else's. But here's the main thing: it's not our plan for either someone important in our lives or not. This is our plans for God's plans. To some people, this might not make a difference. "Why would I want to follow someone else's idea of what I should do for my life?" "They don't know me." "They don't know what I want or what I'm good at." "They don't care enough for me to take their advice." That's the thing. God knows what's best. He knows you. He knows what you want or what you're good at because He made you. He cares more about you than you may think. God only wants good things for us. Does this mean that His plan will be smooth-sailing, sunshine-filled, roses-along-the-path kind of life? No, but we'll get to that next.

   Jesus did not give up even as the struggle became harder. I'm sure you've heard that things will almost always get worse before they get better... well, even as Christians, this can be very true. When struggles get hard, we often want to take the easy way out which is usually to just give up. But God calls us to something more than that and He empowers us to continue on. Even Jesus knew when the struggles were harder that He had to keep going and He held on to the promises of His Father. Isaiah 46:4 says "Even to your old age, I am He, And even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver you." No matter what the trial we face, even after we have surrendered our will to the Father's, we can rest in the promise that the Lord will carry us. 

   Does following God's will require great personal sacrifice? Yes. But it is His will for us and He will sustain us through. May this small thought be an encouragement to each of us to surrender ourselves daily to the perfect will of our Heavenly Father. 

~ Abby

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