Dr. Luke shares one of the most sobering statements I have come across in a while. Tucked away in the seventh chapter of his Gospel account, he writes this about a group of people who thought they were the great repositories of God’s favor. Notice what he says: “But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves” (Luke 7:30).
You talk about cutting to the heart of the matter. Here was a group of people who were convinced they were always in the right, always steering people in God’s direction, always correct in their views. Yet Luke pulls no punches when he says that they actually “rejected” God’s will and purpose for their lives.
When I read that, my mind immediately started racing and thinking of people I know who, from my perspective, seem to be rejecting God’s will and purpose for their lives. I came up with a whole list. But then it all of a sudden dawned on me: could Luke be speaking about me? Am I in danger of rejecting the wonderful blessing that God wants to give me and He wants to give through me?
Far too often, I am afraid that the answer is “yes.” I have, for too long, embraced “Shawn’s will” and rejected “God’s will.” There are many other times when I embrace my church members’ will, or my wife’s will, or my parents’ will, or other peoples’ will, but not God’s will (though this latter experience usually loses out to the “Shawn’s will” category most of the time). But what about God’s will?
I must say, however, that recently I have felt particularly burdened about embracing God’s will, living more by His Spirit, and responding to His grace. And what a blessing it has been! I have shared a number of stories recently about this with those who have been coming to Prayer Meeting, but suffice it to say, life is a lot more adventurous, enjoyable, and satisfying when we reject our own will and embrace the will of God.
This is not to say that I have “arrived,” or that I have learned how to embrace God’s will at all times. But I am encouraged by the little victories He has already given me.
And what about you? Should we not all take a page out of Christ’s playbook when, in the Garden, He pleaded with His Father to “take” the cup from Him but ultimately relented, saying, “Nevertheless, not My will, but Thine be done” (Matthew 26:39). This is the experience Christ longs to give us.