Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Proper Response to God's Will

This morning in my devotional reading I read this from Oswald Chambers:
"It is much easier to do something than to trust in God; we mistake panic for inspiration.  That is why there are so few fellow workers with God and so many workers for Him.  We would far rather work for God than believe in Him" (My Utmost for His Highest, p. 153)

There are opposite extremes that Christians make in their relationship with God.  The first extreme is that we sit and do nothing and call it waiting on God.  I know that this is the extreme I am most guilty of doing. I will fill my life with reading, meditating, and praying to avoid what I know God has called me to do.  Why do I do this?  This is my response to the fear I experience in the face of obedience.  I justify my lack of obedience and trust in God on my dedication to hearing His voice.

The other extreme is what Oswald Chambers talks about.  It is being so fearful about what is happening around us that we decide that doing something is better than doing nothing.  Rather than waiting on God's timing we try to create our own perfect opportunity.  The classic example of this is Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar.  Abraham and Sarah's fear of being childless overtook their trust in God's timing and so they decided to give God a hand rather than to wait on His plan.

So how can we find the balance in the midst of these two extremes?  I am not really sure I have an answer for that question, but I think it would begin with daily surrendering our lives to God.  One of the passages I that I have kept coming back to is Romans 12:1-2.  In this passage the apostle Paul writes:

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (ESV).
I think part of our daily prayer needs to be a time when we surrender our lives, our bodies, as living sacrifices to God, to be used as He sees fit.  In this act of surrendering we open ourselves up to discovering God's will.  Once we understand what God's will is it will still require us to act in faith to do it according to His plan, but it does help us understand the type of response God desires us to have.

2 comments:

Liane said...

I'm familiar with both extremes... I've done both and sometimes together: first the one, then thinking that I'm doing it wrong, I start to do the other. I agree with you: surrendering daily to God and spending time with Him - I think - will help us to come closer to Him and learn greater discernment for His will in each situation as we fellowship with Him on a daily basis.

I think one other thing we do is to try and simplify things by choosing one method and wanting to apply it all the time but it doesn't work that way. We have to never stop going to Him because ever solution is as unique as each situation. We have to learn to obey His leading/wisdom day by day - indeed learning to live a surrendered life. Some great food for thought. Thanks, Paul!

Paul Steele said...

Liane thanks for sharing! I agree with your thought that we try to simplify things by choosing one method for all situations. We need to learn to walk with God through the experiences of life and allow Him to lead us.

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