Saturday, May 28, 2011

Where there's a will, there's a way

     Where there's a will, there's a way. I've heard this saying many many times and I think it's very prevalent in society, but to break it down I think there is even more here than we realize. I think there is a great spiritual truth that can be derived from the words, and I'm going to make an attempt, however futile, to show that here.
     Let me begin by giving a definition of the word 'will'. My 1828 Webster's Dictionary (a fantastic work, I must say) defines the word as 'That faculty of the mind by which we determine either to do or forbear an action', and I think that's a very good definition. It involves choice and determination that I'm ready to do what it takes, and my 'way' will be realized based upon my determination. There is a very real sense that all 'wills' in our lives will lead to a 'way' no matter what it is. It could be good or bad depending on the long term pattern of the choices we make.
     I always hear people asking "God, what is your will for my life?". It is the cry of many lives, and surprisingly, that's a really easy question for me to answer. From reading the Bible, the prevalent theme throughout is that God's will is a relationship with us. He wants our lives submitted to Him. He wants our obedience. "What does He want me to obey?" might be the next logical question. I would respond to that with Matthew 22:37-40 as a great start. It is Jesus' response to what the greatest commandment is.
Jesus replied, "'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important:'Love your neighbor as yourself.' The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments."
     Well then how can we love Him more? How can my entire being be submitted to loving Him? I would ask you, how did you grow to love your family? Your wife? Your husband? Most certainly you did a lot of work to cultivate your relationship. You definitely spent a lot of time getting to know that person and if your marriage is successful, you will always continue to be getting to know that person. Most marriages fail because we don't realize that it's a lifelong process. The other person begins to change and we don't continue to pursue them and soon enough, the small gap that began to form has become a chasm that can no longer be bridged. What makes us think that our relationship with God will be any different? Why do we think that we don't need to pursue Him?
     I think it's mostly because we genuinely don't want God. We aren't asking for His will in our lives, we are asking for His way. We don't want Him messing with our wills. We just want some resolution, an end result. We want the rewards and promises of God, but we don't want the relationship. We want to live in our will, and yield God's way, but it doesn't work like that. Our will only yields our way, and if you know yourself, you know that your ways aren't all that great. However, when you get in God's will you get God's way. He will guide your life on the path He wants it to be on, which is the best possible path.
     Do you struggle with needing to know God's 'way' for you? What you're really saying to Him is "God, you are not enough for me and I need to know where this is all headed because you don't bring me satisfaction." If you are in that place, you are in danger. My brothers and sisters, seek Him, seek to be in His will, and you will not only find His way for you, but you will find that His will is all you'll ever need.
     If you are truly in God's will: a submitted life to Him and obedience to His commands, then the way will no longer matter. You won't care where you are going, because you will know Him. He has more for you in a relationship with Him than He has for you in His plan for this life. If you are in His will, you have found peace and joy which surpasses all understanding. What more could we ask for than Him?
     Next time we say this saying let's specify. Where there is my will, there is my way. Where there is God's will, there is God's way. Both are certain.

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