A Battle of Wills

Posted June 30th, 2007 by Kent and filed in devotional

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 NAS)

Do you respond to God’s direction, even when you don’t understand what’s going on?

Part of the strength God gives you to “do all things through him” is the ability to choose to do his will, even before you know the full implications of what that means. He will begin to change your “wanter,” developing within you more and more of a ‘want’ to do his will.

But this is where we often stall in our steps toward being more like Jesus. We get into a battle of wills with God, wanting him to reveal his plan first, and only then – when we have a full understanding of his plan – will we decide to respond, or not.

But that has us walking by sight, and not by faith, the exact opposite of how God teaches us to walk: “We live by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Am I willing to decide – in advance – that I will do what God asks me to do, no matter what it is? Am I abandoned to him and his will, believing he will strengthen me to do all the things he asks? Or do I behave as if I believe I am the final judge of what is best for my life: “God, show me the whole plan, wait for me to understand, and then I’ll decide whether or not to do what you ask.”

The Good News is that, even if you’re not ready for immediate obedience, God will give you strength to be honest with him. He already knows about your hesitancy, so he won’t be surprised by prayerful confession, such as: “Father, I’m not sure I’m ready to do your will. I don’t know if I want to do it or not.”

Yet God is gracious and patient. Tell him, “I don’t know that I’m willing to step out in faith without first knowing everything that’s going to happen, but I’m willing to be made willing.”

So what?

· Build your confidence in God – Each time you take a step of faith, your confidence in God will increase, as you see that he is waiting for you on the other side of your decision.

· Polaroid vision – Each time you take a step of faith, God will reveal more of his plan to you. It’s what Rick Warren calls “Polaroid vision:” You can see God’s picture developing, but not all of it is visible right away.

· Grow into God’s vision – You may be frustrated that God hasn’t shown you the whole picture of his vision for you, but he may be holding it back because he knows you will be overwhelmed by what you see. He’s calling you to a God-sized mission, one that will appear impossible for you to complete. But that’s the point – there’s no way you can fulfill your mission without God and his strength working within you.

· Relax in God’s will – If you think discovering and following God’s will depends entirely on you, then you’ll probably start getting nervous, wondering, “Am I taking the right step here? Have I missed something?” God doesn’t need you to figure it all out; he’ll provide the answers as you need them.

By Jon Walker

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