Not My Will
"For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;" Colossians 1:9-10
I have gone through phases in my life in which I felt I was at a crossroads, and I did not know which way to go. There were times when I knew one way would lead to destruction, but there were other times when both ways appeared to be equally good or equally bad. The first major crossroad I faced was when I was approaching graduation at age 18. I went to school with some who were highly motivated, while there were many others who seemed to have no plan at all. I fell somewhere in the middle, but it was clear to those closest to me that I did not have any real plans beyond high school. I was not the greatest student, which clouded my pathway even more as the world of academia did not automatically open up to me.
I graduated high school in 1994, and I had no clue of what I was to do next. I was decent at cutting grass, but this was not the path I wanted to pursue. I thought of all the things I could do, but none seemed to speak to me. My old pastor gave me Proverbs 3:5-6 which states, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." These verses opened my eyes to what God would do in my life, but I seemed to forget the key part to trust in the Lord with all of my heart. I did trust Him partially, but I also leaned heavily on my own limited understanding. I always thought in terms of what I wanted to do, but forgot to consider what God wanted me to do. When I was young, it was the Dallas Cowboys, Phoenix Suns or bust, and I definitely busted on those two choices.
Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane in Luke 22:42, "Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." Jesus clearly laid out for us an example of what we are to do in our life, but I never considered God much in my plans as I was filled with myself. Oftentimes, my dreams and ambitions were not balanced with the prayer of, "Not my will but thine, be done." I headed down the path that I desired to be on, and it led me to a lot of dark places in my life. I seemed to be fine, but I was unhappy as I was much like Jonah running from what God wanted me to do. I was pleasing self, but failing in all aspects of godliness in my life. I was not surrendered to God's will, but I was instead surrendered to my own will and not pleasing my Heavenly Father.
As I read these verses, it is convicting to me to not seek my own will but to instead seek what God would have me do. Paul told the church at Colossi that his prayer for them was that they would do the will of the Father. He desired that they would be filled with God's perfect will for their life in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. He did not pray that they would be successful as the world would consider success, but he desired that they would have a real walk with God and that would be pleasing to Him and fruitful in all that they did for the Lord. I look back to my own life, and wonder what God would have done through me if this was the prayer I had prayed for myself. I did not pray to be filled with all wisdom and spiritual understanding, and as a matter of fact, I did not pray at all. I did not walk worthy of the Lord, and I was not fruitful because I was not connected to the will of the Father.
Where are you today friend? Do your dreams, goals and ambitions line up with the will of God? Is your desire to be filled with the knowledge of His will, or does your will supercede what God would have for you? Are you walking worthy of the Lord? Are your ways pleasing to Him? If He were to return for His children today, would you be excited or would you be filled with regret and ashamed at His coming? May our prayer be that we increase in the knowledge of God and that we walk worthy of our Lord. There is nothing wrong with dreams, goals, and ambitions, but if they are not with what God would have for us, then we must not pursue them. What will your prayer be today? Will it be “bless and grant everything I want” or will it be, "Not my will, but thine be done."
Stay in the fight!