Your Will Not Mine

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This is what it means to pray that the will of God would be done. It is the highest expression of faith to submit to the sovereignty of God. The real prayer of faith is the prayer that trusts God no matter whether the answer is yes or no. We are to come to God and tell Him what we want, but we must trust Him to give the answer that is best for us. He had come to the garden with the fear that He would have to drink the cup.

But He did it. He drank the cup to the last drop. This excerpt is taken from R. The mission, passion and purpose of Ligonier Ministries is to proclaim the holiness of God in all its fullness to as many people as possible. Your gift enables our worldwide outreach. Donate Now. Fix that problem! Ligonier Ministries The teaching fellowship of R.

Close Your Cart Loading Search Home Learn. Article Obeying God or Man? Sproul Sinclair Ferguson W. This is the less important reason because it is like thinking of a reward for doing what is our simple duty. But it is a reason, however secondary. Nowadays there is an immense misunderstanding about salvation, within that minority that still believes it to be something real.

This misunderstanding is the belief that salvation is almost automatic, our due , like an old age pension, and that one would need to do something really dramatic in order to forfeit it. None of that is true. That will not be a punishment imposed by God. She never punishes anyone.

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But She does allow us to punish ourselves. You wonder how anyone could? You see it all round you.

But the great majority reject God because they choose to worship themselves instead of God; their own will instead of Hers. They follow their desires, and persuade themselves that their desires are innocent. They may even be innocent. But they are still not Her perfect wishes as to what they should do, and become, how they should think, what they should seek to understand. All human goodness, every good intention, unselfish thought is of value. As if during our lives we were gathering savings, gathering Grace to help us on our eventual journey to Her.

But the true currency for that journey is not what we think is good, but what She knows is good. Those three are not identical.

Why is it so crucial to pray “Your will be done?”

All Her desires are for our perfection, our holiness. But since we are far from perfect and holy, Her wishes are that we allow Her to teach us how to become perfect, reach holiness.


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Her Will is different again. It is that we accept those things that we cannot understand as nevertheless being woven into Her plans for our redemption. Whether it is the Holocaust or an individual act of cruelty, She makes use of all that happens, it becomes Her Will that it should have happened, and what to us is inexplicable evil serves Her ultimate purpose. This too we can begin to understand as we listen to Her and She teaches us. Knock and it shall be opened. Ask and it shall be answered. And when the door has been opened, all the questions have been answered, what lies beyond, in the depths of the silence?

The passionate surrender of all that you are, your self. This is the mysterious destination where all else leads. To cease to be you , separate from God, but to lose your self in God. This is the ultimate terror for each of us, to cease to be me , that precious self that is unique, different somehow from every other self. How can we let go of it, surrender it to God? Cease to be you. What will be left of us?

Will we be lost for ever in Her immensity? Who can tell? And yet, Beloved, dearest of Ladies, dearest God, let me make this last surrender. Take me. Will it be agony? Beyond all agonies. All the pains of death. And in the pain the sweetness of that surrender.

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Love beyond all love. Until there is only love, only passion, passionate surrender to Her, the Beloved. The two questions, how may I serve You, and what must I do to be saved are really the two sides of the same question, because in obeying and serving God you are saving yourself, or that part of your inner being that is worth saving.

Much more than what you should do, you and I and everyone need to learn what we need to become. You cannot, or at least should not, set out to do anything before you learn how.

If It Be Your Will

If you want to cook good meals, you need to become a good cook. If you want to heal the sick you need to become a doctor, of one kind or another. What does that attempt involve? First, before all else of course, listening. Every servant must listen to her Master, his Mistress. Then, hearing. And patience , as we wait to hear, wait on Her decision to speak to us. Before you object too strongly to the suggestion that you may not know what is really good, remember the ancient saying, that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. To take one example, Christian missionaries in the South Seas forced their converts to wear clothes.

Of course they must! The shame of nakedness! It must be an offence to God, quite apart from being an offence to the female missionaries. But wearing wet clothes after a rain storm brought on colds, pneumonia, and eventually tuberculosis. In Africa, Christian insistence that polygamy was sinful left numberless African women destitute when their husbands embraced monogamy and expelled their younger or secondary wives from their protection.

Generous First World aid to the Third Word includes a catalogue of disasters; enterprises that did immense harm instead of the intended good. Beyond the generalities of the Ten Commandments we can never be sure what is really good, unless and until God tells us it is. Therefore we must listen with completely open minds to whatever She may choose to tell us. But here must come the strongest of warnings. Although we cannot know for certain what is good, we must never blindly accept what She tells us is good.

She may be tempting us to forego the use of our own faculties of reason and conscience. We need to become certain that what She tells us to do or believe is truly what She wishes.

Preparation

If something arouses our suspicion, offends our intelligence or conscience, we must question Her further. We need to ask Her to explain. And in doing so to inform our consciences….

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What God means by an informed conscience is one that is informed by Her teaching. And that we receive that by asking questions of Her, and striving to understand Her answers. A simple example is that of the missionaries in the South Seas. They would have been complacently sure that these converts must wear some clothes, but perhaps not this exact design? When God replied, as She would have done, that they should leave the women and men to go naked, as they always had done in their innocent paganism, the missionaries would have been outraged, certain that an evil spirit was intervening, that perhaps it never had been God speaking to them, but instead it had been the Father of Lies, seeking to mislead their Evangelical piety!

But if — and of course it is an enormous IF — they had had the humility to ask further questions, and the intelligence to receive and understand the answers, She would have explained that what the missionaries wanted to do was simply wrong. It was physically destructive, leading to illness and eventually death, and spiritually valueless. A naked body, in a warm, generous climate, is not in the least shameful. The evil is in the prurient imagination of the observer.


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