Monday, April 14, 2014

When God's Will Is Difficult

One of our cultures greatest weaknesses is our unwillingness to deal with anything that makes us uncomfortable.  We seek out friendships, voices, activities that reinforce what we already want to believe and do.  Challenges are just too.....challenging.  A common refrain is that we want people to just accept us just as we are.  Which is itself a philosophy built upon the premise that the way we currently are is perfectly fine and acceptable.  Of course there are other people who should change, but not us, we are just fine.

This has bled deeply into the American Christian identity.  We proof text scripture to affirm ourselves.  Jesus is bent and twisted to conform to fitting into a that "celebrates" whatever it is we already have decided in our hearts to do.  Or, we just ignore Him all together and pursue whatever it is we want. 

The will of God is a difficult thing to grasp and pursue.  Often, we falsely assume the will of God is that we are to be "happy".  And if things fall outside of that spectrum we claim to be following the will of God by jettisoning it.  As a 30 something year old Pastor I can tell you of multiple stories of people, who claim to be Christian, who are leaving/left their spouse because they weren't "happy".  And since God clearly WANTS them to be happy, it is God's will that they abandon their vows.....

When did God's will become a tool to achieve personal happiness???

There is something very interesting when you study the immediate effects of following God's will in Scripture; It is really difficult and often unenjoyable.  Perhaps you can set me straight, but I cannot think of an event in the Bible where following the Will of God led to some sort of immediate personal satisfaction and "happiness".  Paul followed God's will to great personal trials.  Abraham gave up comfort to follow after God to a place he knew nothing about.  Jesus submitted to the Father's will, even to the death.

"Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done" 
            - Matthew 26:42

Even Jesus, when seeing what the immediate experience of following God's will was, prayed for another path. 

Following God's will is never easy.

But it is always worth it.  It is always the best.

Catch this important line in this passage, "if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it..."  God's will was deeply rooted in dealing with a deep problem.  Sin.  Sin had to be dealt with.  It had to be defeated.  And the cup of God's wrath that Jesus is referencing had to be drunk.  Either by Jesus, or, by us. 

And that is the beautiful thing about God's will for us.  What He calls us to isn't pointless and without immeasurable value.  It is the exact perfect and right answer to our problem.  If Jesus had not submitted to God's will, as difficult as it was to follow, the beauty of salvation would not be ours.  Sin would not be defeated, death would have the final triumph. 

When you think about God's will in your life, are you willing to drink whatever it is that He has for you?  Or do you only want that which gives you what you want?  God's will is what will lead us to the beauty that our hearts ache for.  But it is often a path that is much more difficult than what selfishness and shortsightedness desires. 

Are you looking for just right now, or, for always?

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