This question was posed in a sermon I was watching online recently: “Why in the world would we pray for God’s will then not participate?” It was such a great question worth thinking about, worth posing to myself and to you the reader. Not just posing the question, but looking for the answer from ourselves, which is always answered by our actions, not by our words.
Guilty…guilty…guilty…I have been so guilty of praying for God’s will at times and then…stubbornly and pridefully saying to myself and to God…”Really? Are you sure? Not me?…You must have meant………….” Yep…don’t know if any bells are ringing in your heart or head, but the instant I started to apply this question to myself….even recently, I was convicted.
Was I guilty? Yes….Did I wallow around and let guilt overtake me….? No..…thankfully, I have grown so much in my walk. I have learned the best way to deal with being convicted of a wrong choice, motive or action, or being guilty of something is to quickly repent. Seek forgiveness and then get off the “sofa,” which to me means not to think or say, “I’ll try,” but to intentionally get on the track of “I will” and take action.
Delayed obedience is total disobedience.
It has taken me too many years to realize God’s time and promptings are significant in our lives. When we take the stance of “wallowing in guilt,” becoming stuck as the “victim” or have the mind set of “I’ll try”, or “I’ll pray about it”–which can be an excuse to forget and not participate–then we miss God’s perfect timing for His perfect Will. I have come to realize that God has specific things He has created us to do, set aside for me/you…If we choose not to participate? I have realized it was ME that missed out…
God doesn’t need any of us in order to accomplish His sovereign will, but He desires for us to participate and receive the blessings, which can be manifested in hundreds of ways:
a teachable moment,
a new friendship,
someone meeting Jesus,
a life saved,
participating in someone’s healing,
someone meeting their spouse,
and the list goes on and on.
What I have discovered is that if I just drop my hands, pray for God’s will and not mine… and then PARTICIPATE….trusting Him…then wow, wow, wow… is all that I can say. I certainly don’t know all that I have missed in my lifetime by praying and then not participating, but I am sure it is a lot. So much so that I don’t think I want to know, but what I can say for sure……is this….
I have had a tune up…..meaning…my ears, eyes and mostly my heart…are refreshed in Christ….praying for His will….consciously and fitfully dropping my hands at times, waving the white flag….surrendering my will and wants to His will….what a glorious time I have had…in the midst of living His will His way.
There have been storms….losing my mother, losing a dear friend, watching my children endure some of the greatest hurts so far in their lives, and a personal emotional struggle. I have had to roll up my sleeves and do the hard work of digging deep in my soul for what I like to call a “Sabbath rest” or “healing”. All the while experiencing great God moments, divine appointments that I recognized because I was tuned into God and clucking along as His “chick!” No pun intended.
I like thinking of myself as God’s chick! Yes, a chick sold out for Christ doing His will His way! Even when the life storms rage, in the midst of the storm…..God is there and His will marches on…He can use all things for His good and ours…even when the skies are dark…I have learned to praise Him, no matter what, in the midst of the storm and to never stop participating in His will.
Satan’s plan is for us to stop….to throw whatever he can our way to stop us “cold turkey,” to deceive us into thinking God doesn’t care or God can’t! We all need to understand we are the ones who put limits on God! WE want it our way instead of relinquishing our “finite minds” to the infinite mind of Christ. In Jeremiah 32:17 the writer states, “Ah sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.” I now own the truth that Jeremiah wrote about…..God is capable, has strong arms and can do anything.
In Psalm 107 the psalmist writes of great struggles. Each time the Lord delivered. Look at verses 24-31, “They saw the deeds of the Lord, his wondrous works in the deep. For he commanded and raised the stormy wind,…their courage melted away in their evil plight;…and were at their wits’ end. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!”
Does it sound like they were confident in participating? Or trusting? Not totally. Yet, God had a purpose. He was/is steadfast.
His ways aren’t our ways….Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
I encourage you, don’t miss out on the God moments He has planned for you…..there are blessings awaiting….unwrap the gift. In order to do that, we must participate in His will….leaving our will….behind!