Luke 22:42 (NLT)
“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Church of the Highlands wrapped up it’s 21 Days of Prayer this past weekend. Each time I participate in a prayer focus, I enjoy meeting new people and discovering their specific reasons for being involved in corporate prayer early in the mornings. One area that seems to trump most others is that each person is trying to uncover God’s perfect will for their lives.
Pastor Chris shared a remarkable message a couple of Wednesday nights ago that I wanted to recap in this week’s verse and message that highlighted God’s will vs our will. He declared, and I have to agree, that there is nothing more exhilarating than when God shows up in our lives and our faith intersects with His faithfulness.
Pastor Chris stated that “Savior” is written 37 times in The Word. He also shared that “Lord” is mentioned 6,671 times. Most all of us, claim Him as our “Savior,” but does He really have the position of “Lord” in our lives? As Christians, there is no argument that we have a Savior….but have we fully surrendered every area of our lives to Him? It’s difficult to take that leap of faith by abandoning our own mind and reason to cross the line of true faith!
Pastor Chris outlined three choices we have when considering each step we take and the decisions we make.
1. I WANT WHAT I WANT – How many people do you know want what they want when they want it? When you pray, do you tell God what you want, or do you consider His way? Is it your way or the highway? Basically, we have all had a plan in our hearts that we want God to bless.
2. I WANT WHAT GOD WANTS “IF” – This happens when we are truly submitted in MOST areas of our lives to the Lord, but there is one area we cannot let go. We draw a line in the sand. We basically want to follow God on our own terms. In other words, we have conditions for following God’s way. We will honor it “IF” it won’t mess up our plan too bad. I have always heard it said that “partial obedience” is “disobedience.” Ponder the man with the talents…..hmmmm. The point is, we can never have God’s BEST, when we are holding onto our own will too tight. Until we release it to Him, we cannot receive in our hands His “abundantly more than we could ever hope for or imagine.” We have to trust that we don’t have to “make a deal”…..God’s got our back with the BEST behind the door He wants us to go through.
3. I WANT WHAT GOD WANTS…PERIOD! – If we can come to this place, we have arrived at a higher level of faith. However, it doesn’t stop there. This must be a consistent lifestyle of laying down our lives daily. If we cannot fully submit our ALL to Him, it’s like the sacrifice crawling off the altar. Once we buy into the concept of TRUE SURRENDER and live 100% for the LORD, He will show us more than we could ever see in our own little world. We cannot put God in a box. We must be open to His overwhelming favor and wisdom.
We have to CRUCIFY SELF by allowing ourselves to be “BROKEN” for HIM.”
“A man on His face can never fall from that position.”
We must CRUCIFY THE FLESH by giving God all of our desires and passions. Our senses have the ability to take control of our lives, so we must let the SPIRIT REIGN over the body and the soul. The key word behind this step is to bring us to a place of “HOLINESS.”
And, finally, we must CRUCIFY THE WORLD. The love of the world becomes an obstacle when we even “tolerate” worldly things. We must live in such a way that we are “SEPARATED” from things of this world. There will be a true distinction in how we appear to the world when we decide to stand up for Jesus by living and breathing His Spirit.
When we can succeed in these areas, we will then be able to find true fulfillment in living for Christ and we will have the ability (in and through Christ) to change the world.
Let’s get fired up and choose HIS WILL FOR OUR LIVES. When we choose to genuinely follow HIS WAY, we will have a renewed sense of peace and direction. We won’t fear our next step, because we know that FATHER KNOWS BEST!!
SUBMIT AND SURRENDER….
SO THAT THE SON CAN SMILE AND SHINE THE SUPERNATURAL!!