SRT-Lent2015_instagram30I really do prefer things my way.  Honestly, I think I am mostly right and my ideas are good, so why not do it my way.  Right?

I remember telling a friend -as we discussed a difference in parenting styles. -if I thought the way I did it was wrong, don’t you think I would change?

Then I look at Jesus and see that His way was always in tune with God’s will and suddenly my posture shifts.

It isn’t about what I think is the right  or preferred way.

It isn’t what my friends think is the right way to do or be – Nope.

It is  about God’s way, God’s will for me.

Living in a Christ like way is living by what God says.

And that is a huge can of worms to open up!

There are so many interpretations, opinions, so many meanings, explanations and rules for what God says, wants, or means.

I can get tangled up in all the discussion and distracted trying to figure out what exactly is right, wrong or God’s will in general.

All this figuring out and “whose side are you on” keeps me from focusing on what is really  important.

Rather than have a theological debate about all the details,  I wonder if the point is that Jesus knew what God’s will was and the real question in the Garden of Gethsemane was the battle to follow it…  Would Jesus surrender and do what He knew was God will for him?

That I can wrap my mind around.

There are times when  God’s will is crystal clear:

Love your neighbor: Don’t gossip, judge but offer help to those in need, even if it is uncomfortable.

Love God: Be willing to live in the tension of the mess in this world and trust that God is up to a bigger story- which means resisting the temptation to indulge in some sort of relief chasing endeavor- TV, shopping, workaholism, volunteer-aholism, food-alolism, smother motherhood- pick your favorite way to deaden the pain and discomfort of life.

Love yourself: as God does, so that is a tough one sometimes.  But practicing kindness and self compassion, saying what God says about me is a  start.

Honestly, I know when I am resisting being obedient to God’s will.  When I want to do it my way because it feels easier in the moment, makes more sense or is something I can control.  Not doing so in these moments is wrong – plain old sin.  I feel it in the pit of my stomach or my heart races knowing this is not the right thing – the Spirit is speaking – warning, reminding and coaxing me sacrifice my will for God’s oh so much better and wiser and Perfect Will.

And maybe that’s the point for us today as we read Jesus’ words, “Not my will, but Your will God.”

Not one of my favorite things to say sometimes. Even when I know in my gut, God’s way is the better one.

But what if we spoke and acted on Jesus words: “Not my will, but Your will God.”

  • What if we just focused on that – doing what we know to do and let the rest of the uncertainties go.
  • What if we started following God’s will, as we understand it and trusting God to let us know when we need to change course or do something different?
  • What if we let go of our way, our will when we know in our hearts it is in opposition to God’s way or will?

How would that change us, shape us and ultimately draw us closer to God.

This was a hard one for me to write today.  I had so many different posts started and ultimately decided on this one.  I have lots more to say about “the Cup,” the Garden, surrender and sacrifice.  But this is where I will leave it today.

I am curious to hear your thoughts about God’s will and how clear it was to Jesus, in contrast to how clear it is to you at times.  I wonder if you struggle like I do or if you have found a place of rest in this turmoil. So please share you thoughts and let’s chat.

She Reads Truth: Day 30

 

 

4 Responses to “I’ll have it “my way.””

  1. Linda

    Definitely my theme song, ‘My Way” and the single biggest struggle throughout the course of this life. Honestly, before I became more intentional I can attest that I thought I was right, had the answers (because I had considered it, studied it, ‘knew’ it) and trusted my own sense to be sure. At an early age I intentionally extended the ability to persuade to an end that caused my little 5 year old self to know how powerful and potentially devastating was that power. At that moment I knew that I would suffer far worse than my ‘victim’ if I used that power in a negative way. Not to say that I never again exerted my will over another’s–but, when I did, I suffered the consequences of guilt and regret.
    I also learned that the perception that I knew what I was doing or saying, without my conscious delivery of willfulness, could be equally as powerful. Whoa! Better watch my words, actions and even thoughts. A bit heady, huh? Easy to claim that power as mine. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Just as wrong as believing that because I think it so, it is God’s will.
    I have learned that even if my motivations are right and in accordance with what I perceive to be God’s will, sometimes it just isn’t so.
    I have learned that I can be right and wrong, at the same time.
    I have learned that I am not in control and that is a good thing. Far better to leave control in God’s hands. I’m human, fallible and weak; He is God.
    I have learned that intentional discernment isn’t easy or fast. (Hard for quick decision makers.)
    I have learned that wanting doesn’t make it God’s will.
    I have learned that there is are physical consequences to willfulness.
    I have learned that sometimes God calls me to do things I don’t want to do and be with people I would rather avoid.
    I have learned that sometimes I misunderstand God’s will.
    And, I have learned that sometimes God gets a good laugh from my stumbling and confusion, especially when I take myself too seriously.
    I have learned to be–most of the time!
    And when I forget or get too caught up in my own version of His will, He will correct and redirect me. Sometimes it isn’t pretty!

    Reply
    • Susie Miller

      Wise words from a wise woman.
      I like the comment about intentional discernment not being easy or fast. – requiring great wisdom, you so eloquently express!
      Thank you Linda!!

      Reply
  2. Jen

    If only I had those words whispering inside all the time “god’s will not mine”..,.. Today was a perfect example… I told my daughter to be ready and waiting for me to pick her up to go to her appointment. I pull up thinking we have an understanding, I walk inside only to find out she is in the shower. Our appt is 10 really 15 minutes away and there is only 20 minutes until she needs to be there. Well I gently exploded ( or not so gently) I proceeded to use my outdoor voice and took away her tv time. After calling her a 2nd time, my blood already boiling …glares were exchanged, doors were slammed as she pleaded she was only trying to get it done without being asked..as we were driving listening to 91.9, I heard the words slow to anger.,, what happened to slow to anger, it wasn’t really that bad and that was quite the greeting I gave her after not seeing her all day. That was my way., my way of dealing with it not God’s. How I stumble with this one….time for another sticky note…

    Reply
    • Susie Miller

      Jen,
      This is a tricky one. Disobedient children try our patience and while I agree that yelling isn’t a good option, being frustrated and angry is reasonable. God was angry at our willful disobedience and disregard for His instructions. Disappointment in your daughters lack of planning and timing to heed your instructions IS reasonable.

      I think how we handle our anger is the deeper question and often by the time I was yelling at my kids, there was a whole lot of anger built up inside that came out when the proverbial straw broke the camels back- i.e. more volume and intensity than the situation called for. That was where I blew it and began to lean to deal with things on the front end. I am a huge believer in natural consequences too. Just a few thoughts to temper your frustration with yourself and offer a different perspective.

      Reply

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