Oh, to Believe It!

One of the hardest lessons each of us must learn is that it really is to our advantage to do God’s will instead of our own. Many never learn this lesson.

Using the free will God gave us, we can choose our own way in life. How easy it is to do what we want instead of what God wants!

To believe that it is truly to our advantage to do God’s will, we must believe that:

  1. God knows best. We do not. He is far wiser than we. Like a small child intent on disobedience, we fail to understand our Father’s purposes for both our immediate and ultimate welfare.
  2. God not only knows best, He asks of us only what is best for us. Doing His will may hurt (cause us pain), but doing His will can never hurt (harm) us.
  3. His way brings far greater benefits than any supposed gain we might receive from doing our own thing. “. . . whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:25).
  4. Sin means doing my will when it runs counter to His will. Obedience means voluntarily yielding my will to His.
  5. It is so easy to focus on the cost of obedience and overlook the rewards of obedience. And yet the rewards far outweigh anything we may give up in order to obey (Mark 10:28-30; Romans 8:18). God is the Great Compensator.
  6. Satan will make sin look so attractive, so glamorous, and so alluring, that I must keep reminding myself that it is all a sham, a pretense, a lie. Satan does not deliver the goods.
  7. Sin (doing my will instead of God’s) may bring me momentary pleasure (Hebrews 11:25), but sin will destroy me if I don’t repent (Romans 6:23).
  8. To repent may sound tremendously hard and unappealing, but in view of the blessings God pours out on the truly penitent, repentance must be one of the most sensible, positive things I can do for myself (Acts 3:19).

His way may not be easy, but His way is truly best.

Now if I can just keep believing that—and act accordingly.

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Where We Were Meant to Be

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Out of place

The earthworms sought relief from the rain-soaked ground—in the foyer of our church building!

One that had crawled almost to the auditorium was mostly dried up and probably dead.

Church carpets and central heat are not worm-friendly.

From an overly wet environment into an overly dry one, this worm was out of its element.

In place

What’s our element—spiritually?

The Prodigal left home in search of pleasure. But after the famine struck, home began looking mighty good!

God created us to enjoy His fellowship, but also gave us freedom to choose.

What our lower nature craves is ultimately self-destructive, and what may seem too costly is the path to supreme joy.

Within God’s will is where we were meant to be.

And the sooner we come in, the better.

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Something’s Gotta Give!

“What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?”

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This is, of course, a contradiction in terms.

My will vs. His will

But what happens when our will contradicts God’s will?

God gives us freedom to yield to His will or resist His will.

Jesus prayed to be spared the cross, but obeyed His Father’s will instead (Matthew 26:36-46).

What I think vs. what God says

And what if God’s command runs counter to common sense?

God promised Abraham many descendants through his son Isaac (Genesis 21:12).

But then He commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22).

Abraham so trusted God’s promise that he believed God could raise Isaac from the dead (Hebrews 11:17-19).

Instead, God stopped Abraham at the last moment.

What a severe test of faith! Yet Abraham obeyed.

Will we?

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God’s Will and Our Will

Do we have a choice?

I will not!” the son said when his father told him to go work in the vineyard. But later he changed his mind and went (Matthew 21:28-29).

When did he exercise his own free will? Both times: in choosing to rebel and in choosing to comply.

God has given us a free will. He pleads with us to do His will  but never forces the issue. It’s always our choice.

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Have we chosen what Jesus chose?

Jesus willingly submitted His own will to His Father’s will (John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38)—even when it meant the cross (Matthew 26:36-46).

No wonder Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven . . .” (Matthew 7:21).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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