In the Garden, God was pretty clear about His will. “Don’t eat,” he said.
It didn’t take long for those first people to exert their own will instead. “Not Your will, but mine,” they said.
Whenever I look in the Bible, God’s will seems to be so easily decipherable. They knew what He said, then the decided whether or not to do it. Moses called down the plagues. Jonah was swallowed by a big fish.
Of course, those are the big players of the Bible. There are thousands of Israelites that didn’t have their search for God’s will recorded in detail. From the way those smaller guys wandered around though, I’m guessing there was a lot of cluelessness.
Like those little guys, I spend a lot of time trying to figure out God’s will because there’s rarely any writing on the wall. This job or that? This house or that? Orange juice or grape? Well, maybe not that last one.
The pursuit of His will is a good thing. We should be trying to follow Him where He leads. But, I can tell you that my pursuit of His will is not always a good thing. I’m not always looking to please God, to follow Him, or to do what would glorify Him. I’m more often looking to avoid suffering.
If I’m truly honest, I often pursue God’s will because I think if I’m doing what he wants then I will live without pain. I’m asking for God’s will because I think that if I can find His will then life will be good. You know, like if you do what’s right, you don’t get a spanking. My deep heart theology can be boiled down to a desire to avoid corporal punishment. Great.
It’s like I’ve forgotten all about the pain and suffering that just comes with living in a broken world. I’ve also snuffed out any memory of how His will contained a plan of salvation that involved incredible suffering. That first “not your will, but mine” took Christ to reverse it. As he stared suffering in the face, he said, “Not my will, but yours.”
I can get lost in thinking that if I make all the right moves then I won’t get into any trouble. I should know better than this. I couch my desire for His will in a Godly way all the while thinking God is some sort of lucky charm.
The good thing is God is bringing this in front of me. That deep heart theology that is so messed up, that we often can’t even see we’re holding, is being brought to the light. I’m learning what it means to pursue His will for Him, not my own sake.
What deep heart theologies about His will do you hold onto?