By James Holland, Sr.
Some people will change jobs, mates, homes, and friends, but they will never consider changing themselves. Our will plays a vital part in not only our lives, but also in our walk with God. The greatest crisis we will ever face is the surrender of our will. Yet, God never forces a person’s will into surrender, and He never begs. He patiently waits until that person willingly yields himself.
There is the will of man, and then there is the will of God. The will of man is carnal. This is the realm in which we most often operate. It’s our comfort zone. It is in this area that we arrive at our preconceived ideas and concepts of God, which, most of the time, are not Biblically based at all.
I want to emphasize how important our concept of God can be. The more we perceive God to be, the greater our faith in Him will be. If we are going to do what God has commanded us to do, then we must be merged into a personal oneness with God. We must have the mind of Christ about what God’s plan for our world and life is. We can only know real victory when we are seeing the will of God unfold in our lives
We are free moral agents. We have the right to make a choice. God will honor our choice, whether it is a good choice or a bad one. We need to really understand this. In fact, if man was not a free moral agent, then God would be responsible for the following: for sin; the effects of sin; rebellion; sickness; and the damnation of all men, de-mons, and angels. Many today, even in the church, believe this is true. It is a convenient train of thought because if it were true, then it would release us from responsibility. However, it is not true. We are account-able for our actions.
In Mark 16, Jesus declared that if we choose to believe and continue in that process, we, at the end, would be saved; or, if we choose not to believe, then at the end we will be damned. Why? The answer is our choice. We need to understand that God will honor our choice, even if it is the wrong choice. This is why prayer is so vital to spiritual maturity.
We had no choice about coming into this world; yet, we are totally accountable for our actions. We are commanded in Joshua 24:15 to choose God. Men let their will, which is twisted with doubt and unbelief, stand between them and God. They make statements like, “God doesn’t love me,” or “God can’t help me.” Neither of these statements is true. We let our will get in the way.
Look at the life of Moses. He saw the oppression of his people and felt certain that he was the one to deliver them, so in righteous indignation of his own spirit, he launched his first strike for God and for what was right. God allowed Moses to be driven into empty discouragement. He spent the next forty years in the desert taking care of sheep.
How many deserts have we been driven into because we did it our way instead of God’s way? You see, Moses had allowed his will to actually interfere with what God was preparing him to do. It is true that Moses had realized that he was the one to deliver the people, but he had to be trained and disciplined by God first. When we grow into spiritual maturity, we will realize that to get the optimum results, we must do the right thing at the right time. Moses was right in his perspective, but he was not the person for the work until he learned true fellowship with God. “It is not by might, but by his spirit” that the work is done. Moses, doing it his way, killed one Egyptian, yet, when he got his will out of the way and walked in God’s will, he saw the entire Egyptian army wiped out.
We may have the vision of God and a very clear understanding of what God wants, and yet, if we are not careful, we will let our carnal will take over and try to do it our own way. Thus, we will find ourselves in a wilderness of our own making. But God, in His mercy, will come to us and give instruction. Moses gave several excuses for why he had taken this action. We must remember when we let our will get in the way of what God is endeavoring to do with us, the desired results are never the results that God intended. We must allow the will of God to overflow into us and to align our will with His will that He is revealing to us. We do this by getting God’s perspective on the matter. How do we do this? By looking to His word.
The word of God is the voice of God. When our faith has a real Biblical base, and we know God’s word on the matter, it is then easy to flow with the will of God. Then, we become less vulnerable to the mind games of the enemy. Someone has said, “learn from other people’s mistakes, you will never live long enough to make them all yourself.” We need to understand that God is not intimidated by our stubbornness or by our threats. The Bible is replete with men and women who both made right choices and bad choices. Our will is powerful. We must be sure our will is submerged in God’s will for us.
The Lord brought Abraham to a place of spiritual fulfillment in Isaac. He was a type of a spiritual blessing, yet the time came when it was required of Abraham to choose between his love for God and his love for what God had given him. Talk about our will getting in the way! Just imagine the mental battle this man of faith must have engaged in, and how would he explain all of this to his family and his friends? We know that Abraham allowed the will of God to prevail. Until we are willing to do something with the Isaacs in our lives, our will shall always get in the way of the will of God.
Genesis 22:4-5 gives us the perfection of faith in the atmosphere of worship. Some of us have no doubt been guilty of doing God’s will, yet, having a bad attitude about it. When God’s children have bad attitudes, it is evidence of spiritual immaturity.
We must not be deceived. God desires to do something in our lives and in the lives of those around us. Satan, however, is busy trying to take away from us what God is releasing into our lives. Satan attacks our carnal nature, our human spirit. However, we will discuss that more later.
It is imperative that we allow God to lead us. Don’t waste time arguing with God or wrestling with what we already know God would have us do.
I never cease to be amazed how people will debate and argue or even pray about what God has already revealed to us in His word. For ex-ample, the word says we are to repent, not just talk about it. We are to be baptized, not just pray about it. We are to be filled with His spirit, not just have a conference and talk about it. Could it be we have wasted a lot of valuable time letting our will get in the way of what God has been trying to do in our lives?
Understand that if what we feel or think or want does not agree with what the word of God has to say on the matter, then we must, through prayer and study, align our will with the word of God, which is the voice of God. We must have a renewing of our minds. That is, we must develop trust in God’s word and not allow our carnal will to interfere with what God is doing with us.
We are conditioned to think that everything has to be the way we want it, or it certainly cannot be the will of God. In Second Kings 5:9-14, we read the story of Naaman and his healing and how he almost let his will prevent him from his miracle. There was also a young nameless Israeli servant girl that was in a land of not her own choosing, and around strange people she had not asked to be around. In fact, she had been yanked out of her familiar surroundings and taken away. Notice that it was she who spoke to Naaman’s wife about her master going to see the prophet. Naaman would have never received his miracle if this young lady had had a bad attitude toward God and what had happened in her life. It would seem that she was apparently in the will of God. When Naaman received his healing, it touched many lives and brought great glory to God. As long as we only do what we want, we will be self-centered, not kingdom-minded. So come on and let’s grow together into spiritual maturity. Don’t be like most people. Their mindset about matters is “Don’t confuse me with facts, my mind is made up!”
The above article “Is Your Will In the Way?” is written by James Holland, Sr. This article was excerpted from chapter one in Holland’s book The Battle For Spiritual Maturity.
The material is copyrighted and should not be repainted under any other name or author. However, this material may freely be used for personal study or purposes.