Friday, November 2, 2007

Not My Will

Not my will, but yours, be done. Luke 22:42

I’m going to stretch this verse in a little different direction. Jesus spoke these words in the garden. The decision had been made that the Father’s will would be done. There was no other way to accomplish the mission of Jesus.

Here is where my thoughts on this have drifted. We hear a lot about will power. Some people even go so far as to say that if we think something, we can accomplish it. As Christians, we deal a lot with the will. It usually goes along with a promise we make to God or someone else. “I will not do that again!”

Maybe what we need to do is give up our will and let God’s will work through us. The truth is that the only power or will power we have is through His grace and mercy. I will be much better off when I quit trying to live in my own strength.

It’s hard to let go of it sometimes. If God does it all then I can’t boast of my discipline, will power or look down my nose at brethren who can’t seem to overcome some sin in their life.

What got me thinking about this was an article I read by Chuck Colson where he quoted Lauren Winner. She explained the problem with chastity pledges and young Christians. “Pledgers promise to control intense bodily desires simply by exercising their wills. But Christian ethics recognizes that the broken, twisted will can do nothing without rehabilitation by God’s grace.”

The article goes on to say: She also rightly draws our attention to the brash individualism of such pledges. Quoting Methodist bishop William Willimon, she writes, “Decisions are fine. But decisions that are not reinforced and reformed by the community tend to be short-lived.”

The article also spoke of the lessons learned in working with prisoners, that a community of support is needed if lasting change is going to happen there and when they get out.

Here is the final paragraph: It is not easy work, but congregations must step forward to engage in the difficult work of becoming grace-filled communities that support and undergird the values central to a biblical worldview.

I like what has been said here because I am learning these things in my life. I am weak and poor. My will is not enough. I need God’s grace and power and I need my brothers and the church at large. In that there will be victory.

Philip

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