I saw this church sign while riding my bike a few days ago. When I saw it a second time, it set me to thinking.

I think it's the word "fond" that grabbed me. Am I "fond" of my own will?
Yeah, sure, absolutely.

I have a few things on my mind as I type these words, including one thing regarding someone dear to me. I do indeed pray that the Lord would grant that request. So, yes, I'm "fond" of my own will.

But Jesus taught us to pray "Your will be done" (Matthew 6:10).

We can set up the matter this way:

    1. God has a will concerning my life.
    2. God's will encompasses his desires for my life.
    3. But I also have a will that encompasses my desires for my life.
    4. Those two wills will often (not always) be in conflict.
    5. When there is conflict, either God's will or my will must prevail.
    6. When I pray "Your will be done," I am asking that God's will prevail over my will.

That's the basic difficulty we face when we pray. When we ask that God's will be done, we are implicitly asking that our will be overturned, if necessary.    

p>Only one will can be done at a time. Either God calls the shots or you call the shots. Either he is in control or you are in control. It's not easy to pray like that, because it means you have to give up control of your own life.

But you aren't really in control anyway. It only seems that way. 

Over the years I've discovered that the happiest people are those who say, "I've decided to let go and let God run my life." So many of us go through life with a clenched fist, trying to control the uncontrollable, trying to mastermind all the circumstances, trying to make our plans work. So we hold tightly to the things we value—our career, our reputation, our happiness, our health, our children, our education, our wealth, our possessions, our mates. We even hold tightly to life itself. But those things we hold so tightly never really belonged to us. They always belonged to God. He loaned them to us and when the time comes, he will take them back again. 

Happy are they who hold lightly what they value greatly. 

What are you struggling with today? What are you holding on to so tightly that it almost makes your hands hurt? What is it that you are afraid to give up to God? Whatever it is, you'll be a lot happier when you finally say, "Your will be done," and then open your clenched fist.

But you'll never know till you let go.

 You can reach the author at ray@keepbelieving.com. Click here to sign up for the free weekly email sermon.