Are We Too Fond of Our Own Will?
Dr. Ray PritchardDr. Ray Pritchard is the president of Keep Believing Ministries, in Internet-based ministry serving Christians in 225 countries. He is the author of 29 books, including Stealth Attack, Fire and Rain, Credo, The ABCs of Christmas, The Healing Power of Forgiveness, An Anchor for the Soul and Why Did This Happen to Me? Ray and Marlene, his wife of 39 years, have three sons-Josh, Mark and Nick, two daughters-in-law--Leah and Vanessa, and four grandchildren grandsons: Knox, Eli, Penny and Violet. His hobbies include biking, surfing the Internet, and anything related to the Civil War.
- 2010 May 29
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.
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
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.