Three attitudes to God's will
"... The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will ..." (v.14)
Another condition of continuing peace in the heart of a Christian is this -- joyful abandonment to the Father's will. There are three main attitudes to the will of God found among believers. Some resign themselves to God's will, some rebel against God's will and some rejoice in God's will.
Those who resign themselves to it are the people who, having been caught up in some trouble or difficulty, fail to see that divine love and wisdom are at work, redeeming every situation and turning it to good -- hence their hearts are filled with irritation and resentment. Eventually they get over it and by grace resign themselves to the will of God. They are not happy at what God has allowed, but they resign themselves to "putting up with the inevitable." One hears them say in half-hearted and grudging tones: "Well, I'm resigned to it now." But resignation is not a full Christian grace; beneath it lies an unconquered and unsubmissive spirit.
Others, as we said, rebel against the will of God. These are the people who don't just "put up with the inevitable" but take up arms against God and let Him know that they do not believe He is working in their best interests. Over the years I have met many Christians like this. They do not bring out the rebellion they feel toward God in their conversations with other Christians or even in their public prayers, but it is quietly suppressed and can break out at any time. Such people never enjoy the peace of God because, quite simply, they have never truly believed that divine love and wisdom can turn all things to good.
O Father, Your Word is plowing deep into my life today. Help me to face up to what Your Spirit is saying to me. I don't just want my attitudes to be challenged; I want them to be changed. Change me, dear Lord -- into Your image. Amen.
For Further Study
1. How should we carry out the will of God?
2. How are you carrying out the will of God?