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Man praying on a beach about God's will

Not My Will

There are times when we desire something different to what God wants.

Jesus was perfect and sinless, but He also had times of desiring something different to what His Father’s plan required of Him. At times, Jesus had a conflict of wills with His Father. Now this might sound wrong and terrible, but I need you to keep on leaning in with me.

By its very definition, a conflict of wills simply means ‘opposing desires’. Let’s look at this well-known verse: Luke 22:42 (NIV) “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Jesus always wanted to please His Father, and spiritually He wanted to do His Father’s will, but He had moments where naturally He wanted to do something different.

Jesus wouldn’t have said, “Not My will” If His will was to do what His Father was asking Him to do. This is not something metaphoric; Jesus desired something different to His Father in this moment. What does this mean for us? Jesus had to submit His will to His Father’s will, which means, there were moments when His will was different to His Father’s will. We want a removal of an opposing desire, but as we see from Jesus’ example, it is about submitting an opposing desire and saying NO to it, and about saying “Yes” to our Father’s desire. Oh how this is so important to see clearly!

Too many times the enemy who is a thief throws accusations at us to do with opposing desires to God’s will. Our struggle is “How could I want that if I love my Father!” Jesus wanted something different (an easier, less painful way) to what His Father required. Sure, we put degrees on it and say, “Yeah, but that wasn’t a temptation to sin; a desire to do the wrong thing”.

No, in this case it wasn’t a desire to do something wrong…or was it? Isn’t sin ‘missing the mark’? And isn’t ‘missing the mark’ simply doing something different to Father’s perfect will? If so, Jesus was tempted to sin in this moment, just like you and I are tempted at times. It might look different, but at its core, it is an opposing desire to Father’s will; that is a temptation to sin.

And this was not the only time Jesus was tempted to sin.

Today I want to encourage you to not condemn yourself for being tempted with an opposing desire to God’s desire. It’s what you do with that desire that is the important thing.  Having an opposing desire to God’s plan is not the problem! This is what temptation is, and temptation is not wrong. Giving into the opposing desire is the problem!

Lucifer had an opposing desire to God’s plan, and he gave into it. Adam & Eve had an opposing desire to God’s plan, and they gave into it. King David had an opposing desire to God’s plan, and he gave into it. Peter has an opposing desire to God’s plan, and he gave into it. You and I have opposing desires to God’s plan, and sometimes we give into them.

Jesus had opposing desires to God’s plan, but He never gave into it! “Oh, but Steve, that was easier for Jesus because He was perfect and He was the Son of God.” Jesus wrestled so much that He sweated drops of blood; this is how anguished He was over His decision and what was required of Him!!!!

The truth is, you and I can always say YES to God and NO to temptation. Like you, I don’t “feel” like I can, but that’s not the truth of God’s Word. Not my will, but God’s will.

Read more about surrendering to God when we need to trust and let go in the seasons of life.

Man on rocky cliff thinking about difficult decision

The Hard Decisions

There are times in our lives when we have to make some very difficult decisions. Sometimes, in obedience to a very clear word from the Lord, we have to make decisions that tug at our emotions and defy our logic.

The challenge in such times is to not to look at personalities and circumstances, or even the human evidences that present themselves. The very simple answer is that Father sees aspects of the future that we do not. He not only sees His intention for you but for each individual involved. It comes down to trust. There are times in all of our lives that we must simply trust the One who is directing our ways and to Whom we have given that unconditional right.

When our decisions (no matter how hard) are the fruit of obedience, there will always be an abundance of grace for each one affected by that decision. It has been truly wonderful for me to see the Grace-filled responses from people over decades now who have been confronted with the need for change that they could not at that time see the reason for. No bad attitudes, no reactions. Just a wonderful commitment to continue as true friends of Jesus and their brethren, trusting Fathers wisdom as He now writes a new chapter.

The truth is, that no one can take a step of faith and obedience without that step leading to a season of increased fruitfulness. That, I know, will be the outcome for each of you now in that moment of decision. We already celebrate with you in the anticipation of that which Father will now do for you.

My friends, I trust that this will encourage you to trust in the times of your difficult decisions.

One thing is totally predictable: Our Father is always motivated for our good and always working to a strategic plan to reveal His faithfulness to us. Let’s continue to trust Father in the midst of the hard decisions.

A significant mountain range

Significance

Do you know that you are significant? That’s right: you are significant to God. Do you also know that God wants you to do something significant with your life? Significance speaks of substance and weight; it is about meaning, worth, importance, and impact… your life is significant.

You might say “Steve, that’s just not possible. You don’t know my situation. My family life is challenging and I don’t have any special gifts. I simply don’t have the opportunity and arena to be significant. I love God but my life will never be significant”. There are some of you that honestly feel that but I have some good news for all of us.

It all depends how you measure significance. Most of the time our thought of significance is doing something amazing! People might do something amazing and it might be significant, but it may also be insignificant in terms of importance and eternal value. True significance is measured by our obedience to what God asks us to do. This is great news for a couple of reasons:

  1. We can all hear from God, and we can all obey Him.
  2. God knows about my current situation and He knows what we are capable of.

Today, here is a good question we can all ask.
“God what would you like me to do with my life that is significant?” Then listen and obey. God might ask you to pray, to encourage, to give, to go, to listen, or to share. He may ask you to simply love your family and give to them sacrificially. Father might speak to you about changing direction or persevering in the same thing. If God asks you to do something and you do it, then that is significant!

Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”

We don’t need to be important before others; let’s measure our significance according to God’s direction and our obedience.