When we pray, “Your will be done” as Jesus instructed, we are relinquishing control over our lives and trusting him with our future. While we know it is the right thing to pray most of us wonder about the risk involved in such a prayer.
Would God ask us to do something different than what we desire for the future of our lives? There is certainly that possibility. Since most of us like to control our lives we would like to pray, “Do I have options and may I see them please?” God tells us to trust him, but then most of us have trust issues, so we deceive ourselves thinking our will for us is better than God’s.
Reason should tell us that the Maker and Ruler of all creation, the most detailed being in existence, who loves us unconditionally, who has fabricated his plans for us with meticulous detail, would be worthy of our complete trust. However, instead of having inner peace about what might unfold, we often experience inner conflict.
Is the struggle because we are not certain He really does have the ability to work all things together for our good? Or is the struggle because, while we are willing to trust Him for our salvation and our eternal future, we not willing to trust God with the lesser choices we make on this earth?
There are some church goers who don’t appear to really care about God’s plans. Others are too busy with “stuff” to quiet themselves before Him to hear His plans. Still others feel God exists to fulfill their personal wish list and a life free of difficulty. Sadly when difficult times come often God gets blamed for something He never did or accused of unfilled expectations to which He never promised.
Life has options, but without exception God’s promises and designs are always best even when they may not appear so while in process.
One example of this is in Acts chapter sixteen. The apostle Paul had noble and kingdom minded plans, but as his journey to glorify God unfolded his plans were overridden by God. Paul found himself confronted by unplanned diversions, at least from his point of view. Paul’s response to diversion demonstrates how we should respond when our plans our different than God’s.
Paul and his companions had planned to go to Asia, but instead were prevented by the Holy Spirit for some undisclosed reason. Then, “When they came to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.” Paul was not told why, only that he and his companions would not be allowed to go. During the night Paul had a vision of a man from Macedonia who was on his knees pleading for someone to come and help them
They went to Macedonia, and one day while praying they met a group of women by a river. One of these women, Lydia, listened to their message about salvation resulting in her entire household becoming followers of Christ.
Sometime later a young slave girl who told fortunes by demonic influence was set free by the power of God as Paul prayed for her. However, in what appeared yet another diversion, for Paul the slave owners beat Paul and his companions and had them thrown into prison.
Why would God prevent them from entering one place only to have them land in jail in another? Human logic at this point might have deduced that somewhere God’s will must have been missed, because things seemed to be less than favorable. That is the difference between our human perspective and God’s heavenly one. What we see as an inconvenience, distraction or complete waste could actually be the best possible way for something to happen.
Next week we’ll unravel the mystery as we finish this story. Until then I promise asking the heavenly Father for His will to be done in your life is always the best for your life.