I’m a particular individual and those who know me best know that I am like things just so. I make plans, I set goals, and I generally do my best to follow them to fruition. Sometimes though, I don’t get what I want, and I am ultimately forced into a circumstance I’d rather avoid. We have all been there. What though is a believer to do when all they really want to say is, “No, I don’t want to!”?
We have looked quite a bit lately at those uncomfortable situations believers sometimes find themselves in. Fear and doubt. Tests and trials. Now, let’s consider the fact that oftentimes it is our preferences and plans that pit us against the will of God.
There are a number of accounts in the Bible where man’s efforts and desires run contrary to what God would have instead. Consider the account of the Fall, for instance. In the midst of a perfect world, an existence of unbridled beauty and harmony all in the presence of God, Eve was tempted by the Serpent to sin. She chose to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and in doing so led Adam to do the same. In their decision they chose to supplant God’s authority with their own, and because of it we all now bear the stains of their indiscretion. Time and again we see the same kind of thing: when men obey their whims instead of God’s will, consequences are to be had.
Conversely, those who follow God, who obey His instructions, who go in spite of their own desires, they ultimately reap the benefits of a job well done.
In the book of Acts, Chapter 9, we read about the famous Damascus Encounter, where Saul, a violent and dogged persecutor of the early Church, had a fateful meeting with Jesus. Blinded and weakened, he was told by the Lord to get to town and simply wait. At the same time, the Lord came to another believer, Ananias, instructing him to go to Saul and lay his hand upon him, restoring his sight. Ananias, having heard of the hardships Saul had cast upon Christians, questioned God, essentially saying, “Did I hear you correctly, Lord?” The order reiterated, Ananias obeyed diligently, going to where Saul himself was obeying, waiting as he had been told to do. In the event that unfolded, Saul received not only his sight, but his salvation through Christ, and ultimately went on to become one of the great pillars of the early church, even writing the majority of the New Testament!
Sometimes obeying the Lord’ will isn’t as easy as what we would prefer. We question it, we argue with it, or we even deny it, but in the end it’s a whole lot better to do what we have been called to do, for in doing so we play a role in something far greater than we could ever achieve alone.
“When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” – Proverbs 16:7
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