FAITH: To know, understand, and follow God’s will
As a pastor, people frequently request that I personally pray for them. I count it an honor to pray for people and the needs important to them. Prayer and spending time with the Lord has always been a desperate need in my life and a discipline I desire to continue to understand better. I want my prayer life and prayer ministry to be what pleases the Lord, and to be interceding within Biblical truth for Christ’s kingdom and others benefit.
As I continually ponder the task and exercise of prayer, my thoughts often reflect on how Jesus taught us to pray in the Lord’s Prayer. Lately, I have specifically meditated on “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven!” As any of us desire to pray effectively and pleasing to God, we must understand Jesus’ prayer has as much focus on God as it has on the needs of humanity. The fact the focus on God comes before the focus on us should speak volumes on our perspective and approach.
God’s will seems to be something every Christian should desire to know, understand, and follow.
Paul said in Romans 12: 2 “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
So when we take Jesus’s focus on God’s will having primacy and Paul’s teaching of being able to learn God’s will by God transformed thinking, it would suggest we can indeed pray in God’s will as long as we allow God to shape our thinking. The question seems to be if as we pray, are we willing to surrender to the will, way, and timing of our Heavenly Father as we cry out to Him in prayer. The will of God, the way of God, and the timing of God are perfect and is always for not only our personal good, but for the good of His kingdom.
There are several things I am certain are in God’s will. It was God’s will for Jesus to suffer a true death, even death on the cross. I believe wholeheartedly it is God’s will for every human being to have a redemptive relationship with Jesus. “…because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
It is not God’s will for anyone to go to hell! Scripture is clear it is God’s will for humans to live in obedience to Him and for our lives to be surrendered and holy. It is God’s will for the church to be the present Jesus Christ on the earth and for the church to be used to build the kingdom as we proclaim salvation and holiness until Jesus comes again.
Within the certain will of God, there also exists His will for your personal life. We must be surrendered and engaged in the certain will of God before we become consumed with what His will contains for us personally.
However, we should never have the expectation of God’s will being what we want it to be for our personal life because we surrender to Him. God is not in the “I’ll scratch your back and your scratch my back” business. We are called to be surrendered and obedient no matter what. When we learn to become surrendered to God’s will, even if it is not what we want, we find a peace and serenity only possible in handing our lives over to Him.
We must continue to surrender, but we also must trust God is always good, even when we don’t understand or see good!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord . “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. “ Jeremiah 29:11
God has promised He will provide all the power we need in our lives to possess the blessings available from being fully devoted to His will! You are Valued and Loved, Pastor Brad
Rev. Brad McKenzie is Lead Pastor at Orange First Church of the Nazarene, 3810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Orange.