Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Struggle of the Will of God

Recently it struck me once again how challenging that finding the will of God can be. I can remember not too long ago how that there seemed to be a much more desperate search for God’s approval in the choices that people made that really affected the whole direction of their life. Decisions such as career choices, job transfers, choice of a spouse, and certainly a direction for ministry were deemed as crucial moments that would need the utmost approval of God.

I can remember reading in numerous biographies of those great men who accomplished something for God, the near state of spiritual angst that went with finding the will of God. One particular man wrote of very rapid spiritual growth that took place in his life but that spiritual growth was accompanied by an intense struggle to find the will of God. After the agonizing internal battle, he left to study for the ministry at a Bible school. In the process of doing this, he left an elite college to which he had a full scholarship to cover all of his expenses. His family was wholeheartedly opposed to this and expressed great concern that he was wasting his future. He went on to have a very fruitful ministry.

Our days seem to have left those things of inner spiritual struggle which are deeply thought through, earnestly prayed out, and allowing the Word to direct our choices. Maybe we are too busy and not given to much thought as to whether or not God approves what we are about to do. But the reality is that this inner tension is what seemed to mark some of the greatest of God’s men. The greatest longings of life are those things which are godly, righteous, and spiritual in nature. The hunger of the heart will never be substituted with anything less than God’s will being fulfilled in your life.

The servant of God has to go through the experience of things before he can make a study of those paths he had to take. How often have you endured struggles and trials and then looked back to gather the sweetness that came from the struggle? Honey came out of the lion’s carcass for you just as it did for Samson. There is a discipline of life and spirit that God uses to harness the great spiritual power of the soul. A few points about this process might help.


First, you will usually travel alone. In the dark hours of this decision, it generally will be a solitary place. Our society is so connected now that it is often frightening for us to get to a place where we are alone with the voice of the conscience. Most of this struggle will be hidden away somewhere from the prying eyes of the curious. The benefit of this comes when we discover and find great dependence on God.

Second, you will have to make some trade-offs.
They will generally be clear to you but very difficult to embrace. You will know of anointing instead of acceptance. You will experience ostracism instead of inclusion. There will be the miraculous for the mundane. You will know the choice of being prophetic over being popular. You will find a trade involving the dangerous for the comfortable. It will be a life of sacrifice instead of ease. Ultimately the trade you are making means God instead of self.

One final thought on the process of making the trade: When you make them you won’t know the value of it until well into the campaign. It may take ten or fifteen years or even a lifetime to discover the importance of the choice you have made but go ahead and make the trade. There is a huge purpose of life that will never be grasped and realized until you make the trade.

Thirdly, you will have to resist the overwhelming urge to quit and go in another direction. Get beyond the idea of throwing in the towel. Stand up and persist! The longer I live the more impressed I am with the thought that those who make it and are successful are not the most talented, gifted, best-looking, and so forth. The people who make it are those who just stay at it. There is a blessing in doing something again and again.

I have a question for you. If you were to require a coronary artery bypass today would you want a surgeon who had done 10,000 over a 20 year period or a surgeon who had done 750 over a 20 year period? It is obvious that you would want the surgeon who had worked steadily for 20 years and did 10,000. The reason is because that just staying with something and doing it over and over increases your skill. Stay where you are and become great in that place! Resist the urge to always be looking for the greener grass somewhere else.

For this matter of quitting, if you quit, there are a host of blessings that you are never going to benefit from in the coming years in your life.

Thanks for stopping by. . . .

No comments: