February 27, 2017

Not my will . . .

Human choice intrigues me. What makes one person decide to wear jeans and another to wear cords? Why does one child choose a truck and the other a ball and bat? Preference pops to mind, yet what is behind the preference? I love chocolate, but my husband does not. Why does he say ‘no thanks’ and I will almost always gladly eat it? This one I know the answer; his body reacts to chocolate. He feels sick and does not prefer to feel like that. I could then ask why does he feel sick, but that isn’t about the will.

The Bible has much to say about the will of God and human will. In many instances, God’s will is the easier of the two to understand. He loves us and that motivated Him to send Jesus Christ to save us from our sin. He opens our hearts to the Gospel because He wants us restored to what He created . . .

“Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” (James 1:18)

I have choices to make all along my spiritual journey, but it was the will of God to put me on the path in the first place. Without His loving choice, it would not have happened. He says to me . . .

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience — among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved — and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:1–10)

Dead in sin means being separated from God, unable to connect. My sinful choices were influenced by the “prince of the power of the air” who is the devil. His lies and my inability to hear God kept me making choices based on my sinful desires, just like every person on the planet.

“But God” has to be one of the most exciting phrases in history! Because of His will, He chose mercy instead of wrath. Why? His choice was based on His great love, yet the more I realize what sin deserves, that choice remains an incredible mystery. Grace is amazing, truly amazing, yet it is also a mystery, a kindness, a choice made by God that deepens my love and awe for Him the more I think about it.
While I must willingly repent and yield to the Lord Jesus Christ, and would not experience salvation without cooperating with God and believing Him, my will is not the cause of His grace. Even though ’whosoever will’ may come to Christ and be saved, the Bible is clear that grace draws us. Otherwise, no one has the will to come. In ourselves, we don’t want to nor will we submit to God.

Jesus, that day when You came into my life, the choice was a total no-brainer. How could I say no to the love and power of God? Your revelation was entirely irresistible. All I could see was the incredible grace of God. I did not deserve it and certainly had nothing in me to be able to earn it. Yet I had absolutely no reason to reject You. My heart filled with glad surrender at the wonder of You — and it still does.

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