10/10/Su – If The Lord Wills

Ezekiel 41:1-26; James 4:11-17; Psalms 118:8-18; Proverbs 25:1-5

NT: “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring — what your life will be! For you are like vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes. Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So it is sin to know the good and yet not do it.” (‭‭James‬ ‭4:13-17‬ ‭CSB)

In the previous verses, James talked about the necessity of humbling ourselves before God and submitting to Him in order to effectively and victoriously resist the devil. But what does submitting to God look like and how do we do it? Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body.” Those who have been redeemed by faith in Christ have been purchased with the blood of the Son of God. We no longer own our bodies nor our lives. Our lives belong to Christ. Submitting to God means that we no longer act as lords and masters of our own lives – we live under the Lordship of Christ. No longer do we decide what we are going to do with our lives. Instead we determine what the Lord’s will for our lives are and walk accordingly. James even expounded further, explaining that living by our own will is futile and a risky gamble anyway. We don’t know the future, we have a relatively short past, and the extent of our earthly lives is but a puff of smoke in the vastness of eternity. How much better it is to align with the will of the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful eternal God who can lead us down paths that will allow us to transcend our finite and limited mortality and do something eternally impactful.

How do we determine what the will of God is? Paul taught us how to prove out the will of God in Romans 12:1-2: “Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” It all begins with offering our lives to God as an act of worship… saying, “Here I am – speak to me, lead me, guide me, mold me, shape me, use me as Your instrument of righteousness.” As we no longer conform ourselves to the world, but conform ourselves to the ways of God’s kingdom, the Lord, through the Holy Spirit, will “re-wire” our thoughts and attitudes and give us the ability to discern the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

That is God’s will for us: to submit to Him that we may know His will and have the ability to walk in it. Don’t be arrogant, thinking that you have a better will for your life than God. Don’t resist God’s will or knowingly disobey it. That is how this whole mess called sin got started in the first place. Humble yourself before God. Submit yourself to the Lord of your life. Seek to determine God’s will for your life through a life lived in worship to Him… and when you determine God’s will, walk in it by the grace you receive through faith.

Psalms: “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humanity. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in nobles. All the nations surrounded me; in the name of the Lord I destroyed them… They pushed me hard to make me fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. There are shouts of joy and victory in the tents of the righteous: “The Lord’s right hand performs valiantly! The Lord’s right hand is raised. The Lord’s right hand performs valiantly!” I will not die, but I will live and proclaim what the Lord has done. The Lord disciplined me severely but did not give me over to death.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭118:8-10, 13-18‬ ‭CSB)

By faith, we come to see and understand the unseen spiritual world to be more “real” than what we can see, hear, touch and smell. It is definitely easier to trust in tangible humanity, in the ways of the world, and in our own understanding that is framed by what we know naturally. However, the Lord that has given His life to save us from sin is greater than and transcends all that we experience in the natural. The Lord that was able to save us from sin is well able to save us from any challenge, threat, obstacle or fear. When we humble ourselves before God, submit to His will and come under His Lordship, He will become our strength, our song, and our salvation. It is not dangerous to follow God’s will, for in Him and under Him, we will live for eternity. The dangerous thing is to reject His will and walk in the way that seems right and safe to us.

Prayer: Lord, I thank You that You both desire for me to know Your will and You provide a way for me to know Your will. It all begins by offering my life to You in worship. I am not my own. I have been bought with a price, and I now belong to You. Therefore, here I am yielded and submitted to You. Transform my mind to discern Your will and grace me to walk in it as I keep my faith in You. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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