Are You Surrendered to God’s Will?

During the past few months my wife and I have been faced with a matter of knowing the will of God in a certain area of our lives.  We have not been praying the Lord to give us some general idea, but that He would show us very specifically what His will is, and then give us a heart that is willing to obey whatever it may be.

I am sure that most Christians, when asked if they want to know and follow God’s will for them, would respond positively.  I am just as convinced, however, that not nearly as many are willing to surrender in obedience to God’s will as the Bible says we must, and that is the real issue.

What does it mean to be wholly submissive and totally yielded to the will of God? There can be no better example of what total submission means than to hear the very words of our Saviour praying in agony of soul, while sweating drops of blood in Gethsemane as He faced the ordeal of the cross.

“Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done,” He prayed to the Father. I need not remind you that this was no little matter. What lay before our Lord was nothing less than the greatest sacrifice this universe will ever witness, under the greatest agony of body, soul and spirit, as the holy Son of God would take on Himself the sins of His people, and pay the full price. He must do this, not just suffering the wrath of His own Father, but also being utterly abandoned and forsaken by Him during His hour of greatest trial.

It was with all this before Him, He prayed in full submission to the Father’s will, “Not mine, but Thine be done”. That is what full surrender is. Not surrender to God on my terms, but on His. Did you know that this is the essence of living the Christian life? Willingly giving up all my claims to my life and asking the Lord to choose for me whatever He wants – and then obeying Him with gladness!

The world can never understand this, and the mere professing Christian will never understand it, but it is the place that we must come to if we would be followers of Jesus Christ.  Remember, He said to His disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” (Mathew 16:24, 25)

Absolute surrender means more than just getting our wills into line with God’s. It means having no will of my own in regard to the matter that I am seeking guidance on. George Mueller’s first point in how to ascertain the will of God was to “seek at the beginning to get (his) heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter”. He went on to say, “Nine-tenths of the trouble with people is just here. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord’s will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is.”

Perhaps one of the best expressions of surrender to the will of God is to be found in the words of the hymn by Horatius Bonar, “Thy Way, Not Mine, O Lord”. As you read the words, can you honestly make them your prayer? If you are going to be a true disciple (Christian), there is no option. Read them prayerfully and ask the Lord to give you a heart that can say, “Not my will, but Thine be done!”

Thy way, not mine, O Lord,
However dark it be;
Lead me by Thine own hand,
Choose out the path for me.

Smooth let it be or rough,
It will be still the best;
Winding or straight, it leads
Right onward to Thy rest.

I dare not choose my lot;
I would not, if I might;
Choose Thou for me, my God,
So I shall walk aright.

Take Thou my cup, and it
With joy or sorrow fill,
As best to Thee may seem;
Choose Thou my good and ill.

Choose Thou for me my friends,
My sickness or my health;
Choose Thou my cares for me
My poverty or wealth.

The kingdom that I seek
Is Thine: so let the way
That leads to it be Thine,
Else I must surely stray.

Not mine, not mine the choice
In things or great or small;
Be Thou my guide, my strength
My wisdom, and my all.