“However, not My will but Your will be done” Luke 22:42
Jim was a sophomore in college when a friend invited him to a Campus Crusade for Christ meeting. He was touched by the love of Christ and gave his life to follow Him. Jim was thrilled to experience this love and prayed, asking God to release him to find a missionary post to begin his new life of faith. Instead, after many hours of prayer, Jim understood that God was telling him to finish his bachelor’s degree. Obediently Jim let go of his desire and graduated.
Upon graduation, Jim prayed, “Ok, Lord, I’m ready to find a missionary position to serve you.” God’s answer was clear: “Stay in college. Get your masters degree.” Surprised, Jim willingly followed God’s direction. He obtained a master’s degree.
“Now Lord, I know I am ready to serve you on the mission field somewhere. Send me where you wish and I will go!”
Much to his shock, God’s answer was, “Stay in school and get your PhD!” Stunned, saddened but obedient, Jim let go of his constant desire and followed what he knew was God’s will for his life. Two years later, the letters PhD followed his name in his resume and Jim was very curious as to what God’s plan was.
Five years after receiving his doctorate, while speaking at a church in Oregon, Jim shared his experience of following God’s will. “At each point I was sure the Lord would guide me into a missionary position. I was eager to serve Him anywhere. But in each case, He had plans different from mine. Serving Him took the form of letting go of my desires to follow Him. Ultimately, it became clear to me what He had in mind all along.”
“Because of my PhD, I am now the athletic director at my college. And as such have some sway in our faculty meetings. Inevitably, our meetings will come to a place where we share our frustration with student’s attitudes and problems. It is then that I can stand and say something like, ‘The only real solution to these and other serious problems is faith in Jesus Christ!’ My statement is always followed by silence. And then something wonderful happens; faculty who are Christians find themselves compelled to agree, to verbalize their faith.
“Although I drug my heels along the path, I discovered letting go of my desires in favor of obedience to God proved to be the best of all possible scenarios. I know I am where He wants me…for now!”
1 Samuel 15:22 “Does the Lord really want sacrifices and offerings? No. He doesn’t want your sacrifices. He wants you to obey Him.”
After the meeting two men were sitting in a nearby restaurant. “What does it really mean to let go?” asked Danny to his friend Sam. “I read a devotional today that talked about letting go of things for God. I’m not sure I understand.”
“I have an example from my life,” Sam said. “Before we got married, Suzy and I were attending a church where the pastor required that parents agreed with the marriage before he would perform the wedding. The problem was with my mother. She is Catholic and didn’t want me marrying a non-Catholic. We spent hours talking with her but she wouldn’t give in.
“We were planning an August wedding and time was drawing close. Additionally, I had been accepted to a college in California and had to move soon. We were both stressed and discouraged.
“Finally, in my room as I prayed to the Lord one night, I felt I had to give it all up to God. I had to let go of my plans and desires. I understood that Suzy and I would still get married but it was important to let go of our plans to allow God to work it out in His way. As soon as I made that decision that night, I felt sudden peace. All the burdens of stress and worry were gone. God took them from me.
“In the morning I found my mother in the kitchen and said I wanted to talk to her. But she said she wanted to speak first. “Your father and I talked last night and decided that we want to be a part of your wedding with Suzy. We no longer have any objections son!”
“I could never have made that happen so wonderfully. I am not sure how it works, but I do know that once we let go of our plans and give them to God, we allow His perfect plan to be worked out. It has something to do with releasing our hold on life, trusting God to have control.”
John 5:30 “I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”
Matthew 26:39 He went on a little farther and bowed with His face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from Me. Yet I want your will to be done, not Mine.”
Most of us struggle through life, attempting to make something of ourselves and achieve our goals. As followers of Christ we must let go of that compulsion to prove ourselves worthy and successful. Instead, Christ gives us the freedom to give those burdens to Him “for His yoke is easy and His burden is light.” Matthew 11:30