Friday, November 20, 2009

"The Will of the Lord be done!"

Acts 21: 10-14 "As we were staying there for some days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 And coming to us, he took Paul's belt and bound his own feet and hands, and said, "This is what the Holy Spirit says: 'In this way the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.' " 12 When we had heard this, we as well as the local residents began begging him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, "What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus." 14 And since he would not be persuaded, we fell silent, remarking, "The will of the Lord be done!"

In this passage of Scripture, Paul hears a prophecy that he will be bound and instead of relenting, he stated that he was even willing to die. The people then responded "The will of the Lord be done." If only this were the response of Christians today. Instead of praying that the Lord's will be done, there is a teaching today that encourages Christians to say, "I won't receive that." Many Christians believe that all they have to do is say "I don't receive that nothing bad will happen to me." This troubles me because I wonder if we truly understand what this means. Are we saying to God that we have the power to dictate what He wills for our lives? Are we really saying to the God of the Universe that we do not accept the path that He has chosen for our lives? Do we feel that sickness, poverty, or any other suffering is okay for others, but not for us? God forbid. But, that is indeed what we are saying,when we say "I won't receive that." In addition to Paul, we have biblical examples such as David, Job, & Esther and many others who understood that God was indeed in control of their situation. As a matter of fact, the entire Bible is replete with examples of how we are to govern ourselves as Christians. We are to pray for God's will to be done.

Prov. 3:5-6 states, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight." This Scripture affirms that we are to acknowledge God in everything and perhaps we really do not know,what is best for us. As an example, let me share a personal testimony. Two years ago, my husband and I put our house up for sale and were going to build a new home. After six months we took the house off the market. We were not disappointed in this process, because we had prayed for God's will to be done. We do nothing without acknowledging God's guidance through the Holy Spirit. As you all may know, the housing market has crashed and that same house that we were going to build would have depreciated by $75,000. Further, the interest rate has dropped from 7.5% to 5.1%. I thank God that there is nothing that I desire more than Him. I fully understand that each and every time that He has allowed me to go through something, that it was for a purpose. Sometimes we cause our suffering because of bad decisions, and sometimes God allows our suffering for a specific purpose.

Paul went so far in His commitment to God that he stated that he was not afraid to be bound or even die in the name of the Lord Jesus. I pray that each of us can be confident enough in our faith that we too can say "the will of the Lord be done."

Be blessed.

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