The will of God is very important in the lives of believers and should not be compromised. The challenge with most of us is that we have decided to make the will of God subservient to our own personal wills. I have realized that God does not answer and honors prayers that fall within the confines of His will. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14).
I struggled in ministry, quarreled with God, and lived a life of bitterness and pain for 17 years until I realized that Christianity is not all about me but about Christ. I also came to realize that God is not interested in my comfort but in my obedience to His will. I decided to remove myself from the equation by submitting my will, plans, and ambition to the will of God. I turned a new lease on life as soon as I understood that what I want does not matter, but only God's will does.
I found joy, peace and love when I decided to reduce myself completely and give all to the will of God. Fear and anxiety gave way to braveness and confidence as my comfort seemed to not matter anymore. I stopped comparing myself with other ministers of God and I now see suffering for the sake of the Gospel as the will of God for my life. Any time I pray “they will be done” I notice peace, strength and overwhelming joy encompassing my life.
I am writing out of experience. Many who knew me before were wondering who was responsible for this transformation in my life and ministry. I now know that the greatest mistake that any Christian can make is to quarrel with God for not answering his or her prayers. I also now realize that whatever you grumble about automatically crumbles. Putting ourselves first in our relationship with God is an error that can lead to apostasy when we feel disappointed by God.
My prayer for my country these days is “Lord let your will be done in Nigeria.” We have prayed for years about the situation in my country, and it seems as if the situation is getting worse daily. Most recently we finished a training program for our missionaries and sent out 12 of them. Three days ago I got a call that bandits have invaded our fields and all of our missionaries were scattered. Some of them ran to the local government headquarters and some are presently hiding in bushes. The only suitable prayer for me in this circumstance is, “Lord let thy will be done.”
It is one thing to pray for God’s will to be done — it’s another thing to accept it. The challenge is that oftentimes the will of God is incongruous with the will of man. What we want is the antithesis of what God wants for us. We should always ask God for the grace to also accept His will.
Jesus prayed this prayer and was willing to accept the Father’s will even when it was very difficult for Him to do so: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
According to Elizabeth Elliott, “To pray, ‘thy will be done,’ I must be willing, if the answer requires it, that my will be undone.” Undoing our wills is a very difficult task that requires deliberate and intentional efforts.
Charles Spurgeon famously said, “When your will is God's will, you will have your will.” My heart’s desires are now becoming realities. My dreams and ambitions which I threw away to accept the will of God are now being fulfilled effortlessly.
Walking in the perfect will of God is my greatest experience and most amazing testimony as a believer. It has restored all that I have lost because of agitation and frustration. It has built my confidence on God and removed my fears.
Instead of bombarding God with a series of self-centered requests, let us learn how to submit all of our life to His perfect and divine will.