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Posts Tagged ‘submitting to God’s will’

 

Our wills are naturally selfish. We love to have our own way. It’s not easy to submit to the will of another, unless there’s some strong motive that impels us to submission. The carrying out of our wills in a selfish way only leads to more selfishness and to a stronger inclination to have our own way. It’s this selfish inclination in the will that makes it necessary for God to demand submission from us. His will is never selfish, but always benevolent. The cheerful doing of it always leads to an increase of benevolence in us. Therefore, when God demands us to submit our wills to him, he’s doing that which is best for us. The more consideration for others and true benevolence is developed within us, the more our natures are purified and exalted and the more we are able to fulfill the purpose of our creation.

 

Submitting to God is often the hardest of all tasks, yet it’s the most necessary if we’re to be exalted to fellowship with God and enjoy the highest development of our faculties and powers. Selfishness always tends to degrade. It’s ignoble—exercise tends to dwarf and blight the finest things in our characters. The adoption of a submissive attitude toward God and his will, paves the way for the natural development of those qualities within us which are most worth developing, and which ennoble us most when they’re developed. The more our souls run out God-ward, the more like him we become; and the more like him we become, the happier and more useful we are. Unselfish devotion to benevolent service toward God and toward our fellow-man enriches the heart and life as nothing else can do, and leads the way to happiness, peace, and contentment, which make one truly blessed.

 

Submission to God is the one necessary thing in order to enjoy the Christian life. The more fully we’re submitted to his will, the more cheerfully we can carry it out, and the sweeter and richer will be the joy of doing it. Reluctant submission to God is not real submission. Reluctant obedience is never real obedience. It’s only when the heart responds to God willingly and cheerfully that the power of such service to make one happy is realized. We must conquer our reluctant wills. “The essence of sacrifice of self is the sacrifice of the will. Unwilling offerings are a contradiction, and in fact, there are no such things. The quality of unwillingness destroys the character of the offering and robs it of all sacredness. Reluctant Christianity is not Christianity.”

 

True nobility of both the inner and the outer life comes from submission to, and cooperation with, God. The nature of our relations with God depends upon the extent of our submission to him. This is well illustrated in the relation of husband and wife. When two marry, and there’s no merging of the wills and purposes, but each retains his or her individuality, standing apart from the other in wish and desire, in choosing and willing, their union can never be a happy one. They must yield themselves to each other. There must be a merging of their wills into each other, a combining of their purposes, a consideration of each other, a sacrificing of the individual will. The husband and wife who really love each other can enjoy each other’s society and draw near to each other in spirit and affection. This makes their union a blessed reality, and a source of more true joy than any other natural relation. Those who thus enjoy each other are the ones who have sacrificed self and lost sight of selfish considerations; each desires to please the other and each finds his or her happiness in the happiness of the other.

 

In the Scriptures, Christ is represented as being the husband of the church, and the church is taught to submit to him as a wife should submit to her husband. The wife submits to her husband because she loves him—if she submits from any other reason she must be unhappy in her submission. The submission, that comes from love, and is the willing response of love, is the source of the deepest and truest happiness that can come from human sources. So the submission to God, which is acceptable to him, and which reacts in blessedness to the soul who submits, must be based upon love. The secret of such submission is thus stated by John, “We have known and believed the love that God hath to us.” (1 John 4:16) So he exclaims in the next breath, “God is love.” Only the truly submitted heart can fathom the love of God, or can love God with that self-enriching love, which inspires devotion and causes us to delight in God. The fervor of love softens the will and makes it flexible. When we love, it is easy to obey; it is easy to submit. All the irksomeness and compulsion is taken out of religion when the heart is full of love toward God. The more we love, the easier it is to serve, and the more joyful is that service.

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