I have mixed feelings about the recent week or two – our government is submitting to socioeconomic pressure to lift lock down while we are seeing second spikes appearing in other countries that, perhaps, eased them too early. Suffice to say I think this particular virus will be with us for some time to come, so we have to learn to adapt and hopefully we will prevail where others have so far failed.
This week, for many of us, we have been adopting new working practices in line with social distancing, moving into new working environments, or perhaps spring cleaning all of our collective hoard of old documents, manuals, coffee sachets ten years-out-of-date hiding in corners of drawers, and so on. One thing that remains constant in all of this is that Gods Will is ever present.
Sometimes we are driven by human desires and needs; a workplace example might be an instruction from a manager, who in turn are dealing with the demands placed on them. Sometimes we are driven by forces that don’t make any sense; maybe an urge to do something different, to go someplace, to say a particular thing. It is at times like these that we need to be aware of who or what is driving it.
When you recognise these circumstances, it is essential to know whether it is God-given or not. There is no hiding the fact that there are forces at work against the will of God; the battles have raged for centuries. The thing to remember is that the war is already won, through the one final sacrifice and resurrection of God’s Son, our saviour Jesus Christ. As such, any power of evil has no claim on any us, no right to demand anything of us, so long as Jesus is at the very centre of our heart evil will dissipate before us. When you believe there is a power urging you to do something, place your trust in Jesus and pray, if it is against the will of God it will vanish, but if it is God-given it will persist (FYI: God is very, very patient, and very, very persistent). We are to be subservient to Gods will, but only because we have free will to choose to do so; we get to choose whether we act or not (mostly, God will face down any argument you have with love and reason to persuade you otherwise and not by force and anger). You have to recognise the gentleness of the impulse as opposed to a push in the back.
There is a prayer in one of my books that reflects on will very nicely; it goes like this:
My Father, help me as a follower of ChristGeorge Matheson. A Book of Prayers, Lion Publishing 1988
to say “Your will be done”.
You would not have me accept your will
because I must, but because I may.
You would have me take it,
not with resignation, but with joy,
not with the absence of murmur,
but with the song of praise . . .
Teach me that your love is wise.
Guide me not blindfold, but with open eyes . . .
Give me the blessedness of the man
whose delight in in your law,
who can tell of your statutes rejoicing the heart.
I shall obey your will in perfect freedom
when I can say, ‘your Spirit is good’.
We have free will, to accept Jesus, to accept God’s wisdom, His gifts and to rejoice in life no matter what it may hold for us right now. We must open our eyes and our ears for His guidance; we do not walk blindly through the light or darkness.
We can listen to thunder, marvel at lightning, hear the scream of the wind in our ears and cower in the facelessness of a virus, but that is not where you will find God’s voice. It may be in a whisper to your soul, or it may be in a rush of warmth in your heart as it fills with the love of creation.
We begin with acceptance of His will; by accepting that we are His children and therefore His agents, ambassadors & messengers.
Through God we will prevail with His strength and guidance, for the glory of His Kingdom upon this earth.
May God bless us all.