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Thursday, 22 May 2014

Being in God's will.

Selling a house can be quite a stressful experience!  It can be an opportunity to learn to be patient in the Lord.  It can bring back memories of earlier years living in that home.

One of the memories that I have been revisiting over recent weeks is of the conversion of the loft area to provide bedrooms for my two (then) teenage daughters.  When I was planning that major project, I employed the services of an architect in order to ensure that all would be both sound, and legal.  It wasn't really a complaint, but he quickly made clear to me that, although I was asking him to design the conversion in a way that would satisfy all of the regulations, I had already made the plans in my own mind - and nothing that he might say say was going to change them!  What I really wanted was for him to give the O.K. to my own ideas!

Many of us, who would claim to be disciples of Jesus, seem to proceed in the same way when we ask God to plan our lives.  The words that we pray ask for wisdom, and guidance but, in our hearts, we have already decided what we will do with our lives.  Often, those plans are good, and seek to honour the Lord.  Often there is great effort put into areas of Christian service.  Somehow, however, we seem to have missed the message of Romans 12:1-2, "I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."  We gladly trust Christ for salvation, but we are less willing to make the full surrender of our very bodies which ios necessary of we are to "... prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

One of my favourite stories concerns Miriam Booth, a daughter of the founder of the Salvation Army (which, by the way, celebrates its 150th anniversary, next year).  She was, by all accounts, a beautiful and cultured lady who was used wonderfully by God as she sought to serve Him.  Suddenly, and unexpectedly, she contracted a disease that brought her close to death.  A friend who was visiting her commented that it was a great pity that a person with her capabilities should be thus hindered from doing the Lord's work.

Miriam's reply was, surely, classic.  "It is a great thing," she said, "to do God's work; but greater still to be in God's will."

If you are a disciple of Jesus, it's a thought worth pondering.  Whatever our work for Him, let us be certain that we are in His will for us!

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