“Thy will be done.”
If you have ever gone to church, you know that little sentence is in the Lord’s prayer.
The problem most of us have is that we say the Lord’s prayer so many times that the little sentence becomes rote. The words spill out thoughtlessly and we don’t take the time to consider what they mean.
I think they mean that God’s will is going to be done, no matter what. He is in control.
“Thy will be done” is our acknowledgment that He is always the Master and we are always the humble requestors.
In yesterday’s post I commented on Dr. Willard’s idea that there are practical means to get a message from God, but now Dr. Willard says practical means should not make us think we can engage in God abuse.
God cannot be commanded to speak to us and hearing from God is not just the utilization of a set of gimmicks.
He uses King Saul as an example and the more you study the life of Saul, you can see he is a perfect illustration of this concept. Saul had specific instructions from God about what he was supposed to do; he was supposed to wait for Samuel the priest before he offered up burnt offerings to God. However he was in the midst of a campaign against the Philistines and he had a sense of urgency. He wanted God’s blessings now. He forced everything; he wanted his blessing when he wanted his blessing.
Samuel knew Saul did wrong and announced he would lose his kingdom. What did Saul do? He disobeyed again. He was told to destroy Amalek and not leave a remnant and he did not do what he was told.
Later, Saul was in a terrible condition. The Philistines were on the verge of destroying his army and killing him and he did not know what to do. Samuel the prophet was dead at this time. He summoned a witch to contact the spirit of Samuel.
Dr. Willard says this is “sadly typical… of the human view of God and His guidance.” [Willard, 202].
We get it so wrong; God controls us. We don’t control Him.
If things go right, it is God’s will that they go right.
If things go wrong, it is God’s will they they have gone that way.
Our problem is, we want things going our way, all the time.
Saul did not get the message that he wanted. The spirit of Samuel said he would be dead tomorrow and his army would be defeated. This was Samuel’s spirit speaking to Saul. God would have nothing to do with Saul.
Dr. Willard is so right. “We treat [God] like a celestial asperin that will cure headaches brought on by the steady, willful tendency of our lives away from and even against Him. We treat him as a cosmic butler who is there to clean up our messes.”
Yes, there may be practical things we can do to get a word from God but the human tendency is to take practical advice and turn it into a gimmick to get our way.
That’s sad but it is so human.
God refused to be used by Saul any longer.
Saul forgot key facts.
God is always in control. God commands; we don’t.
Remember that short sentence?
“Thy will be done.”
We don’t need to say it without thinking about it.
It’s a fact. Not Saul’s fact.
It is our fact.