Accepting God's Will

When David left Jerusalem following Absalom’s conspiracy (2 Samuel 15), a number of folks left with him, including Zadok and the Levites, “bearing the ark of the covenant of God” (2 Samuel 15:24). Wanting to do God’s will, David told Zadok, “Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the Lord, He will bring me back and who me both it and His habitation. But if He says thus: ‘I have no delight in you,’ here I am, let Him do to me as seems good to Him” (2 Samuel 15:25-26).

David was determined not to try and force the issue upon God by taking the ark with him as he wandered about the country. Instead, he left the decision totally in God’s hands and stated his willingness to accept His will — whatever that might be.

When we pray, it’s sometimes tempting to force our will on God, instead of allowing His will to be done in our lives (James 4:3). The Scriptures tell us that we can certainly pray according to our desire, as long as that desire is in conjunction with God’s revealed will (1 John 3:22; 1 John 5:14). From experience, we know that our sincerity, faith, and fervent effort in our praying does not guarantee that God’s answer to our prayers will always be “Yes.” Because He knows all situations and circumstances (1 John 3:20), He sometimes wisely answers our prayers with a “No.” At other times, His answer is “Wait.”

Unfortunately, some Christians are unhappy with His answer and end up expressing anger towards God when He does not bow to their every wish or desire. They gradually become doubters of God. Doubting is faith’s enemy, and can cause one to reject God entirely (Romans 1:21-25). This is indeed a sad condition, which if not corrected, can lead to eternal death or separation from God (Romans 1:32; Romans 6:21,23; cf. Isaiah 59:1-2). Some Christians will even pray, hoping that God will change His word in order to accommodate their particular situation. The example of an individual who is in a marriage that does not have God’s approval, comes to mind. Brethren, we should be willing to humble ourselves (1 Peter 5:5-6), and do as David did in accepting God’s will, rather than trying to get God to accept our will. Accepting God’s will and God’s answer is a test of our faith.

Beloved, let us remember Jesus’ attitude and example as He prayed to His Father in Gethsemane, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39).

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets