Our pastor preached last night on the nature of true repentance. He helped us to see that the essence of repentance is turning away from a self-will that follows its own course and submitting to the will of God. No longer do we seek out what we want; rather, we now are glad to do whatever God directs. We have lived in rebellion against God’s will; we must now come humbly before Him to listen and obey whatever He tells us. This is true repentance. How needful it is in our day to understand this message!
And this message spurred another further step in my thoughts as well. Not only must we come to accept the will of God over our own will, but we also should/must learn to delight in that very same will of God for us. It must become our joy and pleasure to do His will. In one sense, His will becomes our will so that we no longer need to choose between what we want and what God wants for us. We want what He wants.
Of course, we know that in a fallen world with fallen flesh still within us, we will not fully attain to this ideal. Nonetheless, God’s word does tell us that for Christians, the commandments of God “are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). They become our delight, not a weight upon us that we cannot abide. It is the rebellious nations who so detest God’s authority that they rail, “Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!” (Psalm 2:3). This is not the spirit of the one who has the Spirit of God dwelling in him.
And might I help us all by asking a simple question: Why would I ever want anything other than what God wants for my life? Just think about it. God is all loving: He wants what is best for me. God is all-knowing: He knows what is best for me. God is all powerful: He can bring about what is best for me. In every single way imaginable, God’s will must necessarily be the very best thing in the world for me. Even when the short-term and temporary picture looks less appealing than some other course or way, we can rest absolutely assured that God’s way will always turn out far better in the end than any other way I might choose. How could I think otherwise?
So why would I ever desire anything other than God’s will for my life? Without attempting a full answer to that question, we can at least say that to choose any other path than that which God leads us into is a matter of utter foolishness. It is always foolish to desire any other path. We have an infallible Guide who always knows the best way to get to the best destination in life. Why would we go exploring for a better route when we are blind and ignorant on our own? It will only ever lead us astray into lost wanderings that end in dismay and loss and pain and disappointment. Let’s trust that God is good, loving, and wise. His paths are always sweet.
As the word of God promises us, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4)