Just for a moment, think about what the intentional decision to proactively submit our will to God’s will actually means for us. Intentional submission means giving God complete and unrestricted permission to allow whatever he desires to occur in our lives. Although scary, this decision presents us with an amazing opportunity to be a part of God’s story on God’s terms. It is the chance for us to be a part of the unfolding of God’s kingdom in human history, and to play our part in the story.
Submitting to God’s will allows us to be a part of God’s team and play our position well. It may not be the position we would necessarily choose, but the position he chooses for us is always the best place for us to play. No player gets to choose his or her position on the team. Everyone knows the coach has the final authority. The player can ask, and the coach may grant a request, but the coach makes the final decision. There is not even an appeals process.
I remember the year one of my sons was voted the most valuable player of his high school soccer team. The next year as the soccer season began, the coach placed my son in the sweeper position. My son did not like this position and did not want to play it. Yet what choice did he have?
I watched the first scrimmage games of the season. In each game my son ran out onto the field and played the sweeper position because that was the will of the coach. Each game required an intentional act of submission by my son to the coach. Sure, he could have refused to play that position but then the coach would have benched him.
In many ways it is the same with God’s will in our lives. Every day requires an intentional act of submission to play the part God assigns for us.
Certainly we can ask for certain roles in God’s Kingdom. We can also ask for all of our desires to come true: Hey God, can I be rich and serve you? Can I have great health and serve you? Can I be successful and famous and serve you? Can you call me to a position of power and prestige in your kingdom? And by the way, can you give me the spouse I’ve always wanted and the kids I’ve always wanted? Could you also maybe throw in the grandkids that I’ve always wanted, too? Can I serve you God and always have great relationships with my entire family, especially my in-laws? Can your will for me be that I am loved and respected by everyone? Well, never mind, I know to be loved by everyone might be too much to ask for, so let’s just leave it at liked.
God may give us some of the things we ask for, but we must always remember, he is the decision-maker. God chooses the calling he has for our lives. We have a responsibility to intentionally submit to his will.
Although reading the above words may make trying to conform God’s will to ours sound absurd, deep down I think this is often how we perceive our relationship with God. We think of it as an agreement; a bargain. We do our part, God does his part, and we receive the life we want. Unfortunately, God’s will does not work like this.
Let’s intentionally submit our wills to God’s and allow him to choose the position we play on his team. In the end, his position is the best position for us. As an added benefit you will find that intentionally submitting your will to God’s will creates significant spiritual growth in your life.
This makes sense. If you were God, who would you cause to experience more spiritual growth? Your follower who was actively pursuing his or her own will, or your follower intentionally submitting his or her will to you. Of course the follower of Jesus living in active submission will experience more spiritual growth.
Let’s be those followers of Jesus!