Friday, January 20, 2012
As I sat in seminary class this morning and heard the prayer requests of my fellow students, a common theme emerged. Overwhelmingly the request that was most heard was, "I need to know God's Will". I think many people in the pews would think that those at this stage in theological education wouldn't struggle with something so base as just knowing what God wants for his or her life. The truth is we all struggle with this. How do we find out His will? Scripture addresses this on many occasions. One of the most quoted is Proverbs 3:5-6 :
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths. (NKJV)
Sounds easy enough. But how do we do this? Trusting with all your heart doesn't mean not questioning God sometimes. It does mean that you trust with all your being that God has your best interest at heart. Sure there are times that this is harder than others but deep within you, you trust Him.
I think the next step is a natural out pour of the first. We have to acknowledge Him. We need to acknowledge the trust we have in Him. I think that means we need to share with others the faith that we have. We have to acknowledge that God is trustworthy. We have to acknowledge that we are putting that trust in Him.
We also have to acknowledge him by improving our relationship with him. We do this through a consistent time with him. We need to return to His Word every day. We also need to speak to Him. We need to converse with the Lord frequently. If we are those who believe in God's attribute of omnipresence, shouldn't we talk to him? Think about how we would seldom sit in a room with another person and not speak to him or her. We acknowledge his or her presence with us. The same is true with God. He is there with us always. So, isn't true that we need to acknowledge His presence often? 1 Thessalonians says that we should pray without ceasing. Acknowledging God means that you keep the conversation with Him going throughout the day. He longs for that conversation with us. I would go as far to say that it is difficult to ever know God's will if we are not frequently acknowledging Him.
I also believe that when we are trusting and acknowledging Him, He gives us the power in our souls to say, "Let's do it your way, Lord." With full trust of God comes a movement in our spirit that says, "God, I want you to have your way in my life". That's what God was telling me as we were praying together in class this morning. As our prayers were being lifted up a hymn from my childhood became my prayer and I want to share that song with you:
Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.
Here is the story behind that song:
In 1902, Adelaide A. Pollard, a Bible teacher and hymn writer, was hoping to go to Africa as a missionary but found herself unable to raise the needed funds to make the journey. Greatly discouraged, she attended a prayer service one evening and as she sat there, she overheard an elderly woman say "It really doesn't matter what you do with us, Lord, just have your own way with our lives." The elderly woman inspired Pollard and she contemplated the story of the potter from Jeremiah 18:3 and, upon her return home that evening, wrote all four stanzas before retiring for the night
As you trust in the Lord today, acknowledge Him. Let Him have His way in your life today.