“by the will of God”
I love how Paul introduces himself in his letters. He refers to himself as a bondservant of Jesus Christ, or a prisoner of Jesus Christ, or an apostle of Jesus Christ. Sometimes he says he is “called by God”. Once he says, “by the commandment of God,” and other times “by the will of God”. They all mean pretty much the same thing, and they all acknowledge that he is at the mercy of God’s plan.
But today I am struck by this particular wording: “by the will of God”. I think perhaps this phrase needs to be a bigger part of my vocabulary. Which isn’t to say that it isn’t a part of my thought process already. I am frequently reassured and encouraged just by reminding myself, “His will be done.” And I have no problem remind others, when they are going through a trial, or are anxious or discouraged. “His will be done! You gotta pray for His will to be done!” It’s a refrain that’s hard to argue with.
But the words are too powerful to use blithely. They are not merely a refrain. They are an acknowledgement of His power and His ultimate sovereignty here on earth. There is no circumstance that is not the will of God, because nothing happens that He does not allow. Even giving us free will was His idea, so every time we make a decision, it’s His will.
What I need is to stop thinking so much about my will. Cuz that concept pretty much consumes me… Wondrous are the events in my life where my will lined up with His. Marrying my husband? That was a good one. My two beautiful children? Nice call, God. Not having more than two? That one was a little harder to accept. But I did. Eventually. And I discovered it’s very freeing to be able to say, wholeheartedly, “If You’re saying, ‘no,’ God, it must be for a good reason. That thing I wanted? I don’t want it any part of it. What I want in my life, is Your will.” The truth is, His will is going to be done. Life can be compared to a cruise ship. You can walk southward on the deck of the ship, but if the ship is going north, then that’s where you’re going. Although we have some control over the “activities” we do onboard our lives, the destination is up to Him.
I am a wife and a mother; a teacher and a student; an apostle of Jesus Christ, and often His biggest project. All by the will of God.