Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of July 23, 2006

Acts 21:14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.
Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

God sometimes gives us practical knowledge that we do not use in a spiritual way. Agabus knew through a revelation from the Lord what would happen to Paul if he went to Jerusalem. It was only natural for him to assume that the Lord had revealed that to him so that he could warn Paul not to go. Instead, it appears to have been revealed to him so that Paul and his friends could be prepared for what was ahead. Because God had revealed Paul’s future to him, Agabus thought he knew the will of the Lord, but he did not.

Many have said that Paul was out of the will of the Lord on this last journey to Jerusalem. They think that he could have and should have avoided imprisonment and martyrdom. However, Paul never figured that out if it was true. When he wrote the book of the Ephesians, he considered himself a prisoner of the Lord and not a prisoner of the Romans (Ephesians 4:1). In his departing words in 2 Timothy 4:7, he said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” These are not the words of one who has remorse over making a mistake.

Submission to the will of God is often difficult. Some times it leads to a cross. When the Lord prayed for the Father’s will to be done, it wasn’t as though He had a different will from the Father and wanted a different outcome. His prayer was designed to assure us of His humanity and that He was not carrying out a personal plan but the plan of the Father that had been prepared before Satan ever brought sin into this world

I have a hard time knowing the will of God in some of my day to day decisions. However, there are some aspects of God’s will that I do know. I know that God wants all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30). This repentance has to do with turning from man-made gods to the living and true God. I know that God wants all men to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). This salvation has to do with being delivered from the consequences of sin eternally. I know that believers in Christ have eternal life that fits them for heaven and that Christ rejecters are condemned (John 3:18). I know that believing in God is not always the same as trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ (James 2:19). I know that when we are saved, we should know and not hope that they are saved (1 John 5:13).

We do not find it easy to accept God’s will as to how to be saved before we trust in the work of the cross to save us. Most of us argued with God in some way and tried to explain to Him how to save us instead of letting Him explain to us how to be saved. When we started listening, we found out His way was better and much easier than our way. When it comes to submitting to God’s will after we are saved, we often have the same problem. The difficulty is that after we are saved we want to know and to do God’s will as long as it leads to an earthly mansion rather than to an earthly cross. Many of us can’t accept the fact that the path to blessing just may be the path of suffering. The last thing we want to do is to take up a cross and follow the Lord.

So even though we may have the knowledge of what is going to happen in the future as Agabus did, we may not have the courage that Paul had to use that information properly. I wonder how often I have let the flesh that is still in me make my so-called spiritual decisions. When it comes to submitting to the will of God, we can bank on the fact that what we usually think is right is probably wrong (Isaiah 55:8). May the Lord give us grace to accept and to do the will of God even when His plan does not make logical sense.

Bruce Collins

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