However, not My will but Your will must be done. Luke 22:42
Jim was a sophomore in college when a friend invited him to a Campus Crusade for Christ meeting. He was touched by the love of Christ and gave his life to follow Him. Jim was thrilled to experience this love and prayed, asking God to release him to find a missionary post to begin his new life. Instead, after many hours of prayer, Jim understood that God was telling him to finish his bachelors degree. Obediently Jim let go of his desire and finished.
Upon graduation, Jim prayed and said, “Ok Lord, I’m ready to find a missionary position to serve you.” The answer came from the Holy Spirit, “Stay in college. Get your masters Degree.” Once again, Jim reluctantly gave up what he thought was his dream to obey God’s direction. He attained his degree.
“Now Lord, I know I am ready to serve you on the battlefield somewhere. Send me where you wish and I will go.”
Much to his surprise, God’s answer was, “Stay in school and get your PhD!” Stunned, saddened but obedient, Jim let go of his constant desire and followed what he knew was God’s will in his life. Two years later Jim now had PhD following his name in a resume and very curious as to what God had in mind for him.
Three years later, while speaking at a small church in Oregon, Jim shared with the men’s group his experience with God. “At each point I was sure the Lord would guide me into a missionary position. I was eager to serve Him anywhere. But in each case, He had plans different from mine. Serving Him took the form of letting go of my desires to follow Him. Ultimately, it became clear to me what almighty God had in mind all along.”
“Because of my PhD I am now the athletic director at OSU and as such have some sway and power in meetings. Inevitably, our faculty meetings will come to a place where we share our frustration with students attitudes and problems. It is then that I can stand and say something like, The only real solution to these and other serious problems is faith in Jesus Christ! My statement is always followed by silence. And then something wonderful happens, faculty who are Christians find themselves compelled to agree, to verbalize their faith.
“Although I drug my heels along the path, I discovered letting go of my desires to obey God at each step proved the best of all possible scenarios. I know I am where he wants me…for now!”
1 Samuel 15:22 Does the Lord really want sacrifices and offerings? No! He doesn’t want your sacrifices. He wants you to obey him.
“What does it mean to let go?” asked Danny to his friend Sam. “I read a devotional today that talked about letting go of things for God. I’m not sure I understand.”
“I actually do have a good example from my life,” Sam said. “Before we were married, Suzy and I were attending a church where the pastor required that parents agreed with the marriage before he would perform the wedding. The problem was with my mother. She is Catholic and didn’t want me marrying a non-Catholic. We spent hours talking with her but she wouldn’t give in.
“We were planning an August wedding and time was drawing close. Additionally, I had been accepted to attend college in California and had to move soon. We were both stressed, frustrated and discouraged. Each side was immovable.
“Finally, in my room as I prayed to the Lord one night, I felt I had to give it all up to God…to let go of my plans and desires. I understood that Suzy and I would still get married but it was important to let go of our plans and allow God to work it out in His way. As soon as I made that decision that night in my room, I felt sudden peace. All the burdens of stress and worry were gone. God took them from me.
“In the morning I found my mother in the kitchen and said I wanted to talk to her. But she said she wanted to speak first. ‘Your father and I talked last night and decided that we want to be a part of your wedding with Suzy. We no longer have any objections, son!”
“That is my example of letting go of your own plans to allow God to work His plans in your life. I could never have made that happen so wonderfully. I am not sure how it works but I do know that once we let go of our plans and freely give them to God, we allow His perfect plan to be worked out. It has something to do with releasing our hold on life, trusting God to have free reign.”
Matthew 26:39 He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.
John 5:30 I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
Philippians 3:7 These things that I once considered valuable, I now consider worthless for Christ.
Most of us struggle through life, attempting to “make something of ourselves.” As followers of Christ we must let go of that compulsion to prove ourselves worthy and successful. Instead Christ gives us the freedom to give those burdens to Him “for His yoke is easy and His burden is light.” Matthew 11:30