So when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, “The will of the Lord be done.” Acts 21:14 NKJV
Why is it so hard to accept the will of the Lord? One reason is we can’t understand why pain and suffering are part of the Lord’s will. When we study God’s word, it is pretty clear we will have tribulations.
James 1:2-3 NKJV “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”
John 16:33 NKJV “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Romans 8:17 NKJV “and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”
Trials, testing, and tribulation are part of life. But all of it God uses for good to those who love God and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28).
Another reason for not accepting the Lord’s will is stubbornness or self-centeredness. Again, studying God’s word reveals we are not the only stubborn ones. Even God’s chosen ones, the Israelites, were stubborn.
Exodus 32:9 NKJV “And the LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people!”
2 Chronicles 30:8 NKJV “Now do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the LORD; and enter His sanctuary, which He has sanctified forever, and serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of His wrath may turn away from you.”
Acts 7:51 NKJV “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.”
Let’s face it we want our way most of the time. I have found when I am least willing to accept God’s will it is due to my own immaturity. If thoughts like “I deserve it”, “It’s not fair”, “I have a right to…” are present, you can be sure you are out of God’s will. Self-serving thoughts are not part of God’s will.
What did Jesus teach? He told us to deny self, pick up our cross and follow Him (Mark 8:34). He said if someone strikes you on the cheek, turn and give them the other cheek also (Matthew 5:39). Jesus is our role model. He laid down His life for us. We in turn lay down our claim/desire to have things our way.
Ignorance is another reason for not accepting God’s will. It is pretty hard to accept something you have never heard of before. This is an easy one to correct. Start reading God’s word. Join a small group so you can talk with others about questions you may have about what you have read. Pray God will open your eyes.
When Judgment Day comes, ignorance will not be an excuse that saves your hide.
Romans 1:20-21 NKJV “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Creation points to God. The stars of above, the ocean depth, the uncountable grains of sand on the beaches, and even the tree branches that reach heavenward all point to a creator. The world we live in shows obvious signs of a “designer”. It didn’t just happen by chance. I saw a bumper sticker the other day saying “THE BIG BANG THEORY: GOD SPOKE AND BANG IT HAPPENED”. The evidence of God is all around us. It’s even within us. If you studied human anatomy for any length of time you would find evidence of God in how the body works. We were made to know God, because He has put eternity in our hearts. (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
We have looked at a few reasons for not accepting God’s will. What’s holding you back? If trials have stopped you in your tracks, trust God to use it for good. If self-centeredness or stubbornness is the issue, pray for God to give you a desire to follow him. If ignorance holds you back, read God’s word.
Jesus gives us peace beyond what the world offers. You just need to trust and obey, there’s no better way.
Lord thank you for your life-giving word. Give us a desire to follow hard after you. Help us be God-center rather than self-absorbed. Give us endurance to get through the tough spots in life. Help us see life from your perspective. In Jesus’ name Amen. © Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word. For more devotions, bible studies and a recommended book store, visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today.