Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Not My Will, But Yours Be Done

Have you ever prayed this prayer?  As Jesus said, "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done." Luke 22:42   If things are going well in one’s life then that prayer is easy to say, but when your world is falling apart, it is a difficult prayer to utter because you are ultimately asking the Lord to do whatever He wants to do with your life.  You are giving Him complete control over your circumstances.  It is a tough prayer to pray because you are leaving your entire situation in the Lord's hand.  Which, by the way, is a wonderful place to be, but sometimes our flesh says otherwise. 
Asking for God's will to be done in your life is sometimes hard.

This past Monday morning our home was scheduled to be sold on the courthouse steps (again); in other words, to be foreclosed upon. For many months now, the sale of our home has been postponed month after month after month and we wondered if this time it would be any different.  So we waited for the outcome.  You can read more of my story here at, Are Trials Really Good for Us?

As I sat down that morning for my time with the Lord, I had every intention of  bringing my petitions before Him regarding this urgent matter on our house.  I had plans to ask the Lord to postpone the sale of our house, however, something unusual took place in my prayer life that morning.   

When I was about to write down my petitions in my prayer journal, I stopped.  I could not ask the Lord to allow us to stay in our home.  I sat there with my Bible off to the side and my journal on my lap and all I could hear through my mind was, "Not my will, but Yours be done."  I thought about that prayer and the implications of it.  I knew what I would be praying to God if I uttered those words.  I would be giving Him complete control of my situation.  I would be surrendering all of my fleshy desires along with all my fears to Him.  I was telling Him,  "Have it your way Lord."

While I sat there writing those words I thought is was odd for the Lord to speak to my spirit so clearly about what I should pray.  There is certainly nothing wrong for a believer to bring his requests before God because the Word encourages it!  I’ve done that a thousands times in my life.  "And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him."  1 John 5:15  But this time was different.  It was clearly God’s voice directing me to lay down my desires and let go of the situation.  Put it in God’s hands and let Him do His thing.  I felt compelled to pray for His will to be done in our lives regardless of the outcome because He always knows what is best for us.  So, I prayed, Not my will, but Yours be done.  

When we pray that prayer we are in essence asking the Lord to take our life and let it be His- for the molding, the shaping, the using. 

All for His purpose and for His benefit

To become a vessel for Him

God answered that prayer on Monday and our home was sold that afternoon.  Yesterday, my emotions were all over the place. One minute I knew that God would provide for us and I knew that He had great plans for our lives, but then the next minute I was reminded of my reality. Where do we go from here?  Where will we live and how are we going to survive?  Will we end up living in a homeless shelter? I looked around my home mentally taking in, all that would need to be packed (again) and all that I would need to let go of because where I was going, I could not take it with me.  I stood there thinking, "Perhaps I should have prayed for the Lord to prolong the sale."  I needed to keep my mind on the Lord and His will, not my emotions and the fear that was starting to take over in my mind.  "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You."  Isaiah 26:3

It is hard to submit to the Lord and surrender to Him.  Sometimes we need to learn to not control things and learn to let God be God and do His job.  We don’t need to micromanage Him and we don’t need to help Him fix our problems.  What God asks of us is for our obedience, our love, our faith and our willingness to be used by Him.

"Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?  "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Matthew 6:25,26

"Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear? For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."  Matthew 6:31-33

The word Gentile in this particular passage is referring to an unbeliever.  Jesus is saying that an unbeliever seeks those things.  The unbeliever does not have his eyes on the Lord, he is only seeking to satisfy his flesh.  The Lord further tells us, His children, to seek His kingdom first AND His righteousness and then He will provide us with all we need. 

When we worry we act like unbelievers.  Regardless of our circumstances we need to remember God’s promises…He will provide us with all we need. 

There are now a lot of things in my life that I don’t know. I don’t know when we will receive a notice on our door to get out of our house.  I don’t know how much longer we will have to live here and I don’t know where we will move to.  (Uncertainty can take hold of my spirit if I allow it and I allowed it yesterday) But this is what I do know:

Although I don’t know what my tomorrow holds, what I do know is Who holds my tomorrow.

I can’t tell you what a blessing it was to have had the Holy Spirit breathe that prayer into my heart this past Monday morning.  I am thankful I did not run ahead of Him or that I did not quench His spirit because He has brought me to a place spiritually that I do not believe I would have been at had I prayed a prayer of my own will to be done.
God's will be done, I pray...even if it hurts. Even if it will cost me my own comfort and heartache.

I have peace knowing that God will guide us to the best situation for our family because I have prayed for His will.  Yes, the days are coming when life will become more increasingly difficult.  Times when the Lord will be carrying me through all of this and when dark times rear their ugly heads and bring discouragement to my soul.  Tough decisions will need to be made again and physical exhaustion will fill our days and nights as we prepare to move again.  But through all of this, I can rest in the center of His will.  That’s where God wants us all the time- with Him. (You can read an update of my story here at, Dying to Self...Is It Worth It?)

In His presence is where we will feel loved, cared for, and nurtured.  In His presence we will not see our needs or our desires.  Our fears and our pain are diminished because we are in our Savior’s arms.  Submitting to the plans that He has for our lives will bring us comfort and peace.

A note to my friends: Based on our current situation, I am not sure how much time I will have to devote to writing new posts (articles) in the coming days, but the time I do have to write for my precious Jesus, He has prompted me to write a little bit differently than I have had in my prior posts.  What I have written in the past is my story; you learning about me, the journey the Lord has had me on, and God's faithfulness in all of it.  But now He is guiding me to write to teach and equip you in your journey as you face your own pain, trials, heartaches, and fears so your walk will be strengthened and so you can encourage others.  But beware, you may have to take off your mask. (wink!)  Don't worry, it is not required.

I still have a few more posts to share with you such as, Why God Has Not Called Me to Get a Job and How to Lose Your Dream Home Not Just Once but Twice, however, those posts will have to wait! 

I would love to hear from you as you have sought the Lord's will for your life.  Was it easy?  What was the outcome like?  Did you draw closer to the Lord as a result of it?

His Will is beautiful....it removes our doubts and brings us peace,

4 comments:

phyllisrice said...

Wow! sometimes you just wonder what in the world He is doing. And in many situations we will NEVER know. Our job is to commit it to Him and trust. So, so so hard to do sometime. Said a prayer for you. God Bless.

Jolene Engle said...

@phyllisrice
Hi Phyllis, Thank you so much for praying for our family! No, we certainly don't know what He is doing but we do know it will all work out for our good. Yes, it is hard to commit and trust Him sometimes, but our only other choice is to not follow Him and that's not a choice for us!! He does great things and He cares more for me than what I could ever imagine. I have to just keep telling myself that!
Look to Him in ALL things because He is there.
Blessings to you my friend,
jolene

Dayna said...

Jolene thank you for sharing this! Amazingly my study time with the Lord this morning was very similar to what you have shared! Hmmmm?! I was looking at 8:22-25 and Mark 4:35-41 Where Jesus tells the disciples, "Let us cross to the otherside" (of the Galilee Sea)! Jesus sleeps, the disciples fear the storm, and He teaches them a lesson in faith! I could go on and on but I will just say that your blog is such a blessing to me and I will be lifting you in prayer for increased faith and strength as you go through this storm to the otherside.
Love in Christ, Dayna

Jolene Engle said...

@Dayna Sweet Dayna! Thanks for the encouragement and prayers. I will write soon about protecting our spiritual well-being and, "Learning to Sleep in the Boat with Jesus" when the storms come...because they always do! As believers we need to expect them and learn how to go through them with Christ knowing they are for a wonderful purpose. Blessings to you my friend!
Jolene