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The greatest thing a Christian can do is...

Learning to Discern God's Will

I have noticed that the will of God for our lives is sometimes incongruous with what we desire for ourselves. Sometimes God wants to teach us some lessons through difficulty and pain, but our flesh fights against that. Jesus Himself wanted to escape the Calvary way but was strong enough to collapse His will to that of His father: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).

The greatest thing any Christian can do is to collapse his will, desire, aspiration, and ambition to the will of God. It depicts maturity and assures that the purpose of God is accomplished in a believer's life.

In my personal experience, I had resisted the will of God in my ministry for years. I went to Bible school and worked with one of the megachurches in Nigeria. I later founded a mission-sensitive church and constructed a state-of-the-art cathedral. I ran this church for years, but each time I finished preaching a sermon, I heard a voice, "This is not what I called you to do. I have called you to preach Christ where no one has heard about Him and no one has preached Him."

I struggled for many years on how to abandon my beautiful comfortable church, my ambition of pastoring a megachurch, and my desire to become a renowned world televangelist for a life of obscurity in bushes and remote villages. One fateful morning, I made up my mind to collapse all my ambitions and desires to the will of God for my ministry. I resigned from the church to focus extensively on reaching the unreached. When I finally did that, my human ambitions, anxiety and worries disappeared.

I received sufficient grace to pass through difficulties, persecutions, and attacks without complaining, and I came to realize that my coming to Christ is not about me and my desires but about God and His kingdom. I also came to know that I have responsibilities to God for which I will be held accountable when Christ returns.

One passage from Scripture has always challenged me: “Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.'” (Luke 9:23)  I have always taught that this commandment is unattainable, but I have come to understand that when a Christian collapses his will to the will of God, he automatically denies himself and definitely receives the grace to carry his cross daily. It is very difficult for anyone to deny himself without first of all collapsing his will to the will of God.

My constant grumbling and quarreling with God over unanswered prayers was one of my biggest problems. At times, I would give Him the ultimatum to answer my prayers or call me out of ministry. I now know that the will of God should not be subservient to the will of man. Before naming, claiming, and having any blessings, we should first know if what we are desiring is the will of God for our lives or just our own.

“There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death” (Proverbs 14:12). Many Christians today usually plan what they want to achieve without any divine consultation, only to start involving God at the implementation stage when obstacles manifest.

The reality is that “all things work together for good of those that love God.” (Romans 8:28)  I became strong in the face of adversities and challenges knowing quite well that the will of God is sacrosanct for my life. I have also noticed that the more I related to God freely, He blessed the works of my hands. I now serve God cheerfully as the Holy Spirit has encouraged, taught, and comforted me throughout the years.

I would like to encourage every believer to always consider the will of God before taking any decision. Where conflict arises, collapse your individual will into the will of God. The Apostle Paul did that after his prayers went unanswered. Instead of complaining, he began to take pleasure in his infirmities, in reproaches, in persecutions, and in distress for Christ's sake. That is when he received strength. (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)

There is nothing as fulfilling as living a life controlled by the will of God. It is satisfying, enjoyable, and ultimately glorifying to His name. May we all strive to submit our lives day to day to His perfect will.

Oscar Amaechina is the president of Afri-Mission and Evangelism Network, Abuja, Nigeria. His calling is to take the gospel to where no one has neither preached nor heard about Jesus. He is the author of the book Mystery Of The Cross Revealed.  

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