September 2, 2007

Ephesians 1:9


   The will of God was foremost in the life and ministry of Christ. Not only did He teach disciples to pray that God’s will would be done “on earth, as it is in heaven,” His every moment and movement were guided by God’s will. His disciples were repeatedly instructed as to the will of His “Father, Which is in heaven.” (Mt. 7:21, 12:50, 18:14). The Lord’s agony in Gethsemane decided “not My will, but Thine be done.” (Lk. 22:42). The Lord sought not His own will, but “the will of Him that sent Me” (Jn. 4:34; 5:30, 6:38-40).
   The Psalmist wrote, “Sacrifice and offering, You did not want, but a body have You prepared for me. Then said I, Lo, I Come...  I delight to do Your will, O my God” (40:6-8). When Christ came into the world, He took away “the first (the Old Covenant with its sacrificial system) that He may establish the second (the New Covenant, the will of God), “by the which will we are sanctified by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all time” (Heb. 10:8-11).
   Christ “pleased not Himself...” but the One Who sent Him. God’s will is simply what He wants to be done in our lives for His own pleasure! The Lord said it best, “Whoever wills to come after Me, let him deny himself (what he wants to do),...and follow Me. For whosoever wills to save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it” (Mk. 8:34-35). We cannot save our lives by living for our pleasure doing our will. We will lose them. On the other hand, if we lose our lives by not living for ourselves, but for the gospel and the Lord Jesus doing the will of God, we will save our lives. By abandoning our will and doing His will we preserve our lives to eternal glory and reward! “You have need of patience, that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise... Now the God of peace...make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ” (Heb. 10:36, 13:21). We, too, can prove what is “that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:2).

Ivan L. Burgener