The Concession of My Will (ETD – Pt. 8)
The Concession of My Will ~ Submission
There is a load of rich Biblical history depicting tenacious men and women beseeching God for what they wanted. Abraham respectfully yet repeatedly spoke with the Lord with regard to the destruction of Sodom. Jacob wrestled for a blessing. Hannah pleaded for a son. The Apostle Paul wanted relief from his “thorn in the flesh.” And Jesus asked, three times no less, that the task set before Him be removed.
Peter had it right when he confessed, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Similarly, the Children of Israel were experts at going right to the Source with praise, complaints, requests, and gratitude. While the details of their prayers may have been sketchy at times, they almost never misdirected those prayers. They knew who God was. They knew Who could deliver. Where else were they going to go?
These last few posts have traced a sequence of thoughts about the posture of my heart as I enter the dialogue and occupy the fourth chair. Humility reveals an understanding of Whose company I am in. Honesty is present so that meaningful dialogue is possible. Then, as my requests are made known, there is an accompanying abdication of control, so that God might conform my desires to reflect His. I concede my will to His. I submit.
Does that mean I stop asking for what I want? I believe it’s actually critical that I keep being brutally honest about my desires. Unless and until it’s spoken, how can I come to know the quality of those requests? How can God teach me if I won’t speak the things that are deep in my soul? Submissiveness is essential, but tenacity as I keep honestly confessing my deepest desires is far from discouraged. Jews call it chutzpa and consider it a virtue!
God states unequivocally, “My ways are not your ways, and your thoughts are not my thoughts.” This truth cannot be overstated. At the same time, as I grow in relationship with the Living God, there is a progression of internal development where my thoughts are being conformed to His. As I’m transformed into the likeness of His Son, my thoughts and desires are progressively transformed. It’s one and the same.
Sitting in the fourth chair, I speak my heart and my mind. I listen to His response. I submit to His answer, remembering He is all-knowing and all-wise. I am secure in His love for me, sure that all He does is for my good. I’m grateful that He makes space for this kind of exchange; hopeful that I am in fact, in the process of being transformed into the likeness of Jesus, so that the prayer of my heart; my deepest prayer would become, Have Your way, Lord.
Make me to know your ways,
O Lord; teach me your paths.
~ Psalm 25:4 ~
Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
and give me life in your ways.
~ Psalm 119:37 ~
My son, give me your heart,
and let your eyes observe my ways.
~ Proverbs 23:26 ~
I agree completely with Nancy and Melissa’s comments. Also want to say I’m so thankful the Lord can handle our questions, our honesty and that He will do a transforming work in our hearts as we seek Him with humility. Love you Anne – grateful for your life.
This is so good, Anne. We know that God already knows our heart, our desires, out thoughts, but invites us to share them with Him. He desires our fellowship and wants us to establish that relationship with Him. I want Him to be the first place I go, regardless of whether I am being selfish or obedient — He is my Father and He wants me to bring everything to Him. Thank you for expressing all of this so well.
Anne…this series, this installment especially…so rich, so true, so needed. Thanking God for the work He is doing in you, for our collective good and His glory.
You are so loved and appreciated. XO