By Pastor Bankie Olusina
The Lord’s primary aim is not to be giving step-by-step instructions, but to teach His wisdom to His children.
A Christian woman had her children in a school. Even though the school does not belong to a religious body, the owners are Christians and the head is a vibrant Christian. They have Christian assemblies in the mornings and preachers do come to expound the word of God to the students. It therefore qualifies to be called a Christian school.
Ok, that is settled. One of those days this mother went to the school to complain about a way things were being done in the school which she felt was not the best way and which she had a better way to suggest. Her concern was for the welfare of her children and the other pupils in the school.
She met a brick wall; they wouldn’t listen to her suggestion, insisting on their own way without giving any reason that any thinking adult could easily understand. When pressed further they came up with it: “We know what God told us to do.” Essentially, they were doing what God told them to do, and though it was not reasonable to a thinking fellow Christian, and is not commanded in the written word of God which we all have, no one should complain as they were simply obeying the Lord.
This scenario is all too common in today’s Christianity. Now, I am not addressing the issue of how to hear God or whether He actually speaks to people (even though I am certain that in more than 90% of cases, the Lord didn’t say anything to any of the people claiming He did), what I want to point out is that something is wrong if after obeying God you are still not able to own the decision. Something is wrong if after supposedly obeying God, you still have to pass the buck over to the Lord as the reason why you did what you did. Maybe you actually heard God, but something is definitely out of place if you cannot see the wisdom of God, rejoice in it, and be defending the Lord, so to speak; it is curious if you still have to be hiding behind “God told me.”
Let me explain further.
See, following God’s plan (or God’s will, if you prefer the expression), has three basic stages. Stage One is becoming aware of it; Stage Two is to accept it, even if grudgingly, while Stage Three is to own the decision. To own the decision is to become fully convinced of the wisdom of it. It is for the decision to have become yours and not just the Lord’s.
Let us look at the life of the Lord Jesus to see these stages.
We know that He knew the will of the Father all through His life, and He was determined to do it. Numerous verses show us that He was always doing precisely what the Father wanted. For example, He said, “the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me” (John 14:24). He would say, “The Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what He sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does” (John 5:19). This is Stage 2 of following God’s plan that is being described.
But he did not live in Stage 2.
Beyond doing what the Father wanted simply because the Father wanted it, He lived in stage 3. He said, “I delight to do Thy will…” He actually loved what He was doing. He enjoyed it. He said it gave Him satisfaction (John 4:34). He was united with God to the extent that even if the Father said noting, that very thing is what He would also do. The only difference was that as a human (having laid aside His glory), He had to accept limitations in knowledge, and so had to depend on the Father’s decisions. But the Father’s heart was His heart too. No difference.
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature (Hebrews 1:3, ESV)
So you never see Him telling someone that “the Father said I should heal you.” We didn’t ever hear Him say that “the Father said I should forgive you of your sins.” He just healed who He wanted to heal, forgave who He wanted to forgive, and that was all. The Bible shows us that He called His disciples and sent them out two by two. He chose those He wanted to be with Him and send out to preach (Mark 3:14). The decisions were presented as His own even though we know these were in total agreement with the Father. Essentially, He owned all the decision as His even though they originated with the Father.
Until we get to that point, our obedience is actually not complete. We see that the Lord actually said that we must not only be obedient but we must also be willing. The blessing of the land is only for those who have gone beyond just being obedient but are willing (Isaiah 1:19). God in not only at work in us to make us do, He is actually first working in us to make us willing. But many are stuck in the ‘do’ side, and they brag on it.
What does it mean to be wiling? It is to begin to take ownership of the decisions. It is to become converted to divine viewpoint, not to continue to pass the buck of the responsibly over to the Lord all the time.
…To Be Concluded in the Next Post