Which Will? (part five)
You don’t hear much about one’s will in preaching these days. There’s plenty about God’s love, God’s mercy, and how God thinks each of us is so very wonderful. There’s lots about our allowing God to do this or that— be the center, be in charge, be on the throne, take my life, let it be this or that for Thee.
Listening to all of this, it’s easy to get the idea that the Christian life is lived passively. The inference is that you just sit and wait, yielded and surrendered until God decides to act upon your life … then suddenly, you do great things for God.
In my observation, people pretty much do what they’ve trained themselves to do. If you’ve trained yourself to live your faith passively, you’re not likely to spring into action when God makes an opening that requires fast obedience and involves risk.
When we sing “Lord take my life and let it be fully pleasing unto thee” I imagine God asking us: “Well, what do you want?
Do you want your life to please God?
Then, tell your boyfriend you’ll sleep with him when he marries you. Not again ‘till then.
Insist that your employer pays you “above the table”.
Gather some friends and help someone who’s needy. Keep doing it until they ask you why.
Each is an action.
It requires your will to do it.
To drift through the years, living an indistinctive life also takes your will. The will to live like everyone else.
Your stuff is paramount.
All this, Martin Buber calls our “little will”. He says it’s “ruled by things and drives”. Like our emotions and preferences. The little will never accomplishes anything great.
And, in the US in this hour, so pitifully little seems to be getting done that honors Christ and blesses those outside the Church, that we’d be wise to engage our “great wills” and get after it.
If not, I fear Christianity could be within a few decades of extinction.
Recently I heard an interview with the founder of a Freedom from Religion group. Their purpose is to educate the United States in “nontheism” –ridding society of all worship. He relished the amazing progress of their cause in the US and points to Scandinavia where he said fewer than 4% have any religious faith.
A secular utopia.
You can bet this man’s will is fully engaged in its pursuit.
Coaching distinctions #46.doc