"God, I just want what you want." Reeeeeally?

“Your will be done, on earth, as it is in Heaven.”

How often have we heard that line of the Lord’s Prayer and said, “Yes, God! YOUR will be done. Not mine.” And yet 10 minutes later we’re griping because we’re stuck in traffic because some old lady 10 cars up had the nerve to run over a nail and have a flat tire; and it doesn’t even look like she knows where her spare is! Or perhaps it’s more like a deadline we know is coming up, or a project we know needs to be completed, and even though we’ve had a month or more to really plan, set, and achieve the steps necessary to create an excellent end result, we somehow come to the hands, throw up our hands to God, and say “Your will be done! It’s out of my hands; I did my best.” Reeeeealy?

I was listening to end of the Sunday podcast of the Daily Audio Bible this morning and Brian’s words caught me. Here’s some of what he said (you can read more here):

We find ourselves in some sort of trial or hardship. We then go to the Lord in an attitude of humility, hat in hands. We come before the Lord and we’re sincere about it. “God, I just want what you want.” That hadn’t been true up to this point, but we’re rocked to the point that we realize God is our hope. We need to align our wills with his, so “whatever you want, God, is what I want. Where you’re going, Lord, is where I want to go. Speak to me. Give me a clear direction and, no matter what that is, that is what I will do. That is what I want to do, is to be obedient.” So then we hear from the Lord and it’s not what we want to hear, which immediately reveals the motives of our heart. We just want God to bail us out, to put things back to how they were when they were going well. We don’t want God’s will. We want our will with God’s blessing upon it. 

We don’t want God’s will.
We want our will with God’s blessing upon it. 

How true is that? And how many times has that been me. You could probably ask any of the people that REALLY know me, and they could rattle off a few. Or you could ask me, and I could rattle off a hundred. Times in life where I haven’t truly want’s God’s WILL. I’ve wanted God to fork over a “Get Out of Jail Free” card, to bail me out, to set me on a new path, or simply to “re-assure” me that I’m on the right path where I am.

It takes tremendous patience and humility to admit that God’s will may be being done in my life, even if I’m in a season where I can’t understand it at all. I was speaking with a very close friend just yesterday who, from the outside, could easily be thought of in a very stagnant part of life. In between “real jobs.” Friends around him have truly great things happening, some of which have even thrown my friend into even less work as he’s allowed God to take them out of his life, in a way… and yet as I’m talking to him, I sense complete honesty when he says, “I’m OK with that. If God has set me aside in this season to pray for others and connect them with each other, that’s great.” He goes on to say that of course he’d love to get “in the fray,” so to speak, but he’s come to a point in his life where he can no longer raise his fist at God and say, in essense, “I know better!”

I’m in a stage of my life right now where a lot seems to be changing. I’ve hunted all year for “something big” and haven’t found it. I’m still doing much of the same type of thing I was a year and a half ago, which is not entirely what I’d say I want to be doing 5 years from now. The only difference is I’m doing more of it to make ends meet. I’ve pursued leads, considered strategies, and even put together a decent business plan to get there. But it kept feeling “off.” Like it was more of my version of what I thought God would want to do than His version matched with my unique person.

Recently some things have started to come together in some directions that I’m simply amazed by. A month ago I had an idea and started building on it for a concept I thought would allow me to encourage, equip, and empower teens all over the country through little groups they’re part of. Last week I had coffee with a man who sandblasted the idea with a word of wisdom I hadn’t even thought of that could have seemingly squashed the whole thing. Instead, though, we talked it through, and 2 hours later that obstacle had become a tremendous opportunity. It took me right out of the equation. Instead of “Chet” being “the guy” who sends out all these little “love drops” (Thanks for that word, Rob), it’s now parents, grandparents, and those who should be adding life to their children. Instead of looking to build some sort of income from cash strapped ministries, we’re looking toward families with some cash to spare. I was humbled, excited, scared, and thrilled, all at once.

That feeling remains. We’re now moving into plans to build marketing and sales strategies, and up comes this idea that we’ll need a 3-5 minute promo video to play in churches and before parents to share the concept. Video!? Wow. Um…. I hadn’t even thought of that, but it makes perfect sense, and since I’ve bitten the bullet and re-engaged my little network of people these past few weeks, I know exactly who to call on to help me with that. 

It’s amazing what happens when we switch from “my will with God’s blessing” to simply “God’s will.” I wouldn’t say that everything falls into place, because it certainly does not. Before ANYTHING can fall into place, it probably all needs to FALL DOWN. Depending on the height of the wall I’ve built and upon what foundation it was built, it may need to be torn down to the ground (or further). But Jesus will do that. He is faithful and true, and our God will come through…. always.

I’m no expert on this subject, and I think those who are “experts” are either full of crap or have walked the long, hard path of surrender and finally seen that to truly experience God’s blessing in our lives, we must lay it all down. Every. Little. Bit. I hope to continue to seek out and learn from these men, women, and even children. They are out there, and they are worth following. Perhaps, someday, God will use me in that way. Perhaps he already is. All glory to him, forever.

Your will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.

(If you’d like to read more of Brian Hardin’s thoughts on this topic, check out the transcript of 10/23’s Daily Audio Bible here, or listen to it here.)


Kristian Stanfill – Always

My foes are many, they rise against me
But I will hold my ground
I will not fear the war, I will not fear the storm
My help is on the way, my help is on the way

Oh, my God, He will not delay
My refuge and strength always
I will not fear, His promise is true
My God will come through always, always

Troubles surround me, chaos abounding
My soul will rest in You
I will not fear the war, I will not fear the storm
My help is on the way, my help is on the way

Oh, my God, He will not delay
My refuge and strength always
I will not fear, His promise is true
My God will come through always, always

I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord (4x)
From You Lord, from You Lord


Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge – Experiencing the Playful, Disruptive, Extravagant Personality of Jesus

Last week I was able to get an advance copy of John Eldredge’s new book, Beautiful Outlaw. They’d of course love for me to write a review as the book comes out this week, and I am doing so… even though I haven’t finished the book yet. I actually had this whole thing written up and then clicked “close” instead of “save” so round 2 will probably be a bit shorter.

I remember when I was back in college that we read the book Knowing God by J.I. Packer. This was an amazingly well written book about the attributes of God, and I found myself feeling like I was really coming to know Him as I learned more about him. I truly did come to know God better during that period, but I don’t think it was just the facts that did it. Being surrounded by believers and truth at a small town Christian college will do wonders for your image of God; the only thing… it comes to an end after a few years, and if all you gained was facts about God, you’re going to be in a world of hurt when real life hits you.

I’m truly enjoying this book about the personality of Jesus. The Jesus who made the world also had to learn how to say “ma-ma” and “da-da.” The Jesus who saved my soul probably hit His thumb with a hammer and yelled somthing in the pain. This Jesus – the playful, extravagant, bluntly honest and sometimes even sarcastic Jesus – is the one I am falling in love with now. I don’t know how to explain how it happened, how He could be 100% God and 100% man, but it did. I can rest confidently in what Paul said in Phillipians 2:

Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!

I love how Eldredge mixes story, personal journey, and tales of truth straight from Jesus’ life into the book. That’s quite typical of his books, but it doesn’t get old on me.

I’d encourage you to pick the book up. You can also visit Ransomed Heart’s website or this site dedicated to the Beautiful Outlaw.