A Change of WillBro. David Chancellor
2/29/2004 11:00 AM
Hear me speedily, O Lord: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me. Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God; thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
This is a prayer, a soul crying out to God. "Teach me to do thy will" To do God's will, we should first desire to please God. Our will should be aligned with God's will.
The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.
This refers to Christ. Christ has all power in heaven and in earth. "Thy people shall be willing" To live the Christian life, we must be willing. God doesn't want us to strain really hard to do good against a desire to do bad. He wants people who desire to do good. If man were unchanged, it would be a constant struggle to do things other than what he wants to do. There's a better way; it's to be changed. The Christian life isn't, "I want to, but I can't." Some think men are made willing by being punished. We can be changed where we live the Christian life because we want to.
Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
This quotes Psalm 40. "Lo, I come to do thy will, O God" Sacrifice and offering didn't achieve what God wanted. God wasn't pleased by their sacrifices and offerings because they didn't do his will. "Sin more or less" religion is no better than the sacrifice and offering of the Old Testament. God did away with sacrifice and offering, and put something else in its place. Jesus offered himself as a sacrifice so that we could be changed and do the will of God. Our will must be in agreement with God's will; otherwise we won't be able to live this life. God can put a desire in us to do what pleases him. Christ came so that we could have a will to do God's will.
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Verse 12 says that these obeyed whether anyone noticed or not. Some "Christians" would do some things if nobody else knew. Christians should be the same no matter who is around. Our lives should be consistent. Verse 13 shows us that God helps us to want to do. He works on our will as well as on what we do. He does more than just give us power to over come; he causes our desires to change. Religion fails if it focuses only on the actions. It needs to get to the root of the problem. The will needs to get in line with God. If it is in line with God, the doing will be a lot easier. The power of God is needed both to change the will, and to change the actions. We aren't here to push our own way. If we all bring our wills into line with God's will, we can walk together and enjoy serving God together. The person, whose will is contrary to God's will, will have an unhappy life. God rewards those that do good. We can live as God would have us to live, and it won't have to be an unhappy thing. When God changes our will, the Christian life becomes a natural way to live. These lived right because they wanted to. If you do something thinking, "Maybe I won't get caught," you're already in trouble. God can make a change in us to help us want to do his will. If God doesn't change us, we'll be right back where we were before. He works in us to will as well as to do. He can make you willing and then give you the power to do it.