Matthew 6:10, Jesus was teaching His disciples about prayer – “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” He was telling His disciples that God’s will might be done in their lives; these earthen vessels He has loaned to us. I like what we sing, “Teach us Thy will, Thy way make clear. We would Thy will obey.” His will is something we need to be learning and doing; not something we learn all at one time, but a continuing thing and God wants to teach us and help us in His will. I like the picture we get of Jesus’ life: “I came down from heaven not to do My own will but Him that sent Me.” Jesus made it clear in His life that His life was about doing His Father’s will. That was the way He lived and it consumed His life. He was teaching His disciples and us that we need to be seeking God to teach us and help us to do His will.
He sounded the warning in Matthew 7:21, “Not every one that saith unto Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven.” That is the important thing; it’s in the doing of God’s will in our lives. He explained that there’s going to be many that miss out that say they had prophesied in His name and done wonderful works. “I never knew you; depart from Me ye that work iniquity.” He didn’t know them; they weren’t under His control and not in submission to Him. Doing what they thought but not labouring to be in the will of God: to know it and obey it. It’s a sobering statement because there’s going to be some shocks on that last day if we are going to be doing what we thought and not striving to fit into His will for our lives.
“Teach me Thy will, Thy way make clear, we would Thy will obey.” It has been a comfort to me if that’s my prayer, “Thy will be done in my life,” like it was in Jesus. And if I am working at it each day there will be no shocks at the end: that’s the attitude I would like to cultivate.
[I was thinking about] two men in the Old Testament who wanted God to teach them and show them:
Exodus 33:13, “If I have found grace in Thy sight, shew me now Thy way.” That was Moses’ desire. Moses was not beginning in God’s way. He had led God’s people out into the wilderness. They had sinned and he had come to God to make atonement for them and intercede for them. And now he says, “Teach me now Thy way.” I liked that. Moses felt he needed every direction, fresh vision and understanding.
One of my companions used to tell us God’s way is step-by-step unfolding. Not something we learn in one go but step by step. As we take each step in God’s will, He will lead us further. That was Moses’ desire that day – I need fresh direction; we want Thy presence, we want Thy favour.
Sometimes I have been on bush walks where the tracks aren’t clearly defined. Sometimes there are marks on trees and you will see an arrow on a tree and go 50 meters and you are looking out for the next tree and there’s a mark. God’s will and God’s way is like that. We need to seek God’s direction, God’s help continually; like that tree and know that we are on course and we have God’s favour. Moses wanted that fresh help and direction.
The other was David in Psalm 25:4-5. His cry was, “Shew me Thy ways O Lord; teach me Thy paths. Lead me in Thy truth and teach me; for Thou art the God of my salvation; on Thee do I wait all the day.” David knew he had to seek His direction and His will; knew it was something he needed to learn. This matter of pleasing God isn’t in us by nature but as we seek God He will reveal it. I thought of David, “Lead me in Thy truth.” That was the path he wanted to be walking; in the will of God.
I thought of these men David and Moses; we can see the marks of Christ within their lives. Think of David and the mercy he showed to others. They were marks that came as a result of being led by God into His truth and because of being taught God’s will. That’s how we become more Christ-like as God is able to teach us His will, how to live, how to walk before Him. That’s what He said to Abraham, “Walk before Me and be thou perfect.” If I am seeking God’s help, to teach and guide me, then my life is going to be acceptable to Him. May it be so for us all.