God’s will or my own?

I love this piece that someone sent me from Bill Johnson. It’s so good I thought it is a great way to get this blog going again. The extracts are from ch 10 of his book. I pray you are blessed as I was.

Absolute surrender to the will of God is the only way for the believer to live. Yet something strange happens as that person enters into the intimacy of friendship with God; God becomes interested in our desires. And ultimately, He wants our minds renewed so that our will can be done.

By now I hope it’s clear that the normal Christian life is a partnership between God and each one of us, played out in everyday living as we become the gate of heaven, releasing the manifestation of God’s reality for those around us. Paul called us co-labourers with Christ (see 2 Cor. 6:1) and that is what we are—partners in the work of heaven in this earthly sphere. But many Christians have a one-dimensional perspective of this idea of co-labouring. They think it’s a robotic interplay between themselves and God in which their will is dialled down to zero and His will completely overtakes their desires and thoughts. They see themselves as remote control beings, totally under the direction of a God who sits in heaven and works the master controls. But that is exactly the opposite of what the Bible says. In fact, our ideas and desires and dreams have a monumental influence on how God carries out His plan in this world.

We are co-labourers, meaning that apart from Christ our work is not complete, and at the same time, amazingly, His work on earth is not complete without us. God looks to you and me as contributors to what He is doing, not just robots carrying out His ideas. He actually is interested in your desires and dreams and has opened up His plan on this planet to your influence.

This sounds almost blasphemous to the modern Christian ear. Many of us, myself included, have prayed prayers in the past that say, “Oh God, take over my will!” That is easily one of the stupidest prayers anyone can pray. It totally devalues our will, which is one of the greatest things God ever created. Your will is so valuable that He wouldn’t violate it even at the cost of His own Son. You and I are the pearl of great price. Without an independent will, we become animated playthings, dolls, and programmed toys. But with a free will, we become lovers of God and willing co-labourers with Him. And when we co-labour with Him, our ideas can literally change the course of history.

The Bible shows us how co-labouring works. At the creation, God let Adam name all of the animals (see Gen. 2:19). Names in those days were more than just cute labels given to distinguish the creatures. Names were assigned according to character. They indicated what kind of being this would be. When God gave Adam the privilege and responsibility of naming all of the animals, He was inviting him to assign character and nature to those creatures he would spend his life with. God created it all; Adam added his creative expression by giving the animals certain natures. That’s co-labouring.

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