HIS Will vs. My Will (Submission and Planning)
As I’m writing this blog on the last day of 2020, and I’m thinking of the New Year, and how we often make several resolutions. Some are significant and create positive change in our life, while others simply go in one-year and out another. May I suggest a major TARGET for prayer and fasting in this first month of the year? Seek HIM and His Will FIRST before we pull out our list of desires and wants. Keep unselfish motives in check. Nothing wrong with setting goals and making plans, so long as their secondary. It’s kind of like using the Lord’s Prayer as a model for developing our prayer life. It begins with worship (hallowed be thy name), then progresses (thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven) and then continues to asking for our daily bread.
Instead of asking for OUR best, may we ask daily for HIS best in our life, family, ministry, church, community, etc. When we do, it positions us to experience HIS best. Ephesians 5:18 says, “Be filled with the Spirit.” To accomplish that requires us surrendering self-control, to His control. Asking for His help in every area of our life. Put another way …. I really want and desire for the Holy Spirit to take the lead. That’s a challenge for us who are accustomed to Western civilization style of Christianity.
HOW do I find HIS will? That’s where setting aside a large part of the “first” month for prayer and fasting enters. Prayer is to our spirit man, what oxygen is to our natural man. Jesus said to his disciples “when”, not if you fast in Matthew 6:16. You may be very familiar, or not so much with the subject of fasting. Please seek Biblical resources, or ask your pastor or a mature Christian.
PRAYER is to Our SPIRIT MAN, What OXYGEN is to Our NATURAL Man
WHAT is fasting? It’s a means by which we deny ourselves (Spirit, Soul and Body) food, pleasures and distractions for the purpose of seeking HIM; concentrating on hearing from HIM. Shutting down the natural man in order to feed our spirit man. It’s not a diet. It’s not a hunger pact to force someone to comply with our wishes. It’s not twisting God’s arm for something. It’s not something done to impress others (wrong motives). Fasting is mentioned some 35 times in scripture and was a common practice in the early church. It’s like recalibrating our spiritual life; like detoxing our body and soul in order to be healthy.
TYPES of fasts include: Normal Fast abstaining from food (fully or partially) for a specific amount of time. It can include abstaining from sweets, sodas, news and social media, and entertainment (fully or partially). It’s most effective when the TIME is invested with prayer, Bible reading, meditation, spiritual resources (spiritual book, cd’s, teachings, etc.) Again, the purpose is to starve our natural man and feed our spiritual man. Seeking HIS will, before seeking ours. It can be a means of increasing our spiritual power (spirit vs. flesh, new man vs. old man); a means of seeking GUIDANCE; a means of deliverance from various habits and, or strongholds. What area of your life do you need guidance? As we fast (food, news, social media, etc.) we have the opportunity to become more sensitive to God. Turning on spiritual ears on. To those old enough to remember, it’s similar to fine tuning the radio that had a dial, rather than a button.
TIME – some say we don’t have time to fast. How much time do we spend on social media daily? News media, television and hunting. For the “average” person, this frees up several hours per day to feed our spirit man. I remember the story of a man in Alaska who was training dogs for fighting. He had two dogs, one brown and one white. Whichever dog he bet on, would always win. The brown dog one time and then the white the next. When asked how he knew which would win, he said, “the one I want to win, I feed for two weeks prior to the fight, as I starve the other one for the same amount of time.”
BENEFITS, one of them is GUIDANCE. Karen and I (as do many Christians) were fasting two years ago in January seeking specific guidance for a home-church. I speak and visit numerous churches for Sabbath Rest, but we were looking for a home church. We had been in good churches, but discerned that we weren’t in the church HE desired; we weren’t in His will. During our fast, we gave God three choices (LOL) that we believed were best. God is so much bigger than any box we see, think or imagine. He led us to a church not even on our radar and we’ve been there for two years. We attribute that guidance to fasting and prayer. In what specific area do you need guidance? Another benefit is DELIVERANCE, or overcoming strongholds (habit, fear, anger, hatred, bitterness, etc.) What strongholds do you want to overcome this year? Another benefit is allowing our spirit man to RULE over our carnal or fleshly man. Sometimes we do almost anything to keep our carnal-natural man happy. Our natural man may look well, but our spirit man may look like and Ethiopian refugee.
Our Natural Man May Look Well, But Our Spirit Man May Look Like An Ethiopian Refugee
WHY the first part of the year? There’s something about FIRST that God honors: First-fruit in our giving of grain, animals (resources). Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matt 6:33), “Consecrate to me the firstborn” (Exodus 13:12), the first commandment – “you shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3), Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matt 22: 37-38), “On the first day of the week the women went to the empty tomb.” (Luke 24:1), As we honor HIM with the first part of the year, it helps us to discern HIS will in our lives the rest of the year. No, it’s obviously not the only time we pray and fast, but it’s the FIRST.
I remember the story of a man who was praying diligently to God for guidance and blessing at the beginning of the year. He would bring his pad and pen with him to his secret place of prayer. He told God what he wanted and asked God to bless his requests, desires and resolutions. Day after day he pursued God’s blessings on his desires. After a few weeks and hearing and sensing nothing from the Lord, he sought the counsel of an older and more mature Christian friend. He then took his now blank pad that asked God for HIS Will, HIS desires and HIS resolutions, and wrote at the bottom of the pad: I surrender my will to yours. May YOUR Will be accomplished in my life this year and then placed his signature at the bottom. Almost immediately, he sensed the Holy Spirit’s presence and anointing.
SUBMISSION is the key to finding and walking in HIS will. SUBMISSION is the willingness to give up our right to ourselves, to freely surrender our insistence on having our own way all the time. (Myles Monroe)
SUBMISSION Is The Willingness to Give Up Our Right To Ourselves, To Freely Surrender Our Insistence On Having Our Own Way All The Time
May the Lord Bless YOU greatly this year as you surrender your will to HIS Will for you, your family, your ministry, business or career in this New Year.