The fact is, serving God will sometimes require you to do things you would rather not do. That’s the way it was with Jonah. Nineveh was the last place that he wanted to be, but the only place on earth that he could be in God’s will. Preaching to those people was the last thing he wanted to do, but the only thing he could do to please the Lord. God would not settle for anything else.
Have you ever noticed how little concern people have for the will of God when it clashes with their will? Some would climb the highest mountain, risking their life to do God’s will, if they loved mountain climbing. They love the view and enjoy the experience so they are elated to do God’s will in a case like that. But suppose they are fearful of heights and peaceful in the valley, and God bids them to leave their comfort and climb. What then? Or, to look at it another way, suppose you love the thrill of climbing mountains and God tells you to stay in the valley. Now what? Does your delight turn to drugery and depression when your desire is denied? Can you be at peace in the valley when your desire is to climb the mountain? Maybe you’re not as concerned about God’s will as you would like people to think. You need to think about that.
I know– I’ve taken a long time trying to make my point, but I’ve done so because I don’t want you to miss the point. It is crucial that we know we are actually serving God rather than striving to please ourselves. It is for your own good that I have raised this issue. This is not something you can afford to be wrong about. I simply want you to be certain that you focus is on God’s will, not personal gratification.
The greatest feeling in the world is knowing you are where God wants you to be and doing what He wants you to do. There is no peace without it. I can honestly say that there is no amount of money that could lure me away from where I am. Money isn’t worth that much to me. The richest man in the world doesn’t have enough money to persuade me to resign as the pastor of this church. On the other hand there is nothing that could stop me from resigning if I knew without a doubt that God wanted me to leave. And I wouldn’t move an inch if I had any doubt–“For God is not the author of confusion”-(1 Cor. 14:33).
Over and over I’ve said “Success is simply discovering the will of God and doing it”. If you know of a better way to describe it I would like to hear it. And if you know of anything more important than this I would like to know what it is. The will of God is not only the secret to service and success, it is the secret of safety–our safe place. The safest place on earth is the center of God’s will and the most dangerous place on the planet is a fraction of an inch out of God’s will. There is no wiggle room, no middle ground, no neutral territory, no degree of disobedience. You are either in or out. And tragedy of some sort always results from being out of God’s will. It’s like a star out of orbit. There is no promise of provision, no safe place outside of God’s will.
God’s will is the secret of service, success, safety, and serenity (Col. 3:15). Duties never conflict. Many of our burdens come from personal ambition, and as long as we are striving to get our way we will never have peace. Peace comes from surrender. And it is in this that we find the source of satisfaction that we yearn for. There is no doubt about it, when it comes to the matter of us surrendering ourselves to the will of God, there is a war of the wills. Paul spoke about it in Rom. 7 & and Gal. 4:16-18.
Although we can’t win this war of the wills without God’s help we must remember that He doesn’t force us against our will. Do you have the will to win? If you’re willing God will make you able. Being willing to do God’s will is the wisest decision you ever make. Think about it!