Not My Will
“Not my will, but your will be done.”
I am starting to perceive dimly that there are two ways of viewing these words. One of them I am very familiar with. That perception is a result of how I was taught to relate to God most of my life. It reflects an attitude of forced submission, of relinquishing my will by a painful releasing of my own desires and pleasures and sinking into a dark feeling of defeat as God once again gets His way instead of me being allowed to feel good and getting my way.
But what suddenly flickered past my emotional screen a few minutes ago when I said something similar to this as I prayed was something quite different than the dark feelings I have always experienced whenever I heard these kinds of statements in the past. It was a notion that this might well be what would be heard coming from the mouth of a person madly in love with someone else. It could come out of a heart overflowing with affection, adoration, even mushy 'puppy-love sickness' as we might put it when two young people get all starry-eyed over each other.
In that situation it would not be surprising to hear one – maybe a young lady – say something like, “Oh honey, I don't want to make this decision. You go ahead and decide for me. I love you so much that I trust whatever you feel is best.”
That kind of attitude and thinking is largely foreign to my mind. I know that theoretically we are supposed to feel that way in our marriage as well as in our relationship to God. But in reality I have seldom ever seen anyone actually feel and act that way spontaneously in my whole life. Maybe that is why it seems like such a bizarre idea to me emotionally. All I can remember feeling in relationship to this idea of 'not my will' is the context of a forced sort of submission, a constant struggle to fight very hard to let God have His way which most of the time is assumed to be pretty much the opposite of what I would want to do.
But if I go back to the couple in love analogy, it really doesn't make much sense to think of two people being google-eyed over each other and melting with affection and desire for each other but at the same time in constant tension over nearly everything they plan or talk about or want to do. We generally expect there to be a certain number of differences when two people first fall in love and start to get to know each other more intimately, but it is hard to imagine that there would be a constant competition for who is going to win each argument every time they try to make a joint decision. If that does happen most people begin to have serious reservations about the authenticity of their love for each other and the viability for the success of this relationship long-term. We also wonder what are the real underlying motivations that are driving these individuals to be attracted to each other at all.
I suppose maybe I am very poorly qualified to even be writing about this subject in the first place. I certainly am not coming from the background of one who has had much experience enjoying such a 'puppy-love' kind of relationship, especially anytime in the recent past. I am more coming from the angle of a person who is just starting to be a little bit aware that such a relationship is even possible for me to experience and to enjoy. That is precisely why I have such a hard time wrapping my mind around appreciating that it is possible to start with.
But the idea intrigues me and I suspect God's Spirit is introducing me to a whole new dimension of love that He longs for me to enjoy, a much more rewarding relationship where my attitude is one of feeling full of gratitude, adoration, affection, intense attraction and curiosity to know much more intimately a Person who actually loves and respects me unconditionally. As strange as it may sound to my heart, I actually believe that this is the kind of relationship that is vitally necessary in order for any person to successfully live in relationship to God and be truly prepared for all the intense attacks against them that are sure to be mounted by those who insist that this is not really 'the truth', that God cannot really be wanting us to feel that way and have such radical ideas about Him.
Father, please keep drawing me into this kind of relationship with You. You know it feels strange and different and even a bit suspicious because of my past experiences, but I also sense that these are the symptoms that will be seen in the lives of anyone who is truly in love. I want to find myself often spontaneously blurting out these kinds of sentiments to You in all sorts of situations, 'Not my ideas or desires but Yours, Jesus'.
I want to experience myself madly in love with You as I feel Your passionate, unconditional love soak into every part of my heart and mind and soul. I want to become hopelessly addicted to thriving on Your affections for me. I want to be in such a relationship with You that the very thought of getting my way when it is not in harmony with Your desires and Your heart will literally frighten me because I will know intuitively that Your passionate love for me is always extravagantly better than anything I could ever imagine myself.
Thank-you so much for opening up this capacity to even perceive this option. I realize that the damage to my soul and my abilities to live in such a close, intimate relationship with You has seriously handicapped me for most of my life. But I praise You for all of the healing that You are doing inside of me to re-form me back into the likeness of what You originally intended when You designed and created me to start with. I choose to respond more openly to You and to lay aside my fears and resistance and to just let You love me more openly and passionately and vigorously.
Have Your way in my life, in my plans, in everything within my sphere of influence. Reshape me to synchronize with every desire of Your heart and mind so that others will be surprised and captured with desire to want to have the same kind of fulfilling, satisfying encounter with You like they see in my life.