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God Remakes Our Will
by Lynn Sheldon
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"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." 2 Corinthians 5:17

One of the first things we need to remember about our new birth in Christ has to do with what happened to us. We became a new creation in Christ. Everything about us passed away. We became new in Him.

Of course, our flesh still rots away, but our mind, heart, and spirit changed. And along with these changes, our will did too. God reshaped our will to follow His will and not our own.

Think about it. Before we came to Christ, most of us spent our days planning around some sinful activity. Whether it had to do with partying, drinking, lusting, or whatever, these activities never bothered us. They were part of our DNA. We inherited a sinful nature from Adam, and that nature so corrupted everything about us, even our will, that it made our sins seem normal and everything about God foolish and unworthy of our time.

I remember, when I was in college, seeing some fellow students praying and praising the Lord. As a friend and I walked passed them, I turned to my friend and said, �Only weak people need Jesus.� Oh, I believed there was a God, but I wanted nothing to do with the Jesus freaks. I never knew anything about Jesus. In fact, no one, until I was 35 years of age, clearly explained the Gospel to me. Until that time, everything I heard about Christs death and resurrection, centered round Christmas and Easter. And while I know He died and I believed He rose again, I had no clue as to why He did these. I never knew or understood the need for a personal Savior. So, my will chose to do everything I wanted to do without any regard to Gods will.

Truth is our will, left on its own, would never choose Gods will. This is why God had to remake and reshape our will, so its bent would be toward doing Gods will and not our own. Its part of the change and remaking that takes place within us, when we come to Christ.

for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13

No doubt, God is Sovereign. When you think of the multitude of moves He has to make each second to bring about His Sovereign plan, its mind-boggling. The last thing He needs to do is contend with billions of free wills. God places His will in us, so we might do a work for His good pleasure, and not ours. Its as if He reprograms us, supernaturally, and through our trials, to move us away from relying our will and our desires, so we might carry out His will and His desires.

Picture a toddler for a moment. Its not unusual for a toddler to want to test the burner to see if its as hot as we say it is. How many times does he have to test it? With our children, it usually took one red palm to convince them I was right about how hot the burner was. In essence, I allowed them to fail, to reshape their will regarding the burner. This caused them to submit to the idea that a hot burner is not something they ought to touch.

The same works for us. God changed our desires, after we received Christ. We know the change took place, but for some reason, many of us continued to rely on our free will. We were not in the habit of seeing what God would have us do. So, like a child, God had to add a little pain to our decisions, so we would turn from them and submit to His will. This is an ongoing process until we see that its not profitable for us to get ahead of God, so we learn to wait on Him. We begin to submit our will to Him, and lean on His desires and not our own.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

Paul came to realize that his life, his will, his purpose, and his faith given to Him by God, were no longer his, but Gods. Paul submitted everything about himself to Christ. Did this happen overnight? No, it was a process. A process similar to a toddler not getting it the first time, as he continues placing his hand on a different burner and realizing no matter which hot burner he touches, hes going to get burned. In time, after receiving enough burns, the toddler decides to do what his parents said, and resolves to never touch a hot burner again.

In essence, when we choose our will, over Gods will, we suffer. And well continue to suffer, until we get it. Our suffering may include a loss of peace, a darkened spirit, an inability to hear God, even major financial or physical consequences for our actions. These are all part of the process in turning us from using our will and submitting to His. In other words, there is a price to pay when we exercise our free will outside of Gods will. We will continue to pay a price, until we learn that our will only gets in the way of what God has planned for us, so we do as Paul did. We give up our efforts, and submit ourselves to God.

Now some will claim our will chose to submit. Yes, you can claim it, but without the pain, they would not have submitted to His will. Jonah would not have submitted to Gods will, without the whale, Saul would not have submitted without the blinding, and no doubt Jeremiah would have quit prophesying, but he said when he tried, Gods Word burned through him like fire. He couldnt shut it up in his bones.

Yes, there are those who want to stand on their free will, and they can do this for a season. However, there is no glory in doing this. Our wills cannot constrain sin. Nor, does the natural will choose to do what God would have us do. Only when we do as Christ did, and submit to Gods will, are we able to find glory in the work we do. Will worship, seems right to us, but it is of no benefit in Gods kingdom. It cannot constrain sensual indulgences (Colossians 2:23-24).

Whether you believe its your will or Gods will it really doesnt matter. Either way, if you are Christs, He will have you do His will. He will bring you to submission, because its not about your glory or mine, its about His, and God has no problem doing what He needs to do, to complete His work on earth. I just find it easier to give Him the glory and submit my desires to Him. And while I still miss Gods will at times, I am always searching to know His way and not mine. For when I try to do it my way, I usually get burned.

God Bless

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Part III of the "Are We Bowing to the Altar of Free Will" Series on Godfire.org. GodFire is a Bible Training and Discipleship Ministry.

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