Where there’s a will – there’s a way
‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.’
(Matthew 7:21 NIV)
In 1967 the French song ‘Comme d’habitude’ was written, and in 1969 the English language version ‘My Way’ by Frank Sinatra hit the charts. Elvis Presley, among others, continued to make the song famous. Basically, it is a song of someone’s reflection on their life, and the words expressed a satisfaction that at the end of day he/she had lived it their way.
Interestingly, Frank Sinatra did not enjoy singing the song. He is quoted as having said, ‘Every time I get up to sing that song, I grit my teeth.’ He would say later, ‘because no matter what the image may seem to be, I hate boastfulness in others. I hate immodesty.’ 1
Perhaps Frank Sinatra realised there was a greater will than his. One of the hardest lessons to learn as a child is that we cannot always have things our way. If we do not learn this in childhood, it is so tough to accept in adulthood. Jesus knew that we would find it hard, that is why the request for submission to God’s will features early in the prayer He gives as a model for us.
When we follow our own way, our own will, we suffer, Proverbs 14:12 tells us, ‘There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (KJV)’ King David, a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14), understood that he had to submit to God’s will. In Psalm 143:10 (KJV) he pleaded with God for Him to teach him His will, ‘Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.’ In one of His darkest moments, Jesus continued to surrender to God’s will, ‘And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”’ (Mat. 26:39, ESV)
We understand that to know God’s will is to ask Him to teach us His will. The apostle Paul exhorted the church in Colossae, ‘For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;’ (Colossians 1:9, KJV)
Father God, please teach us your will. We live to serve and follow you.
Study by Irene Wilson
About the writer:
Irene Wilson is a Deaconess in the Watford congregation of Grace Communion International, where she also serves on the Pastoral Council.
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