The primary condition for learning what God wants of us is putting ourselves wholly at his disposal. It is just here that we are often blocked. We hold certain reservations about how far we are willing to go, what we will or will not do, how much God can have of us or of what we treasure. Then we pray for guidance. It will not work. We must begin by laying it all down–ourselves, our treasures, our destiny. Then we are in a position to think with renewed minds and act with a transformed nature. The withholding of any part of ourselves is the same as saying, “Thy will be done up to a point, mine from there on.”
If God is almighty, there can be no evil so great as to be beyond his power to transform. That transforming power brings light out of darkness, joy out of sorrow, gain out of loss, life out of death.
Sometimes we boggle at the evil in the world and especially in ourselves, feeling that this sin, this tragedy, this offense cannot possibly fit into a pattern for good. Let us remember Joseph’s imprisonment, David’s sin, Paul’s violent persecution of Christians, Peter’s denial of his Master. None of it was beyond the power of grace to redeem and turn into something productive. The God who establishes the shoreline for the sea also decides the limits of the great mystery which is evil. He is “the Blessed Controller of all things.” God will finally be God, Satan’s best efforts notwithstanding.
We tend to want bad things prevented rather than transformed. That day will come, but it is not now. A friend once said she realized that if God were to wipe out all the evil in the world, He would have to wipe out all of us, for we all sin. I am thankful He transforms us rather than just doing away with us, and and we can trust Him to limit what He allows of evil and trust Him to somehow work it together for good (Romans 8:28) until the day when it is taken out of the way completely. It starts within my by “laying it all down,” rather than saying “Thy will be done up to a point.”
See all the posts in this series here.
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