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::Devotional:: ‘How do I get rid of my own will?’

July 9, 2009

400heartProbably one of the most frequent questions ever posed by Christians is “What is God’s will for my life?” I can certainly testify to pursuing that question more than once in my life. Recently, God has helped me to see that there is a preceding question that needs as much consideration, and that is “How do I get rid of my own will?”


I am currently going through Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God Bible Study and in the midst of the study God brought me face to face with this question – “How do I get rid of my own will”.  In one of the chapters, Blackaby shares a bit of the testimony of George Mueller – a 19th century English pastor most known for the great number of orphans God ministered to through him – and how he pursued God’s will for his life.  Muller said that the starting block for pursuing God’s will is in our heart.

I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in a given matter. – George Mueller

I thought to myself, how did he do that?  How did he get his heart to that state of submission?  It wasn’t long before my question turned inward and I began thinking – how do I get rid of my own will?  As Mueller said, the issue is with the heart and that is where we have to focus our attention.

We have to Purge our heart

The Bible teaches that our past, present and future sins were forgiven forever the moment Jesus died on the cross.  “It is finished” really meant that it was.  But, the Bible also teaches us that we must confess our sins to God as often as we commit them.  Contradiction? Not really, let me explain.  The sins forgiven on the cross were done so that anyone who would believe on Jesus would be able to be born again as a child of God.  They would become the Father’s children.  The sins that we must confess as often as we commit them have to deal with what type of relationship we as those children will have with God our Father.  It might make more sense to say that nothing can ever change the fact that I am my father’s son, but how I behave can certainly change the type of relationship that I have with him.

Unconfessed sin in our heart is one of the quickest ways to build a wall between God and us.  Therefore confessing, or purging, that sin from our heart is one of the quickest ways to break down any such walls.  See, when we have these walls of unconfessed sin in our hearts and we try to seek God’s will for our lives, we can’t see passed those walls and all we are left with is the will our heart can muster up on its own.  That is not where we want to be as Christians.  I believe God’s will for our lives in that moment is that we would tear down those walls through confession and nothing more.  David wrote “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” Psalm 66:18  John instructed a generation of new Christians that “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  1 John 1:9  Before we attempt to get rid of our own will, we need to make sure we have torn down any walls of unconfessed sin that has been harboring it.

We have to Purify our heart

Once we have torn down the walls of unconfessed sin, we can begin to communicate openly with God.  We can purify our hearts by being honest with God.  I have found that if I will honestly tell God what it is that I want and why I want it, two things happen: a)I realize that a lot of the things I want have selfish motives behind them and the Holy Spirit won’t let me rest until I admit them and confess them as such to the Lord, b) I have nothing left but a desire to become closer to God and a request that he enable me to do so.  

Come near to God and he will come near to you.  Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Grieve, mourn and wail.  Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.  James 4:8-10 NIV

After my heart is honestly purified, there is not much will of my own left.  I am humbled, broken, and ready to receive God’s will.

We have to Pursue God’s heart

Just as our will stems from the desires of our heart, so God’s will stems from the desires of his.  We have to pursue God’s heart to truly become aware of God’s Will.  It is important to remember that we are not seeking God’s will for our lives, but that we are seeking God’s will, period.  We have been blessed that God’s heart is not a mystery to us.  He has expressed it vividly through the pages of his word.  Pursuing God’s heart starts with reading his word.  It is there that we begin to see the heart of our God who is:

  • faithful
  • forgiving
  • a defender of widows
  • a Rock
  • strength
  • hope
  • light
  • jealous
  • sovereign
  • eternal
  • the spring of living water
  • a potter
  • a consuming fire
  • first to rise from the dead
  • firstborn over all creation
  • the wonderful counselor
  • the word of life
  • the light of the world
  • the vine
  • the way
  • the spirit of glory
  • and so much more…

God is diligently seeking those among his children who have purged and purified their hearts and are pursuing his in love; so that he may reveal himself to them.

For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.  2 Chronicles 16:9 NIV

I pray that you are seeking God’s will and I hope that if you have been experiencing a spiritual drought this devotion has been a healing rain for you.

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

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