It’s common for a true God-fearing believer to start the day by affirming that God’s will be done, and asking to be used by God for his purposes. Of course, God uses us for his purposes, whether or not we ask him to do so.
Our asking is a powerful demonstration of our faith in God and willingness to obey him. But the flip side of our willingness to obey is our willingness to act when the time comes to act.
Has God Called You to Act?
How many times have you been faced with a situation that you believed God was calling you to act?
Perhaps it was someone on the side of the road fixing a flat tire, a crippled veteran asking for pocket change outside a sporting event, or a drunk leaning against a parking meter on a sidewalk.
A grieving friend could have called you for lunch, your pastor may have asked you to visit a shut-in, or a victim of abuse next door could have asked for help.
We are pledging to play our part the best we can.
When we pray “Thy will be done” as part of the Our Father, we should pause for a second or two to mentally focus on exactly what we are asking of God. We are giving God a green light (not that he needs one) to exercise his will, totally and without reservation. We don’t say “Thy will be done only today,” or “Thy will be done in my career,” or “Thy will be done if it suits me.”
We Play an Integral Part in God's Drama
An integral part of God’s will being done is the part we play in the drama he directs. When we ask that God’s will be done, we are also pledging to play our part the best we can, period.
We are not saying “They will be done, except for what you expect of me,” although unconsciously we may add that disclaimer.
There are many reasons why we do not act when God wants to use us in a situation that requires a quick decision. Some are very practical and understandable.
We could be rushing when late for an appointment, too busy accomplishing things on our to-do list, or simply feel unqualified to be of assistance. We can always find an excuse for not acting. Then there’s the standard response, “I don’t want to get involved,” fearing the consequences.
Do a Mental "Count to Ten"
When you feel God is calling you to act, regardless of the immediacy, do a mental and spiritual “count to ten.” Chances are you’ll immediately focus on negative outcomes and excuses will emerge.
Picture what God is asking you to do and consider what may be the consequences if you don’t act.
Pray about what God is asking you to do. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern the Father’s true will and apply his wisdom as you respond to his call.
Finally, when you ask God to use you as he wills, be ready to be used when the Lord Jesus tugs at your heartstrings, and the Spirit “nudges” you. God knows what you’ll do in every instance, but your free-will decision will be your opportunity to serve, honor, and glorify him.
Listen to God's Words
May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:17)
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, (Philippians 2:3)
Also read: Proverbs 1:24-26, John 15:1-22, 2 Timothy 1:9
In the Words of Others
“I claim no right to myself, no right to this understanding, this will, these affections that are in me. Neither do I have any right to this body or its members, no right to this tongue, to these hands, feet, ears or eyes. I have given myself clear away and not retained anything of my own.” Jonathan Edwards
“Which should be an excellent reminder that when God tells you to do something, you’d better do it; He always has a reason.” Charles R. Swindoll
“When God is ready for you to move, He will make your situation uncomfortable.” Germany Kent
Think About It
Do you make it a point in your daily prayers to ask that God’s will be done? Do you ask him to use you in any way he deems necessary for his purposes? Consider what this really means.
Recall when you knew the Lord was telling you to act in an immediate situation. Explain how you knew and what you did. List the reasons or excuses for not acting you may have used.
When the Lord is asking you to act in a more long-term situation, what is your decision-making process? What part does prayer and seeking counsel play?