The Double-Edged "Thy Will Be Done"
Praying “Thy will be done” as part of the Our Father is an admirable thing to do, especially if we mean what it says, and live what it means. But how many of us, when we face God on the other side, will be able to say without reservation, "Thy will was done."
Correct. No one will be able to say that completely, totally, 100%.
If we’re honest with ourselves, and about how we’ve lived our lives, usually trying to do things our way, we should expect God to say, "THY will was done."
The song, “My Way,” written by Paul Anka and recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1969, describes someone who knows the end of his life is near, and takes comfort in knowing he did life his way. No doubt, this is a noble way to celebrate a life well lived. But how wonderful would it be, if you and I could say we did life our way, and that way matched God’s way.
Playing Our Part in the Drama God Directs
An integral part of accomplishing God’s will, 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, regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves. This means aligning our will to his, following his script, even when it doesn’t match ours.
When we say, “Thy will be done,” we should pause for a second or two to mentally focus on exactly what we’re 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 are not saying “Thy will be done, except for what you expect of me,” although unconsciously we may add that disclaimer.
When We Meet the Master
How can we make sure we best position ourselves to say, “Thy will was done,” when we meet our Master in Heaven?
First, we need to maintain an intimate relationship with God by walking and talking with him. This means taking every opportunity, and making opportunities, to be with him, including spending time with him in prayer, in his Word, and in worship.
Second, as hard as it seems sometimes, we must try to obediently live how he wants us to live, by centering our life around what he wants us to accomplish, and what he wants to accomplish through us. By seeking insight that only the Holy Spirit can provide, we can be connected to the Father’s mind and his wishes.
Third, we should look at our self, all of our self, in the mirror. God made you and me the way we are for a reason. By paying attention to how God made us, we can discover and begin fulfilling our God-given purpose. By using the abilities, talents, gifts, and experiences he has given us the best we can, we have a better chance of hearing him say, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
In God’s Words
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
“Love the Lord your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always.” (Deuteronomy 11:1).
“Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.” (John 7:17).
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10).
In the Words of Others “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me.’” Erma Bombeck
“All the way to heaven is heaven, because Jesus said, ‘I am the way.’” St. Catherine of Sienna
In Your Words
No one is without sin, especially the prideful tendency to do things OUR way and not God’s way. Given that fact, how confident are you the Master will say, “Good and faithful servant, you did my will?” when you meet him?
Take an inventory of your abilities, talents, gifts, education, and experiences of the past 10 years, and consider what they tell you about your way of doing God’s will.
Meditate on the quoted scriptures and compare God’s expectations with how you are living your life. Note the changes you need to make, and commit to making the adjustments.