Asking the Right Question

Psalm 143:1-12 (10)

1 O LORD, hear my prayer,
listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness
come to my relief.

2 Do not bring your servant into judgment,
for no one living is righteous before you.

3 The enemy pursues me,
he crushes me to the ground;
he makes me dwell in darkness
like those long dead.

4 So my spirit grows faint within me;
my heart within me is dismayed.

5 I remember the days of long ago;
I meditate on all your works
and consider what your hands have done.

6 I spread out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.
Selah

7 Answer me quickly, O LORD;
my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me
or I will be like those who go down to the pit.

8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.

9 Rescue me from my enemies, O LORD,
for I hide myself in you.

10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.

11 For your name’s sake, O LORD, preserve my life;
in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.

12 In your unfailing love, silence my enemies;
destroy all my foes,
for I am your servant.

In Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus instructed the disciples to pray “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” This assumes that God’s will is not always done here.  When we pray “thy will be done” we’re not just saying,  “Whatever happens,  I will accept it.”  Instead we are praying in rebellion against every plan, deed, word, and movement that is at odds with the will of God.

Prayer is not enough.  We are to do our best to fit into God’s will.  The problem is knowing what the will of God may be.

Henry and Richard Blackaby make an important observation in their book, “Experiencing God.”  They state that we are asking the wrong question when we say, “What is God’s will for my life?”  Instead we should be asking “What is God’s will?”  Once we discover His will then we can re-orient our life so that it is in sync with God’s will.  Blackaby says, “My focus needs to be outward on God and His purposes, not inward on my life.” (p. 33)   He goes on to note that God’s plans for our lives are based on what He is doing in the world around us.  Instead of self-centeredly wanting a blueprint for our own life we come to understand what God wants to accomplish where we are.  When we see this clearly then we can get involved in what He is already doing.  Then we will gain the fulfillment of knowing that we are doing what we should.

Dr. Gayle Woods

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