School Shootings on Valentine’s Day? What is happening to this world?
There is nothing new, really, under the sun. As it was in the days of Noah so it is still today. Everyone is in love with the same person. This is the crux of the matter.
At our church women’s prayer time a common weekly request is for patience in the context of children and family. We all know what it means. The battle of the wills. I want and he wants and what I want must win.
We love our Will.
We tend it and care for it. Like Gollum and the precious ring, we treasure our will and if anyone tries to touch it we lash out at them with fangs and sharp teeth. We want what we want and nobody. Ever. Forever. will take that from us.
Yet at the same time we pray the Lord’s prayer: thy Kingdom come, thy will be done.
There is a big problem in the world, and it starts with us. With our deepest love. Did you give chocolates to someone today for Valentine’s Day? Did you give a card? Did you go out on a date?
Perhaps you wanted to show your love to someone, or perhaps you had no one “really” to show love to today. No special someone. So you ate a bunch of chocolate yourself and watched a movie you’ve been wanting to watch.
We do this because of Will. We love him. He is our precious. If no one else appreciates him, we do. I will be treated special today, if I have to do it myself.
I’ve been praying lately, trying to get to the bottom of this impatience with my children. Why can’t I be patient? Why can’t I be loving and sacrificial and serve them, like Christ did? He took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist and got to business showing his love by serving.
I’ve been praying that God would show me what it is that is wrong in my spirit to make me battle to the death to win. I found the answer. It’s a little thing that holds me in sway. It’s Will. Will won’t let me lose.
I have a pampered Will. And now I don’t know what to do. So I pray, and I look at the Bible.
A few hours after Christ washed the disciples’ feet, he was in the garden praying, “not my will but thine be done.” There’s where his Will is! It is set there in front of the throne of the Father in heaven. It’s resting there.
Putting Will to Rest
I think I know what Will will try to do if I try to put ’em to rest at the foot of the Throne. He’s gonna wiggle and toss and turn, like a 3 year old at nap time. But putting our Will down is an inherent part of sanctification. Because a Will that does not rest there will get into more trouble than a 3 year old without a nap.
We’ve gotta put ’em down.
But there is hope. Where else? In Philippians 2:
“it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
What a wonderful thing to know. God’s Spirit works in us shaping that Will to rest at the foot of Jesus. And as the Will rests, bending to the the Father’s will, the body works out God’s good pleasure.
A verse earlier in Philippians it says:
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling…”
How do we obey? How do we work out our own salvation? We gotta put Will to rest. Look a bit earlier in Philippians. Surrounded in the context of Christ’s great humble example of loving, giving and serving we see these words:
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” This is what it looks like when Will is resting before the Throne.
What does love of Will have to do with the school shootings? People are broken and hurting, they are “without God and without hope.” And certainly, in this country, they have all known a Christian or two. Somehow those relationships were not enough to stay the violent anger growing inside them. They loved their Will and chose to give it free reign, lashing out at the world that hurt them.
The Bible is very clear that the Church is the key to world peace. “Wars and rumors of war” and all that is ugly will be and is the characteristic of the last days. However, at the same time, there has always been a direct relationship between the Church getting right with God and the neighborhood getting cleaned up. Think about all the great RE-vivals. It’s when Christians repented.
GOD’S PEOPLE are supposed to turn. God’s people are supposed to humble themselves…(wait–didn’t we just see the connection between humbling ourselves and putting Will to rest? Yes! Philippians 2!)
…God’s people seeking God’s face with confession and repentance…this is the If/Then of social healing.
You know what I’m saying. You’ve seen hypocrites in your very church. You know the hypocrisy that hides in your heart, that few people see. It starts with Will.
We love Will. But the Will we should love more is God’s Will. That’s the one that’ll bring peace to your neighborhood, your city, your nation.
If we want to see school shootings go down, rise up o Church arise. If we want to see abortions and social disasters relieved, rise up o Church arise. Put aside Will.*
Suggestions for Putting Will to Rest:
- Humble Yourself: Confess that you love your Will more than you love God’s Will. Name specific times that you disregarded clear Scripture in favor of your Will. Dwell on the justice of God, where your stubborn preference proves your guilt in his sight; dwell on the great kindness of God to forgive you in Christ’s name. Thank the Lord that Christ lived with a submissive will on your behalf, and that by faith this obedience has become yours.
- Pray: that God would put you in a situation where you are forced to let go of Will for the sake of God’s good plans. Ask him to test you until you learn to do this naturally, regularly, and faithfully.
- Seek God’s Face: Do a word study in Scripture on “the will of God;” make a list of stories or parables in the Gospels where Christ teaches or models the submission of the will.
- Confess: Make a list of people with whom your Will contests. Ask for forgiveness for the ungodly practice of loving your Will more than loving God’s way. Pray for opportunities to give-in and serve them instead of fighting to win.
- Turn from Wickedness: If you do not recognize your disobedience as wicked, you have not truly repented and turned and sought God’s face. Idolatry is putting something in place of God. If you are protecting Will, you are worshipping Will.
- Repent: To ensure you do not forget, but truly are moving into a new way of life, post one or all of the verses above on your bathroom mirror or car dashboard to memorize and to meditate on daily. Date this every Monday to keep track of your faithfulness.
My prayer is that you will be able to do this. I am going to try, and I feel already that it’s not going to be fun. But it may bring peace. It will bring peace.
What about you? Any ways you can suggest for us to put Will to Rest at the Throne of God?
*note: Through this posting it should be clear that Will is our selfish desires to do what is good for us primarily. I am not referring to the WILL of the “freewill” debate.