On the moment by moment journey to focus your heart, mind and spirit on God, you will need to come to terms with your will.
Your will is incredibly weak. It desires the gifts of God, but it does not desire to give up your own rational and emotional responses that are necessary to surrender to the will of God. Your will is that God will give you all His gifts like peace, joy, love, self-control. Your will is that He do it your way and in your time. You want God’s will when you are walking into a difficult meeting, and you need the supernatural power of God to bring unity. You want His will when you are enduring another sleepless night and you just want peace. You don’t want His will when you are faced with the chocolate cake that looks so appealing; therefore you can see how it can work into your healthy eating plan. Or you will not have it any other way except to send off the email that expresses your righteous anger against the leader of your church.
Surrendering your will is hard work because “you must be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:1). Since your mind controls your emotions, both are key to the surrender of your will. I learned a practice of laying down my will through reading a biography of George Mueller. George Mueller was well-known for the orphanages he started all over England. He is also known for the fact that, although the orphanages were operated by the donations of individuals, he never asked a single person for the needs; he only asked God. He kept a prayer journal recording the many miraculous occurrences that met the needs of the orphans. Mueller had a will. He too wanted God to do things his way and in his time. He did the hard work of surrender that set the stage for the miraculous results. You see, Mueller had a practice of going into His prayer closet and not coming out until he had surrendered his will. He would tell God all the great things that he felt God could do for the orphans and confess his pure and selfish motivations. The goal of his prayer was to get to the end of his will so that he was fully open to God’s will. He didn’t leave until he honestly didn’t care what God did—only that God did whatever was done. He learned this from the example of Jesus from the Garden of Gethsemane.
Surrendering to God’s will is more motivating the more you do it. I love how Romans 12:2 points out that God’s will is good, pleasing and perfect.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
You have probably already learned that God’s will is good. You wouldn’t even be interested in even the struggle of surrendering your will unless you understood to some degree that it is a good thing to surrender to God’s will. It gets harder to keep your mind and emotions set on the fact that God’s will is pleasing when, in fact, it often doesn’t feel pleasing in real earth time. It often pleases God to place us in situations when it is not easy to see the pleasing qualities from first glance. How could it please God to ask us to face trails of faith and go through suffering? It only pleases God because these places produce great faith. This is where you most likely struggle to surrender your will. You fight against what isn’t pleasing to your will and seek to overcome God’s will rather than surrender. It is only in surrendering to the thought that it pleased God to place me in this situation right now that you can discover what is pleasing about it. After you move beyond the surrender of accepting that God’s will is pleasing, then you are ready to move on to experience that God’s will is perfect. There really is no other way to produce the spiritual growth in you that results in approving of God’s will and passing the test to approve of His will.