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It's Not All "Thy Will" Being Done

(Art by Bible Project)

Often you'll hear Christians pray, "We pray that your will be done, God." In fact, it's the most common and often prayed, prayer in Christianity. "Let your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven."

However, so often we just accept whatever happens as God's will. It seems as though whenever we are faced with a dire situation or an important situation that needs divine intervention, we pray, "let your will be done in this situation, God." and then just accept whatever happens as just that, even if it's exactly the opposite of what His will would actually be, according to His character in the Bible (specifically through Jesus as He is God fully revealed).

The truth is, when we ask that God's will be done, we're aligning our souls with what He wants instead of our own wants and desires. This doesn't mean that now because we said the magic words that whatever happens is going to be His will. So much damage has come from just accepting whatever happens and attributing it to God's will.

True, it can be very difficult at times to discern what God's will would be in a certain situation, but that's one of the reasons why we are given Jesus' example in the Gospels. We can SEE what grieves Him and what makes Him angry (sickness, death, greed, lust for power, etc). These are things that are CLEARLY not in God's will.

Of course, now, someone may say that God's will was for Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. This grieved Jesus to the point of great distress and anxiety in the garden of Gethsemane. So we can't always just say that when Jesus is grieved, God's will is being thwarted. And while that's a solid point to make, there's much more going on here that actually IS against the will of God.

The cross was indeed God's will but at the same time, the things that led to the cross weren't. Think of it this way, God never willed sin to enter the picture. He never desired humanity and even the spiritual beings he created and welcomed into his family, allowing them to help Him create and govern the cosmos, to rebel against Him. Who would do that? Clearly once one understands God's character throughout the Bible, one would see that God would never WANT this to happen. But it did happen. It happened because God gave these beings the ability to choose within an ordered system He created. And as in every ordered system (for God is not a God of chaos) choice comes with consequences, for better or worse.

Therefore, once the domino or ripple effect of the first evil choice entered the picture, everything changed. If you follow that ripple effect all the way to the cross, (which no one can completely do, but you can see enough throughout ancient history) you would see that at some point, the cross HAD to happen. The Bible even plants this seed in Genesis 3.

As soon as humanity rebelled, this plan of rescue took root. This was God's will to rescue humanity from the darkness it chose/was manipulated into aligning itself with. However, the REASON for the plan of rescue was not His will at all.

So when we bring it back down to a personal level, we can see that when we pray, "Let your will be done, God." We aren't saying some magic formula that now makes whatever occurs afterward "meant to be from the beginning of time". We are saying that we align and entrust our wills to God's, whatever that may be. And if for whatever reason, the end result is something that is clearly against God's will, we entrust that He is using whatever bad outcome to bring about something good.

We live in a spiritual warzone whether we realize it or not. It's warzone Normandy out here, not a vacation at the beach. It's complex and it has casualties (at least for the moment). But just because something bad happens, it doesn't mean God is responsible and it doesn't mean that God has abandoned you or even worse, that He WANTED it to happen.

Some passages to dwell on regarding this thought process are Daniel 10:1-14, John 11, Exodus 13:17, Ezekiel 12:3, Jeremiah 26:3, and Matthew 26:39).


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