Posted by: everynation | January 2, 2008

New Year’s Resolution: God’s Will Be Done!

Ron Miller, Jrby Ron Miller

I propose a New Year’s resolution for every Christian—stop using phrases like “God’s will” and “the Lord told me” to get your will done.

Matthew 26:29 says, “Going a little farther, he (Jesus) fell with His face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

In this passage of scripture, Jesus is praying to His Father in heaven before he is betrayed, put through the mockery of a trial and crucified. I am so challenged in my own personal faith at how the Lord Jesus Christ stay submitted to God’s will for His life even to the point of death on a cross (Philippians 2:8). This type of attitude, obedience and submission is a missing ingredient in the lives of many Christians today. Frankly, in today’s individualist society I have noticed many people of faith think God exists to bless their plans and dreams. Similar to the lead character in Bruce Almighty, their prayer is now, “My will be done.” I wonder if we have forgotten that we are saved to serve Him and others.

Another way “Christians bug me” (refer to previous blog listed below) is when they use religious jargon such as “God’s will” to get their will done. We should be very reverent when we definitively say something is God’s will, especially when it affects someone else’s life.

Ephesians 5:17 says, “Do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” I believe we should only say something is God’s will if we can find it in Scripture. For example, it is God’s will to pray continually, forgive, be joyful, give thanks in all circumstances, treat others the way you want to be treated, love your enemies, etc. God’s will is synonymous with God’s word.

When we fail to refer to Scripture in relation to communicating God’s will, we end up becoming fools. How many people have stated that God told them something and later were proven wrong? Trust me; I meet them way too often. God doesn’t lie or make mistakes. I will say it again. We should be very careful about how we use the name of God.

This blog was inspired by the recent events at North Florida Christian (NFC) School. I will comment on this situation for two reasons. First, many people have sought my counsel as a pastor to help them process this incident. Second, when somebody says it is God’s will to do something, I have a right and a responsibility to examine it as a Christ follower. Let me state clearly that my goal is to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), not attack anyone personally. So, here are my thoughts or “two cents worth”—Lord help me.

As a Christian, pastor, friend, and long time resident of Tallahassee, I grieve for all involved in this unfortunate scenario. As a long time resident of Tallahassee, I hurt for everyone in this city who has been negatively impacted by these events. As a Christian, I hurt because Christ was not glorified by the way things were handled. As a pastor, I hurt because many people are questioning the motives of a fellow pastor and brother in Christ in town. As a friend, I hurt for the Weldon family and how difficult it must be to process getting fired from a school they love and represent so well in our community.

Why was Casey Weldon fired? The only answer that has been given so far is that it was “God’s will”. Oh really? Are you sure it was not a conflict of personalities or a difference of opinions on how things should be done at NFC? Just like the rest of us, we know Casey isn’t perfect. Are you sure it wasn’t something he did or didn’t do as a coach? Did he violate an NFC policy? I don’t pretend to know all the details of this incident. In fact, I don’t really know anything. However, one thing I do know is what the Bible says is God’s will.

Apostle Paul wrote to the church of Ephesus instructing them concerning God’s will. He says in Ephesians 4:1-3, “As a prisoner of the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. (2) Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (3) Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

If this was God’s will, and therefore, the way he wanted to remove Casey from his position, after taking NFC to two consecutive state championship games, then why has there been so much division and strife over this decision? How can you fire a guy, who is the “poster child” of your school, and who has been so successful without ever reprimanded him, and then say it was “God’s will”? God’s will should manifest in humility, gentleness, patience, love, unity and peace, especially when it involves Christians in the same spiritual family.

I don’t know if Casey should or should not have been fired. However, I do know the greatest commandment requires us to exemplify God with honor and treat one another with love (Matthew 22:37-40). I have yet to talk with one person in Tallahassee who thinks God was honored and love was demonstrated at NFC. This saddens me deeply because I want to see my fellow believers in Jesus succeed and represent Him well. So, to say this decision was God’s will when it has caused such heartache, pain, division, and confusion in Tallahassee and the NFC community is irresponsible and is simply religious jargon that poorly reflects Christ and Scripture.

For the sake of God’s glory, the reputation of those who minister the gospel and every Christian’s testimony, please give us the real reason Casey was fired. It will be the only answer that will make sense to people who are already cynical towards Christianity and bring closure to this awkward occurrence.

I pray for God’s will to be done. Happy New Year!

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