We like to have control. We like to plan out how our lives will go and at the same time say we are following God’s plan. `When it comes down to it, though, we don’t really like to give up our will for His. We as humans love to have control over our situations, and so it can be extremely difficult to willingly hand over that control to someone else, especially joyfully. We can take comfort in the fact that we are not giving our control to some incapable person, but the God who created the universe. Listen carefully to these promises that He gives us.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” – Jeremiah 1:5
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11
With this promise He gives us, we see that He is capable of having control over our lives because He, the all knowing God, planned our futures before we were born and set us apart. He doesn’t create these plans to cause us harm and suffering, but for our good and with our future, not just on earth but in heaven, in mind.
We are a created people, and thus have a limited point of view from which we see things. God was not created, and neither is He bound by time. He knows every hair on our head, and He cares about each and every one of us, as tiny as we are compared to His infinite majesty.
Later, Jesus warns us about guarding our lives against Him and cherishing it too much.
“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.” – Mark 8:35
This again goes back to the fact that His will is better than our own. What is meant by this verse is not that we will keep ourselves from death, but that we will save our soul. Really, that is the only important thing to save anyway, once we get past our earthy perspective.
Another reason that we may be reluctant to turn our will over is that we think that will take away ourselves. By this I mean our personality, character, or being. This quote from The Screwtape Letters really helped me understand what is meant by losing ourselves. Keep in mind that this is written from a demon’s perspective, so it’s sort of inverted in terms of good and bad.
“When He [God] talks of their losing their selves, He means only abandoning the clamour of self-will; once they have done that, He really gives them back all their personality, and boasts (I am afraid, sincerely) that when they are wholly His they will be more themselves than ever.”
―C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
This really helped me to change my perspective about how our own self-will is really just in the way of our freedom, and that, again, his will is truly better. It also helped me realize that our will is separate from our personality, and that it is possible for us to be truly ourselves and truly His at the same time.
I hope this has helped all of you to better understand more about our own will and His will. To learn even more about this, and countless other things, the best resource I can refer you to is the Bible. Stay in His word, and keep on growing.