In the early 1900’s, Fred Curtis served faithfully as a missionary to Japan. Before he departed, he expressed his reason for going, “Woe is me if I preach not the Gospel.” One of his close friends remarked, “I know what is the matter with Curtis. He sleeps under a missionary chart on which there are 856 black squares representing 856 million souls. Any man sleeping with such a chart must decide to become a missionary or have a nightmare every night of the week.”
One of the most powerful statements of all time is, “To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge; to find the will of God is the greatest discernment; to do the will of God is the greatest achievement.” In Acts 21:14, we read how the early believers, in spite of difficulties, declared, “The will of the Lord be done” (Acts 21:14). The Greek word for “will” means “a determined resolve.” In Ephesians 5:17, we are told to, “understand the will of the Lord.” Here, “will” means “the gracious design.” God has a good purpose and design for our lives, but we are to be determined to follow it.
Christ, in John 7:17, spoke of all who “want to do His will.” The Greek word here rendered “want” signifies no fleeting impression or impulse, but a deeply rooted determination. This is translated by Weymouth as, “If any one is willing to do His will.” Years ago, a Bible teacher explained, “The emphasis is on the word willing. Being willing to do the will of Jesus means far more than merely wishing to do it. Wishing has to do with the wishbone, willing with the backbone. We must realize how utterly futile is mere wishing. We may wish without ever lifting a hand. We may wish and be perfectly still. But to will means action. The man who wills, gets busy.”
When Adoniram Judson graduated from college and seminary, he received a call from a fashionable church in Boston to become its assistant pastor. Everyone congratulated him. His mother and sister rejoiced that he could live at home with them and do his ministry, but Judson shook his head. “My work is not here,” he said. “God is calling me beyond the seas. To stay here, even to serve God in His ministry, I feel would be only partial obedience, and I could not be happy in that.” Although it cost him a great struggle, he left family to obey the call of God. The fashionable church in Boston continued on, but Judson’s churches in Burma resulted on over fifty thousands converts, and the influence of his consecrated life is still felt generations later.
“If a man loves God truly, and has no will except to do God’s will, the whole force of the Rhine river may rush at him and yet will not disturb or interrupt his peace” (Tauler).
Dave Arnold, Pastor
Gulf Coast Worship Center
New Port Richey , Florida 34654