Not My Will, But Yours – Day 40

The theme of the devotionals has been calling; many have found and are living out their calling, but many of us don’t feel one or aren’t in the position yet to live it out (incidentally, I’m in this third group). What do we do about that?
One answer is to pray about it, and trust in the Lord to reveal it to you. This is good advice, but we don’t dictate the Lord’s timing. It may be years before you feel a calling. It may be never. So what do we do in the meantime?
This is a question that faces all of us. The church is living in the meantime between the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Jesus and His return, when all will be put to rights, when at the name of the Lord, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess. But that hasn’t happened yet. It may not in our lifetimes. So, again, what do we do in the meantime?
This question looms large in the background of the epistles. Then as now, there’s an inherent tension between waiting, as when the scriptures repeatedly instruct us to wait on the Lord, and doing, as when Jesus tells us to go and make disciples of all nations. This is a tension that has to be worked out, prayerfully, in each of our lives; there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question. And yet the scriptures and the Church provide guidance to us. Each Sunday, Fr. Alex or Fr. James dismisses us with the exhortation to go into the world “to do the work You have given us to do, to love and serve You as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord.”
This would be a difficult thing even if we weren’t sinful creatures. Calling or no, discerning the work He has given us to do is no easy task. I believe wisdom consists in knowing how to apply what we know to what we do in the world. It is both God-given and hard-earned. So what are we to do if we don’t have enough wisdom for a given situation? We cannot simply “follow our heart,” because we know that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV) We often don’t even desire what the Lord desires, let alone know how to bring it about.
I think the answer must be to pray for wisdom and to act, trusting that the Lord will transform our desires, guide our paths, and bring us to our calling, even if we don’t yet know what it is.
For now, we pray along with Jesus in Gethsemane, “yet not my will, but yours be done.”
Justin Shoemaker
Justin came to Servants three years ago. He’s a scribe in an emergency room in Palatka, FL and volunteers at youth group each Wednesday. He enjoys readings and playing soccer, and would usually rather be skiing.

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