Have you ever made a promise and wondered if you were successful at keeping it?
In Isaiah 6, Isaiah hears the Lord ask, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
Isaiah answers, “Here I am. Send me!” Last week, I talked about a similar promise I made.
I’m often consumed about making sure I am following the Lord’s will for my life. Yet the promise is all about being obedient to doing the Lord’s will. When I volunteered to go, I was declaring I’d do whatever He asked, so that means I have to know what He is asking.
In Hebrews 10: 7 and 9, it says that Jesus said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will, O God.” We know that Jesus came to set us free from our sins, to be an example of how to live, and to offer us everlasting life with Him in heaven. As Christians, we want to follow Jesus’ example. So, what does doing God’s will look like?
According to Ephesians 5:17-21 encouraging each other, singing and making music in our hearts to the Lord, always giving thanks to God for everything, and submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ are doing His will.
The two greatest commandments which sum up the Ten Commandments are, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:30-31) Following these commandments would be following God’s will.
But hold on! Loving others is hard. Loving others can be a sacrifice—a sacrifice of pride, time, biting your tongue, materials, money, vulnerability, being right. Sacrifice can hurt. I don’t like to hurt. Yet it seems that these are the types of sacrifices that please God. By offering these types of sacrifices, we are being obedient to Him because we are loving others which is a commandment. When we are obedient, our sacrifices become sources of joy, peace, and comfort.
Oh, but how hard it is to love others. People can be so hard to love. They can do foolish, irritating, unloving things. I am not always loveable. I am not always loving. I am supposed to be loving to reflect Jesus. Still, I haven’t been transformed to that yet. I would like to always be loving and kind, righteous and good, but I am not.
Does this mean I am a poor witness for Christ? Sometimes. Scriptures say that we all fail, not one of us is perfect. Because of this, we need forgiveness from others. Forgiving others is another way of loving others because it is giving mercy and grace like God does for us when we come to Him and seek His forgiveness for our failings.
Doing God’s will, saying we’re willing to do what He asks—these are hard to do. But you know that our willingness to follow and listen is in our hearts. If we seek to be obedient, I think that this pleases God.
Acknowledging that we aren’t perfect and that we fail to love is also admitting that we can’t love others without the help of the Holy Spirit of God.
Oh, dear God, the deeper I go in faith, the more I see that I cannot ever do anything truly good without Your help. Dear Lord, help us as we try to live for You. Help us to love one another as we grow closer to You.
Without Jesus, I am nothing.
Have you made similar promises?
Picture from son’s mission trip to Ecuador.