Have Thine Own Way Lord
“Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work” (2 Tim. 2:20-21).
God is eternal, existing before anything physical was created. In establishing the heavens and the earth, and all that is in them, including us in His image, all the created order is dependent on Him and His benevolent care and sustenance for existence. Without God’s constant care, nothing could exist, including ourselves (Col. 1:17). For life today, and life eternal, we must submit to the will of God to find our purpose for living. However, having been granted free will, sometimes the created wants to act as if we are creator. Paul refers to this propensity of humanity in Romans; “On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this,’ will it?” (Rom. 9:20). It is the height of arrogance and the deception of sin to think, as humans, we have the right to dictate terms to God, and that He is obligated to do what we please. Such helps explain the variety of religious beliefs that exist, and how so many respond that, since God loves us, He won’t condemn any of us, but will accommodate Himself to whatever it is a person desires and offers (or doesn’t offer).
Jesus countered such ill-conceived reasoning when He said, “Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven” (Matt. 7:21). The idea that one can pick and choose what one wants to do, or refrain from doing, and God will be pleased, is a lie of Satan. John reminds us, “This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commands. The one who says, ‘I have come to know him,’ and yet doesn't keep his commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, truly in him the love of God is made complete. This is how we know we are in him: The one who says he remains in him should walk just as he walked” (1 John 2:3-6). God does not leave it with us to decide how to please Him, how to live faithfully for Him. He has clearly revealed in His inspired word what He desires of us, how to live for Him, how to have confidence in eternity. “You have been born again—not of perishable seed but of imperishable—through the living and enduring word of God. For all flesh is like grass, and all its glory like a flower of the grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord endures forever. And this word is the gospel that was proclaimed to you” (1 Pet. 1:23-25).
We recognize this principle of our relationship with the Father and Son as expressed generally in Scripture, but what about when it comes to specifics? It’s not so much with a broad brushstroke God has defined living the Christian life, but in the details that define who we are. For example, the Hebrew writer states we are not to neglect meeting, or assembling, together (Heb. 10:25). Yet, how many will do what the Lord said we should not do, and not feel any sorrow for doing so? Paul said we are to give as we’ve been prospered (1 Cor. 16:2), but some have no issue with not giving if they want to use such funds for personal matters. Peter tells us we must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:18), and Paul added that such is necessary if we are to make right choices and be sincere and blameless on the day of judgment (Phil. 1:9-10). Yet, days and weeks can go by without any consideration of Scripture, of spending any time making use of the Bible to guide our minds and hearts, to direct our paths, to help us grow in the image of Christ. Do we, as the clay, want to tell God, as the potter, how to deal with us? Do those who are mortal get to dictate terms to Him who is eternal? Instead, should we not remember, “But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness” (Rom. 6:17-18). We are not our own (1 Cor. 6:19-20), but belong to Him who both made us and redeems us in Christ.
To reject the will of God for our own purposes is to simply allow Satan control over our lives. He too has rebelled against God, but His fate is certain (Matt. 25:41), and those who have followed him will join him in eternal destruction. God created us for eternal life with Him, and has done everything necessary for us to have life with Him in Christ. Submission to God, who is love, infinite in nature, and possesses all wisdom, surely is what we were made for, and where our blessings are found. Should we not humble ourselves and find what can be, what it should be, not just for today, but forever? May we be vessels of gold and silver, cleansed for honorable use, set apart as holy to God, useful in His kingdom, ready for every good work.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.”