Two Kinds of People

“There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, ‘Your will be done,’ and those to whom God says, ‘All right, then, have it your way’” (C.S. Lewis).

The above quote expresses an axiom of life that is always true. Either we seek to conform our lives to the will of God, or we hope and try to conform God to our will. Scripture affirms that, if we have truly surrendered our lives to Christ, it is not a justification to live however we please, but instead to live in a way that pleases God, which is vastly different than the first proposition. Paul affirms throughout his letters the principle of seeking God’s will above our own. He emphasizes we should take off the old garment of sin and put on the new garment of righteousness (Eph. 4:22-24; Col. 3:9-10). We have crucified ourselves with Christ, so it is no longer the flesh that dominates but the spiritual (Gal. 2:20). To live is Christ, for Christ is our life (Phil. 1:21; Col. 3:4). Our priorities have been transformed from a worldly perspective to a heavenly one.

However, not to allow God to work His purpose in our lives is to try and convince God to accept our purposes in life instead. Paul asked the question, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be!” (Rom. 6:1-2a). He said earlier how the Gentile world knew God, but refused to follow Him (Rom. 1:20); the result was, “God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity” (1:24). Jude speaks of those who wanted to turn the grace of God into a license to sin (Jude 1:4). The list of references could be multiplied, but wishing something to be true doesn’t make it so. “Let God be true, even though everyone is a liar (Rom. 3:4).

This doesn’t mean seeking the will of God demands living a perfect life. John reminds us we should seek to live a life free from sin, but we have an Advocate in Christ if we do sin (1 John 2:1), and through His blood, cleansing is available to the repentant (1 John 1:9; Acts 8:22). There is a real difference, in striving to put away sin, and in seeking to legitimatize sin. There’s a difference in ignoring the consequences of persistent sins, and in acknowledging we are weak and in need of God’s help to overcome sin and be more like Christ (Luke 18:9-14). We should seek to make God’s will ours, as did Christ (Luke 22:42), or we will live as if God will make our will His (1 Pet. 4:2-5). It is important to note that, never is there an example in Scripture, where substituting one’s desires for the will of God, ever pleased God. This is the problem with sin; it deceives us into thinking it’s acceptable, and then it hardens our heart against the truth (Heb. 3:13). We must be diligent to guard against this view of life.

If we are to be crucified with Christ, we must dedicate ourselves to the will of God, rather than hope God will make our will His. God will allow us to choose our will over His, but is that what we want? Will that take us where we want to be in judgment? Everything we say and do should be filtered through God’s word, for it reveals God’s will for our lives. To ignore it, to put ourselves above it, is a choice God allows, but we go into making that decision knowing there are real, eternal, consequences in doing so. May we seek God’s love, His help, His strength, to know His will and offer ourselves to Him in living by its precepts and principles. Anything else is only a delusion (2 Thess. 2:11). “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand” (Prov. 19:21).

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.”

Robert Johnson