In HOPE

  In HOPE 6.33                                  back to home                        David Timms

Ministry Resource

I recently bought Brian Dodd's Empowered Church Leadership: Ministry in the Spirit According to Paul (IVP, 2003; 190 pages). Dodd offers a clarion call "to forsake worldly definitions of leadership that drive Christianity towards impotence and irrelevance."

Hope Happenings

Last Tuesday evening, Hope International University once again hosted Happy House - a community event for families, presented as an alternative to Halloween. Our undergraduate students did a terrific job of organizing the experience for hundreds of local residents. 

Current Series

The current series for "In HOPE" is based on the Lord's Prayer. Today's column is week four in the series.

Hope International University
Fullerton  CA  92831

"Pray then in this way: 'Our Father, who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your Kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.'" (Matthew 6.9-13)


Your Will Be Done

Without doubt, our deepest struggles and greatest joys come from the human will.

On the one hand, we wrestle within when we lack the willpower to do what we feel we could or should -- consider our habits, hang-ups, and addictions. We clash with others when their will differs from our own -- consider you marriage, family, or work-place.On the other hand, we experience enormous delight if our will aligns with someone else's. We love to experience authentic agreement.

When we coerce or manipulate each other, conflict abounds. When we submit willingly, unity prevails. Nothing hurts us as deeply as feeling disempowered or overpowered, and nothing breeds deeper resentment than to have our will devalued or demeaned.

What I want, matters.

My parents didn't teach me that. Nor did I learn it in school. It's simply part of being made in the glorious image of God. God created us with the capacity to make decisions. He blessed us with a will to exercise.

What shall I want?

With typical insight, the Lord's Prayer addresses this cornerstone of our lives. Jesus teaches His disciples to choose the will of the Father. He does not advocate fatalism or pessimism, as though Christian belief crushes our choice. To the contrary, Christ reminds us that faith -- defined as trust and commitment -- delights in the will of the Father.

"Your will be done" springs from confidence that God's will is both informed and ideal.

Interestingly, the prayer has no qualifiers. "Your will be done in looking after me, but my will be done in finding a marriage partner, choosing a career, deciding about my money, and planning my future." Jesus omits these add-ons as He urges us to learn the art and joy of willing surrender.

Your will be done. In other words, "We want what You want, and we receive what You give."

When we assert our own will, with God or with each other, our willfullness leads to pain and division. When we submit our will to the Lord's, our willingness unexpectedly gives birth to life. Can faith be faith without walking this pathway?

Our greatest grief arises from a self-guarded will. Paradoxically, joy comes with willing abandonment to our most Beneficent Guardian. Who's in charge today?

Pray this way, "Your will be done."

In HOPE -

David

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For back issues of "In HOPE" (2005, 2006) go to http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/.

David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board of the institution. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.