Artis Divina - Where Artists find ways to follow God

Monday, January 09, 2006

Whose ‘Will’ will it be?

“Jesus, in John 15:2, reminds us that he prunes the fruitful branch so that it will bear even more fruit. But a branch that has been pruned feels, for a time, that it is anything but fruitful. How can we come to understand the difficult places of our Christian lives as places that will result in even greater impact and godliness in and through us.” From My friend Alan Fadling’s website…

The pruning never feels good. And neither does the surrendering of our will to His Will.

This is the forming, reforming, conforming, and transforming of us into the image and likeness of Christ.

I’ve come to understand that the question of ‘Wills’ is at the heart of the problem of how we relate to God, and to the world.

My Will be done vs. Thy Will be done

Whose ‘Will’ will it be?

This question of wills, is also the question of pride and surrender, the pride in ourselves and our accomplishments and work, and the surrender of our right of being first, of our placement of ourselves before God, and our will instead of God’s will.

This question of ‘wills’ is the question of who’s on the throne of our lives, and the question of the surrender of the hidden places of our heart, especially like Pride.

And as a young and growing Christian, the question of wills, self, pride, etc.; these are the issues that young Christians need to ‘work out their salvation’ with, and crucify their own self desires, and pride, to allow God’s character to shine through them. Each successive layered removal of dingy self importance and prominence reveals the pristine light of God shining out from within. It reveals the dearly loved Child of God cohabitating with the Spirit shining out from within.

And as we mature in Christ, it is not the pride of self that presents itself to the world, but the Spirit that shines through us. This presentation of Christ in Us no longer becomes an “I”, but a “We”. The word “I”, no longer has the attitude of pride, because it represents a person wholly in intimate and constant communion with God, - that is, - representing God, more than yourself. Pride of self has stepped out of the way to let God shine through.

This little story about the Desert Fathers reminds me of this process of letting God shine through us:

An old monk lived in the desert. He was known as Abba Lot. One day he went to see another respected spiritual father called Abba Joseph, to ask for spiritual guidance. He said: "Abba, as far as I can, I say my little prayer office, I fast a little, I pray and meditate. I live in peace, and as far as I can, I purify my thoughts. What more can I do?"

Abba Joseph stood up, and stretched his hands towards heaven. His fingers became like ten lamps, blazing with fire.

Then he said to Abba Lot: "If you really will, you can become all flame!"

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I like this perspective of wills. To me this feeds into the whole point of Creation and of Redemption-- that is, Relationship.

When I pray "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven", integrity demands I take on His will, crucifying every desire of
the flesh. *smile*

This sounds scary to a new Christian. What happens, in fact, is similar to Michelangelo's carving. The extraneous dross is subject to the chisel, and the self in every original God given quality emerges.

Conformance to His will is too often confused with conformance to a church or a pastor or even a pre-existing idea of Christ; however, God desires our eyes become trained on His countenance until we become like Him. Notice how the eyes of a baby seek the face of the parent.

Enoch did that.




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