The battle of wills: Who do you think God is?

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By Al Earley

What we believe about God will tell us a lot about ourselves.

The prophet Isaiah shared this revelation from God about who God thinks He is. In Isaiah 45:5-6 we read, “I am the Lord and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord and there is no other.”

Who do you think God is?

Our choices can be summarized simply this way. There is no God. We are free to live by any nonsensical rule we choose. I like to express it this way. If you don’t believe in anything then you will believe in just about anything.

The second choice is where most people are. If you are in this group then you do believe there is a God, but you like living by nonsensical rules and paying lip service to God. You have agreed to fight the battle of wills, that is your will versus God’s will. But if you take a careful look at who wins this battle you will find that God’s will wins only when it is convenient.

The third choice is the hardest because in this one God wins the battle of wills most often. If you fall in this group then you believe there is a God who cares and desires a personal relationship with you. You study scripture and pray to better know God and live according to God’s will. This is not an easy choice, but it will yield a most amazing life, because your creator knows best of all how He has created you to live the life He has planned for you.

There was once a professor who sat at his desk one evening working on the next day’s lectures. His housekeeper had put the mail on his desk where he could sort through it. He noticed a magazine addressed to someone else in the pile. He randomly opened the magazine to the article “The Needs of the Congo Mission.” Casually he began to read when he was suddenly consumed by these words, “The need is great here. We have no one to work the northern province of Gabon in the central Congo. And it is my prayer as I write this article that God will lay His hand on one – one on whom, already, the Master’s eyes have been cast – that he or she shall be called to this place to help us.”

Professor Albert Schweitzer closed the magazine and wrote in his diary, “My search is over.”

He gave himself to the Congo. Was it an accident that Dr. Schweitzer read this article from a magazine not sent to him or was it the hand of God? He personally knew it was the hand of God directing his steps and filling his life with the most meaningful experiences of his life. Dr. Schweitzer lost the battle of wills and won big in the journey of life.

At a meeting of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Bobby Richardson, former New York Yankee second baseman, offered a prayer that is a classic in being brief and to the point. He prayed, “Dear God, Your will, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. Amen.”

Which of the three types of people are you? Be honest!

Have you won or lost the battle of wills? How do you know? Have you ever prayed a prayer anything like Bobby Richardson’s prayer?

Read the text from Isaiah at the beginning of this article again.

Make a list of all the claims Isaiah makes about God. Do you believe Isaiah’s claims about God are true? What affect should this have on your life? Is there someone important to you that you would know a lot better if you knew what they believed about God?

If so, then show them this article and spend some time talking about it. It will probably be the most important conversation you have with this person today, maybe ever.

Al Earley is pastor of La Grange Presbyterian Church. To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles see www.lagrangepres.com. The views in this column are those of the writer.