I’ve seen that face before. It’s the same face he gave me when I told him I can’t buy one green balloon. I then asked him why he wanted one balloon, and of all colors, green. His face said, ‘Pero no comprendé hermana. Inglés por favour?’ His face (my nephew) said he didn’t understand why his wish wasn’t my command, why his desire couldn’t meet with instant gratification.
I’ve carried that facial expression many times myself…wondering at God in despairing disbelief. Is that a ‘No?’ I don’t understand. God, I don’t understand. But his word advises of his role in my life, as far as his sovereign will goes. “We may throw the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall.” (Proverbs 16:33)
You see, God wills all. He is sovereign, and we are not. It is really quite simple, actually. We can pray, but God is in control of the outcome, and we pray with an acceptance, understanding and submission to his perfect will. What is his perfect will? We cannot always know this, because again, God is omnipotent and we are not, omniscient and we are not. Through his word, however, he has given us access to the wisdom that can help us be guided by his perfect will.
One of the clearest instances of this is found in Romans 12:1-2. After going over the mercy of God (and the need for this mercy over mankind) in the previous 11 chapters of Romans. Paul (this book’s author), reiterates his previous sentiment and then instructs the reader to offer their very bodies ‘as a living sacrifice’ because of this mercy. In so doing, it leads into verse 2, “Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
We learn from this second verse that God’s will is ‘good, pleasing and perfect’. To go back to verse 1, we also learn that in order to know God’s will for us (you), we must first have offered our very bodies ‘as a living sacrifice’. Upon doing this, God can then transform us into a new person by changing the way we think.
Let me outline it again – Because of God’s mercy, we give our lives in sacrifice. We ‘do not copy the behaviour and customs of this world’, but rather we let God transform us into a new person by changing the way we think’. Having, then our minds renewed, we are able to recognise God’s will..which is ‘good, pleasing and perfect’.
So don’t pout if things don’t go your way…maybe your thinking needs to be renewed…maybe you can’t have your way after all, for God’s ‘good, pleasing and perfect’ reasons.