"I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me."
Those are the words of Jesus. He did not desire or wish to please himself but to please the One who sent Him.
Jesus did nothing but only what would please His Father. He didn't go looking for ways to please himself, to put himself first, to make his name known, to get ahead in life, to do what was best for him.
He did not zeteo, he did not search for, desire, require, or demand that his own needs were met before meeting the needs of his Father who sent him.
How good are you at putting yourself last? Not good? Me either. Me is who I always think of first. Then when I'm done thinking of me, next on the list come my husband, my kids and grandson, then maybe, mayyyyybe God's pleasure fits in somewhere around line 9 or 10 of my list of those I try or find important to please.
The transliteration of the actual words Jesus used say this:
not I seek the will of me but the will of the one having sent me.
His desire was to do what God wanted him to do. He pushed aside the temptations to do what He wanted to do over and over again. He was tempted in the same ways we are, yet he didn't give in to the temptations that were ever present to put himself first and his Father last.
What in the world does that look like? How can we even begin to comprehend, let alone imitate such behavior?
Well, one step at a time. One wish at a time. One desire at a time. One want at a time.
I knew someone once who told me that the way she prayed for God's will to be known for her was praying that no door opened that He didn't want her to walk through. It was a real hard formula. (wink wink). Just a simple prayer and a simple trust that God would open the doors He wanted her to walk through and close the doors He didn't want her to enter.
Now some of us will try and try and try to break down doors that are clearly closed, even getting bloody knuckles and sore shoulders from continued knocking and attempting to break them down.
When we believe God is telling us to do something and it's not just our will that is hoping God is agreeing with us that it would be a good thing to do, through my friend's example say something like this:
"Jesus, if it is your will for me, and I want your will to be done (I think I do anyway), not mine, Lord Jesus, if you want me to have or do ________ than I will not do anything until the door opens wide to have or do ________."
Even Jesus asked God for a different game plan than what he was facing. Remember? He said, if there is any way for this cup to pass, if you are willing, yet not my will but your will. And God had him killed.
That was God's will.
Wanting God's will over our own will is not going to bring all sunshine and roses. Some doors that open we will be certain they should have stayed shut.
Some doors that stay shut we will not be able to understand why they stay shut because we know what's on the other side of the door is not bad. It's not evil. It's not unholy. It's pretty good stuff on the other side. But when those doors stay shut it's not because they're evil or unholy, it's because they are not a part of God's will for YOU.
You may be able to hear the party and the laughter and the joy coming through the door, but if it's not God's will for you to be on the other side of that door, you shouldn't go in.
Stay on the side of the door where his will for you rests.
Make your every decision from here forward on this premise. (Or something like it anyway). Lord, I want what you want. I surrender to what you want for me. I know what you want for me could be really hard and painful and even mean giving up some things that I really enjoy and bring me closer to you, but if you don't want me to have them, then I don't want them. I want what you want. I don't want to walk through any doors if you aren't on the other side.
Be careful what you pray for. If you want a closer relationship with Jesus, He'll see to it that you get it, but it won't be in ways that you design. The doors you thought he would open may remain locked tightly and the doors that do begin to open you may be a little apprehensive about walking through. Butremember how faith works during times like those.....trust that He will keep you safe, He will be with you every step of the way. And just start walking. One foot in front of the other.
The footing will be unfamiliar, the light may be dim, but He'll be sure to carry you through whether you feel him with you or not. He's there. Cheering you on, reminding you that He has been where you are. He fought and won the temptations to quit that you will face. Nothing you will go through as you seek His will over your own will be too hard for him to carry you through.
Just trust Him.
Hold on tight, don't let go.
Begin seeking not the will of "me" but seek the will of Him.
He's so worth it.
John 5:30 Luke 22:42 Philippians 2:5-11 Hebrews 4:15