For I have come down from heaven to do the WILL of God who sent me, not to do what I want. John 6:38
It's ridiculous. Last night when we were moving into our new place, it took my husband exactly ten minutes to unpack and hang up all his clothes in his own closet. Meanwhile, two hours and two closets later, my husband finally came around to ask me if I needed help.
"Well, I'm almost done, but you can grab a couple more hangers for those shirts."
"That's not the kind of help I meant," he looked down his nose at me, through knitted brows, in the way only a husband, who is getting ready to call the psychiatric hotline, can do.
I knew he was right. After all the time I've spent in developing countries, I felt sickened by the greed snickering at me from my closet. How did this happen? How many black shirts (and shoes) does a person need? How did I manage to acquire enough duds to clothe Haiti?
I can tell you exactly how it happened: Trips to Goodwill. I swear, they put a spell on you in those stores. Especially the one in Rochester, Minnesota, a community brimming with medical money. It is so amazing to shop there, and it's so easy to rationalize that, since I'm saving so much money on these expensive wonderful clothes, and also since I'd never be able to afford clothes like this new…hey, why not buy them all? And so, sporting a new/used extra large duffel, I brought Goodwill home.
But in my heart, I knew I didn't need all those clothes. I knew I was choosing against the nudge of the Holy Spirit who told me not to overdo it at Goodwill. And last night, with the evidence mounting against me, I finally had to admit it. My will took over at Goodwill.
I noticed something interesting on this topic just tonight, while studying for an upcoming event. In Isaiah 14:13-14, God describes a person's fall (possibly also a picture of Satan) and how he said out loud three times, "I will…" Contrast that to Jesus. Matthew records Jesus saying three times out loud, "Your will" (Matthew 6:10, 26:39 & 42). Indeed, any rebellious person (or being) follows his own will, while Jesus, as a perfect example, followed His Father's will. And there is all the difference for our lives through these two examples.
Sin is the result of the lost battle between my will and God's will.
When we desire to live for God in obedience (which results in freedom), we will do the will of the Father. When we desire to live for ourselves (which ends up the worst of captivity), we will follow our own will. I'm definitely feeling the control my two closets have over me right now. It's like a burden instead of a joy, owning all those clothes.
So, I guess pretty soon, it's time to make my way back to Goodwill to follow God's will, leaving the clothes on the racks for someone else who needs them more.