Two of my favorite authors and thinkers are Neal A. Maxwell and C.S. Lewis. Both were incredibly blessed with insight and an ability to communicate powerful ideas. These two great quotes focus on the need to submit ourselves to God, and to give ourselves over to the changes that need to take place to more fully embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ. We must give up the internal temper tantrums and consciously choose to submit saying, “thy will be done, not my will be done.” It’s the hardest and most rewarding thing we can do in life. In the end, it’s the only thing that will actually have made a difference in our salvation. Did we truly give ourselves to God?
This is one of my favorite quotes of all time. The last sentence is such a profound statement.
“The submission of one’s will is placing on God’s altar the only uniquely personal thing one has to place there. The many other things we “give” are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us. However, when we finally submit ourselves by letting our individual wills be swallowed up in God’s will, we will really be giving something to Him! It is the only possession which is truly ours to give. Consecration thus constitutes the only unconditional surrender which is also a total victory.”
– Neal A. Maxwell, If Thou Endure It Well, pg. 54.
Then this quote by C.S. Lewis reminds me a bit of Mosiah 3:19’s statement on the natural man being an enemy to God. Ultimately we have to be changed and Lewis’ imagery is poignant.
“The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self—all your wishes and precautions—to Christ. But it is far easier than what we are all trying to do instead. For what we are trying to do is to remain what we call ‘ourselves’, to keep personal happiness as our great aim in life, and yet at the same time be ‘good’. We are all trying to let our mind and heart go their own way—centered on money or pleasure or ambition—and hoping, in spite of this, to behave honestly and chastely and humbly. And that is exactly what Christ warned us you could not do. As He said, a thistle cannot produce figs. If I am a field that contains nothing but grass-seed, I cannot produce wheat. Cutting the grass may keep it short: but I shall still produce grass and no wheat. If I want to produce wheat, the change must go deeper than the surface. I must be ploughed up and re-sown.”
-C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, Pg. 198
Today’s study topic centers on this idea that we need to surrender to God. There is no greater example of that than Jesus Christ’s submission to his Father throughout his life. To model Christ more fully, we should seek to understand what the scriptures teach are God’s will and the results of proper thinking and action that relate to his will.
In Scripture Notes, do a search for this exact phrase. Just copy/paste it into your search bar:
"my will" or "thy will"
There are 64 results. Click the “Create CN” button. Title your collection note “Thy will be done” (or something) and tag it with words like: Discipleship, Submission, Submissive, Humility, Consecration, Thy Will, My Will, etc… In the category dropdown select Quote and copy/paste the quotes above into your collection.
Press ctrl/cmd-F and search for “will” and press highlight all to make that word jump out at you.
Now pray and ask God to show you some characteristics found in these verses (and possibly some around them in context) and what you can do to better improve your discipleship.
As you read, watch for the following items (which you may want to organize this way in your master collection note):
Characteristics and attitudes
Blessings of a submissive nature
What is God’s will for us?
Now this isn’t to say you should record something from every verse you study. There are a lot of verses in this search group that indicate something very specific in a historical context like the Lord telling Joseph it is his will that he translates the Book of Mormon. Liken the scriptures all you want, but for me the purpose of this is to identify specific things I need to do and the blessings promised to me for those actions. That creates the “why” I must change. Only when we know why we must change can we feel the pressure and motivation to actually change.
We are all on a journey to better put God’s direction first in our lives. We all need to come to a point of saying, “thy will be done” and mean it. Hopefully this topic helps you identify some of the things you need to do, as led by the Spirit, to achieve your victory through unconditional surrender.
Please share something below that you learned about this topic.
(Featured image by Rudall30 @ 123rf.com)