I had a dog whose favorite game was to play tug-of-war with a rubber pull-toy. She would grip one end of the toy with her teeth, and I would grip the other end with my hand. Because she was a small dog, my effort to win sometimes lifted her off the ground. But she still gripped the toy stubbornly.
Sinful human nature, or what the Bible calls “the flesh,” is a lot like my dog, continually playing tug-of-war with God. From an early age, our words and actions say, “My will be done.” Or we modify our stubbornness and say, “God, Your will be changed.”
Jesus always wanted to do His Father’s will. When He was agonizing in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane just prior to His arrest and crucifixion, He prayed, “Take this cup away from Me.” But in the next breath, He let go of His own will and yielded to His Father, saying, “Nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will” (Mk. 14:36).
A Bible teacher once pointed out that the words “No, Lord” are a contradiction in terms. Only as we say, “Yes, Lord”—and mean it—can we really call Him Lord.
Is there a “No, Lord” anywhere in your life? Don’t be like my dog who wouldn’t let go. Be like Jesus—let go of your will and yield to God’s.
Lord, help us to submit to You,
To follow and obey;
And give us strength to fight the urge
To do things our own way. —Sper
A strong will often conceals a strong "won't."