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Thy Will Be Done

“Thy will be done, in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

I suppose that to the majority of people these familiar words suggest a funeral rather than a wedding. They recall experiences to which we were compelled to submit but in which we found no delight. And so we have a sort of negative and passive attitude toward the words. We may reverently recall one black night when in Gethsemane the afflicted heart of the Saviour submitted itself in strong resignation, crying, “Nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done” (Luke 22:42).

And yet if resignation be our only attitude to the will of God, our life will be sorely lacking in delightful strength and beauty. The will of God is not always something burdensome which we have to bear. It is something glorious that we have to do. We are not to stand before it as mourners only, humbly making our submission, but as keen and eager knights gladly receiving our commissions. The will of God is not something withheld, it is something given. There is an active savor about it. There is a ringing challenge in it. It is a call to chivalry and crusade. And therefore the symbol of our relation to the will of God is not that of the bowed head, but that of the lit lamp and the girt loin, as of happy servants delighted with their tasks. It is in this positive relationship to the will of God that the will becomes our song, the song of ardent knights upon the road riding abroad to express the will of their King in all the common dealings and relationships of men. “Thy will be done in earth!” That is not merely the poignant cry of mourners surrendering their treasures. It is the cry of a jubilant host with a King in their midst consecrating the strength of their arms to the cause of His kingdom. The will of God is here not something to be endured, but something to be done.

—Condensed from God Our Contemporary, by John Henry Jowett.