Thy Will Be Done

By Andrew Murray

Chapter 6


"I can of Myself do nothing: as I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous; because I seek not Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me." John 5: 30.

The will of God is the power by which the universe exists from moment to moment. It is by the unceasing active exercise of His will that the sun shines, and that every lily is clothed with beauty. There is no goodness, or strength, or beauty, but as He wills it. The glory and blessedness of heaven are nothing but the working of His will. The hosts of heaven live with their wills turned and opened to Him, and find their happiness in allowing His will to do its perfect work in them. When the Blessed Son became man to lead us in the way to God, He told us that the whole secret of His life was, not doing His own will, but yielding Himself so to do the will of the Father, that His will should receive and work out that which the will of the Father worked in Him. He said that He had been sent and that He had delighted to come, for the one purpose, with His human will and His human body, to do not His own will, but the will of the Father. He set us the example of a man, a true man, finding His blessedness and His way to God's glory in the absolute surrender to God's will. He thus showed us what the destiny was for which man was created, and what the new life He was to bring His people. in such entire dependence on God, as to do nothing of Himself, and to judge nothing but as He heard from the Father, He was able always to give a righteous judgment. He could count upon God to give Him all the wisdom and the strength He needed, to work out His own will perfectly in Him. All for the one simple reason: "Because I seek not Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me."

"Not Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me!" But had our Lord Jesus an own will, a will different from the Father's, that He needed to say: Not My will? Had He a will that needed to be denied? Undoubtedly. But was not such a will sin? By no means. Just this was the glory of the creation of man that he had a self-hood, an own will, a power of self-determination, by which he was to decide what he should be. This was not sin, that man had his own desire and thought and will. Without this he could not be a free creature.

He had a will, with which to decide whether he should act according to the will of God or not. Sin only came when man held to his own will as creature in opposition to the will of God. As man, made like unto us in all things, "in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin," Christ had a human will; for instance, to eat when He was hungry, or to shrink from suffering when He saw it coming. We know how in the temptation in the wilderness, He kept the former, in the prospect of His death, the latter, in perfect subjection to the Father's will. (Matt. 4: 4; Luke 12: 50; John 12: 27.) It is just this that gives its infinite worth to His sacrifice; it was the unceasing sacrifice of His human will to the Father. "I seek not Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me."

These words reveal to us the inmost meaning of Christ's redemption. They teach us what the life is for which we were created, and out of which we fell in Paradise. They show us wherein the sinfulness of that fallen state consists out of which Christ came to deliver us: He seeks to free us from our self-will. They reveal to us the true creature-life and the true Son-life, perfect oneness of will with God's will. They open to us the secret power of Christ's redeeming work -- atoning for our self-will by His loyalty at all costs to God's will; and the true nature of the salvation and the life He gives us -- the will and the power to say: I delight to do Your will, O God. Every spirit seeks a form in which to embody itself: these words give the highest revelation of the life in which the Spirit that was in Christ embodied itself in Him, and embodies itself in all who seek truly and fully to accept His salvation to the uttermost. I seek not my will, but the will of Him that sent me, is the keynote of the only life that is well-pleasing to the Father on earth, and fits for His fellowship in heaven.

How little God's children know the Christ He has given them. And how little the true nature of the salvation Christ came to bring. How many there are who have never been taught that salvation out of self-will into doing God's will is alone true blessedness. And how many who, if they think they know it as a truth, never set themselves to seek this first as the true entrance into the kingdom of God and His righteousness. And yet this is in very deed what Christ revealed, and promised, what He secured on Calvary, and bestowed from heaven in the Holy Ghost. How can we become possessed of this blessed life?

I have pointed out previously how great the difference is between the idea of the law of a State, as contained in a statute book, and the will of a King to whom one stands in a personal relationship. If we would truly, however distantly, follow in Christ's footsteps, we must stand with Him in the same close personal relationship to the Father. Without this the most earnest efforts to do the Father's will must prove a failure. When our Lord so often spoke of "The will of My Father, which is in heaven," He wanted us to understand that it was the living personality and love that was at once motive and power for the obedience. When He spoke "of the will of Him that sent Me," He showed that it was not only the consciousness of having a work, but the desire of pleasing the One who sent Him, that was the mainspring of all He did. We need the sense of the presence and nearness of the God whose will we are to do as much as our Lord did. Separate the thing you have to do from Him whose will it is, and it becomes a burden and an impossibility. Live in the faith that He has sent you, that it is His living loving will, over which He watches, which He Himself even works out, that you are doing -- instead of its being a burden you are to carry, it becomes a power that carries you. The will of the Father is such a beautiful, wise, gentle, loving will, that to know it as the breathing out of the heart of God, makes it an infinite attraction and delight.

And how can we enter into this experience of the Father's nearness, and thus be able to do everything as His will? There is only one way. Jesus Christ must work it in us. And that not as from without, strengthening our faculties or assisting our efforts. No, this blessed doing of the Father's will is the mark of His life as Son. He can work it in us, as we yield ourselves wholly and receive Him truly to dwell in us. It is right and needful that we should set ourselves with all earnestness and make the attempt. It is only by its failure that we really learn how entirely He must and will do all. So inseparably is this "seeking not Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me," connected with Jesus Christ, that it is only when He comes in and manifests Himself in the heart and dwells there, that He can work this full salvation in us. "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled."