The Cat out of the Bag :: Will

The will of God.

Yep.

We’re gonna grab this cat and let it out of the bag! Ok, so, we will attempt it, anyway. I’ll also warn you…for this cat, there is a dumpster involved, so prepare yourself…

I need to be sure everyone knows, I do not claim to be an educated, seminary-trained dude. Therefore, I must put the caveat out there that I am pursuing re-definition through the eyes of what I have found through Scripture and experience. This article is in no way against any perspective anyone has. My hope is that you see Christ and are encouraged through my experiences.

With all of that said, leggo!

How many of you have made this statement?

“I want to know God’s will for my life.”

Maybe you have asked a question that is a derivative of this statement, like, “God, what is your will for my life?” or “Lord, please show me Your will for my life?” and so on.

I’m not sure you can be a Christian and not ask these questions or make these statements. So for the sake of not projecting, I’ll just speak of my story and you can see if it applies to where you are at or where you have been at some point.

Tumult.

That is what drove me to discover the word will. I was in the middle of a tumultuous relationship. Life was nothing but a pool of tumult. My response to these circumstances typically harvested more tumult.

Until I was brought to zero, rock-bottom. The tumult was now high above me. I was no longer involved because I had fallen. Hard. Sure the tumult was hovering, waiting for me to engage again.

But I couldn’t.

It’s as if I wasn’t allowed. Nor did I want to.

There was, all of a sudden, a lust in my spirit for the will of God for my life. My knee-jerk reaction (which was not of my own mind, but something deeper inside me) was to step away from the tumultuous circumstances.

And breathe. Rest. Enjoy. Relate. Grow. Heal. Love.

As these things were naturally going on, I pursued God’s will for my life. I wanted to know. So I could do. So I looked. Besides, the bible says seek and you’ll find, right?

Here are some passages I started running across in regard to the Greek word θέλημα, which means, what is willed:

Matthew 6:10

Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.

John 5:30

I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

John 6:40

For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.

Romans 12:2

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Ephesians 1:9

He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him…

Ephesians 1:11

…also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,…

Colossians 1:9

For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,…

Hebrews 10:9

…then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second.

Wow! I discovered, I believe, this very important key to God’s will…

It is God’s will.

Not mine.

Wait, what?

Not mine? How do I fit in? What is my part? What is my value to this planet? And that whole Gospel thing…what about that? Doesn’t God have a plan for me to spread His Good News all over the world?

That really knocked me off my rocker for a minute. God’s will is not something I can ask to apply to my life. That seems so controversial. But it is true. Now I see the opposite perspective…

Can I apply my life to God’s will?

Oh my…now there’s a can to open that would be very difficult to close. Not because of the conversation points that would come up, but because of the content of that can…

Speaking of that can, let’s use that as a metaphor.

Imagine a Campbell’s Chunky Beef Soup can. Now imagine that can filled with a bunch of yummy, nutritious, life giving juice!

Ok, now imagine a Campbell’s Tomato Soup can. No links needed. We’ve all had that…with grilled cheese! Yum! Now imagine the tomato soup can empty.

May the metaphor begin…

I was praying to the big chunky beef soup can in the sky to pour some of that tasty juice into my little tomato soup can. That way I would know that I now have value and can be tasty and good for someone else. I might even take my yummy liquid to others and share the good news that it is! And maybe even pour some of my yummy juice into their tomato soup can…

I dj parties and receptions and such. If I was on my turntables I would freeze the music and scratch the record…cuz imma bout to spin a fresh track!

I’m putting the needle on the record…

Play…

Imagine that we are the tomato soup cans. Instead of asking for His will, we seek His will. This is what we find…

A large dumpster.

Waiting to receive tin cans (for those of you that have seen The Wizard of Oz, feel free to go on the journey of discovering Christ through the Tin Man getting a heart). We consciously decide to give ourselves to the Dumpster.

The Dumpster is then taken to a Recycling Plant. All of the cans and metal are cleaned up. All the labels are removed. All the past ingredients are removed. Nothing but the basic shape remains, however dented and scarred they are.

These shells are then melted down to the core of their identity: tin. They are moved into another stage of the Plant that reshapes them and molds them into their new identity.

Perhaps that new identity is a new Eiffel Tower, intricate and beautiful. Perhaps it is a huge tanker ship to hold cargo to cross over seas and oceans. Perhaps it is a new skyscraper that can be seen from miles around.

This, my brothers and sisters, I have found to be the will of God.

That we would get out of the way. We would die. We would allow the Spirit to freshly express Christ and our new identity through our spirit. We will be given a new heart. We will be given a new expression…a new identity. This identity is no longer our will, but the will of the Father.

Numerous times in Scripture we see that God’s will has been, is, and will be fulfilled.

May we step into the Dumpster.

May what is resurrected be Christ.

For He is. God’s will.

And in closing,

This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.

(1 John 5:13,14 NASB)

What are you asking for? Do you know God’s will for your life? Want to share?

22 comments

  1. miltrodriguez · March 26, 2012

    Mark, great post! Great illustrations also! thanks again bro

    • marklchampion · March 26, 2012

      Thanks Milt. I appreciate you reading and commenting. You have the blessing of Christ!

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  3. kaleymayer · March 26, 2012

    Wow … this is profound. I loved your analogy. I’m always asking that God would kill me and bring about Christ’s life in me. Good to know that is what God’s will to do is.

    • marklchampion · March 26, 2012

      Kaley, thanks for reading and commenting and posting! God’s will for my life has always been a question I have asked. I will also be writing about the will of God in light of His purpose…but that will be later. Until then, may we be a part of His will!

  4. organicchurchga · March 26, 2012

    Mark you are an encouragement and a great brother. Thanks for the beautiful pictures of Christ

    • marklchampion · March 29, 2012

      Back atcha, Jim. I am thankful to be a part of the Body of Christ with you!

  5. Mark,

    This is incredible! The analogy you used is on the $! As I was reading this, I couldn’t help but to think of all of us in the body being melted down, being stripped of our old shapes and labels, and being molded together into one new structure (Christ)! It’s an honor to witness this with you in body life. Powerful article brother!

    • marklchampion · March 29, 2012

      Amen, brother. I am so thankful we are being shaped together into Him! Thanks for commenting. You have the Blessing.

  6. Keith · March 29, 2012

    Mark, I found this after I got a LinkedIn update. At first I was just glancing through and then stopped as I got to the dumpster and went back to the article. I am in the middle of desperately seeking God’s Will and purpose in my life and this article was a great encouragement. I would add to the analogy that even during and after the refining process there is much patience involved. It is not that we are immediately fashioned into a building or ship or work of art. At first we might become an I-beam or a rivet or even another can, which may sit in a storage yard or on a shelf, waiting for the right time and place to be used. I don’t like waiting.
    I am glad to see you are doing well, and again thank you for your friendship!

    • marklchampion · March 29, 2012

      Keith, so glad you didn’t throw the article in the dumpster. Nice connection to the article!

      Also, I will be writing in the word ‘purpose’ shortly. I hope you stay tuned and can be encouraged.

      Love you, brother.

  7. Jim Puntney · April 1, 2012

    its a common trait for us to refurbish, ideas, furniture, religion, heck just about anything, yet the issue is to be melted down, transformed, and made new.

    great use of the analogy, and very helpful, grace and peace to you my brother.

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