The Matter of Our Will

by Joanna Pierce on August 21, 2016

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise (Psalms 98:4, KJV).

During the time Israel was taken into captivity by the Babylonians, they sat down by the river and began to weep over their present situation (Psalms 137:1–4). They were in a strange land and away from their families. But, even in captivity, they found themselves by the rivers of Babylon—they were in a place of bounty. Even in an unfavorable situation, they were still blessed by God.

We’re told in Scripture to make a joyful noise. While we may not be in a situation where we feel like praising the Lord, we need to will ourselves to worship Him. We have a supernatural endowment in our life that enables us to rise above our situations; we have the Spirit and power of God working in our life (I John 4:4).

Israel’s praise was affected by their present situation. It’s not that the children of Israel couldn’t praise the Lord, they chose not to praise the Lord. They chose to complain instead of calling on the One who could bring deliverance. We should remember our environment doesn’t dictate who we are. We are always a child of God wherever we go, wherever we live, and no matter what happens in our life. The way we live and our worship for the Lord is all a matter of will.

King David said he would bless the Lord at all times (Psalms 34:1). He understood his relationship with the Lord was about taking ownership of his will. He didn’t want the works of the flesh manifest in his life; he made a decision to praise the Lord. What we command (or will) ourselves to do will chart our course to heaven or hell. When we find ourselves in a time of temptation, we must tell ourselves, “no.” Instead, we must choose to live for God and crucify our flesh.

The disciples faced a tremendous storm and were afraid when they saw Jesus walking on the water (John 6:16–20). After He approached the ship, and encountered Peter, the disciples willingly received Jesus into the ship (John 6:21). If was after they received Jesus into the ship, they were able to survive the storm and accomplish what they were unable to do without His presence in their life. God isn’t going to force Himself on us; we must be willing to trust and obey Him today.

In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed as He prepared to face the cross. In His flesh, He wanted to avoid the agony that awaited Him, but He still prayed, “…not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42, KJV). We should follow after Jesus’ example today and will ourselves to follow after God’s will and not our own. We have a choice today to serve God—it’s just a matter of our will.

Adapted from Sunday Morning Service on August 21, 2016 with Guest Speaker, Rema Duncan