Sermon: Your Will, Or God’s?
Scripture: Matthew 6:10
In this week’s lessons, we learn what it means to pray that the Lord’s will be done, rather than ours.
Theme: When Wills Collide
Yesterday, we concluded by looking at the first two expressions of Satan’s will over against God. Today, we begin by addressing the other three.
Third, Satan boasted that he would “sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north.” This is not a reference to any earthly congregation of men, since man had not yet been created. This is the congregation of those angelic beings near to God of whom the Psalmist was writing when he said, “And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O LORD; thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints. For who in the heavens can be compared unto the LORD? God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all those who are about him” (Psalm 89:5-7). In other words, Satan also desired to rise above the angelic hosts that were closest to and surrounding God.
Satan’s fourth cry was to “ascend above the clouds.” These are the clouds of God’s glory, the clouds that surround His person. From this point, the fifth and last step was to displace God Himself. Hence, Satan declared in final arrogance, “I will be like the Most High.” Satan said, “I will ascend into heaven… I will exalt my throne… I will sit upon the mount of the congregation… I will ascend above the clouds… I will be like the Most High… I will… I will… I will… I will… I will.” And God answers, “Yet thou shalt be brought down to Sheol, to the sides of the pit” (v. 15).
Now at this point it is proper to ask, “What did God do when he was faced with the emergence of this second, rebellious will in His universe?” Two courses were open to Him. He could have struck Satan down immediately, blotting him out and then creating another, even more beautiful creature to replace him.
But if He had done this, He would always have been faced with the possibility of the emergence of an infinite series of similar rebellions, followed by similarly harsh judgments and new creations. He could have done this, but instead, God chose a second way. Instead of condemning Satan instantly, as He could have done, God withheld His judgment and stepped aside a bit in order to allow the rebel to try every ounce of his own wisdom and every possible course of action open to him, so that it might be demonstrated through the course of what we call history that nothing good will ever come of any will that is in opposition to God’s.
This is precisely what we find in history. When Satan rebelled, the cohesion of the universe was broken. First, there were two wills, one perfect and one corrupt. Then there were four wills, one perfect and three corrupt. This was followed by eight wills, one perfect and seven corrupt. And the multiplication went on until today there are billions of wills, including yours and mine; and every one but God’s is corrupt and the source of unending sins and rebellion which leads, not to joy and happiness, but to misery. This proves that there is no life, joy, peace, happiness, or any other good thing apart from a complete dependence upon God and a willing submission to his will.
In Satan’s third boast, what did he mean by the “mount of the congregation”?
What options did God have in dealing with this rival will? How did God handle Satan’s rebellion? What was the result of this action?
Prayer: Ask the Lord to guard you from decisions that are not in line with His will, and which, if carried out, will only produce misery and regret.
For Further Study: To learn more about the will of God, download and listen for free to James Boice’s message, “God’s Good, Pleasing, and Perfect Will.” (Discount will be applied at checkout.)