“At one point in my life,” Stan began, “before we moved here, a friend of mine was thinking about making some radical changes in his life.”
“What was that all about?” I asked.
“He said he had the sense that God wanted him to go to Northern Africa,” Stan replied.
“And do what?”
“He didn’t know any specifics,” Stan said. “He said he just thought that God wanted him to go there for some sort of kingdom work.”
“Did he ask for your advice?” I asked.
“He did,” Stan replied. “We spent a lot of time together talking and praying about what he should do.”
Continuing, he said, “The sense I had was that the man shouldn’t do what he was sensing God wanted him to do.”
“So you encouraged him not to go?” I asked.
“That’s right,” Stan replied. “It just didn’t seem right to me.”
“Did he listen to you?”
“He listened,” Stan replied, “but he did not follow my advice.”
“How did that make you feel?” I asked. “Were you upset about that?”
“Not at all,” Stan responded. “I took my approach from a similar thing that happened with the apostle Paul as recorded in the Book of Acts.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“At one point, Paul was determined to go to Jerusalem. Many of his friends told him they thought that was a really bad idea, but they could not persuade Paul to change his mind.”
Continuing, he added, “And how that situation was resolved is a valuable lesson for me in dealing with this sort of situation.”
“How was it resolved?” I asked.
“One verse in the Book of Acts speaks volumes to me about this,” Stan replied. “What it says is that when his friends concluded that Paul could not be persuaded about going to Jerusalem, they quit talking about it, other than saying, ‘The will of the Lord be done!’”
“That really nails it!” I replied. “Good solution for when there’s a difference of opinion as to what God may or may not want a person to do.”
“Exactly!” Stan said. “Get self out of the way and let God do what He’s going to do.”
“And,” he concluded, “agree to disagree about the particulars, but do agree that the will of God is going to be done. There should be agreement that God’s will is going to be done and then choose to be a part of what He’s doing, rather than fighting against it.”
Bible verses to consider:
And since he (Paul) would not be persuaded, we fell silent, remarking, “The will of the Lord be done!” Acts of the Apostles 21:14.
Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not my will, but Thine be done. Luke 23:42.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that your will is going to be done and that your purposes are going to be accomplished. Thank you, too, for the opportunity to be a part of what you are doing to accomplish your will and your purposes. I confess that too often I think I know your will and I am reluctant to accept that what I think you have shown me may be in conflict with what you have shown someone else. Please help me in putting your will above mine, knowing that others will also follow your will even though it may be different from what I think they should do. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you been in a situation where you thought you knew what God intended for another person to do, but couldn’t convince that other person? If so, what did that feel like? How did you handle it? Were you able to “agree to disagree”? If not, why? Also, if not, what could have enabled that to happen? Do you agree that no one person has the exclusive knowledge of God’s will for another person? Why or why not?