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I am taking an online course on C.S. Lewis offered by Hillsdale College in Michigan.
Yesterday, while listening to the lecture in the second unit of the course, the lecturer pointed out something that seems so obvious and yet gets lost too often when we try to say what is most important about being a Christian.
The lecturer, Michael Ward, said the entire point of seeking and serving God is to have our wills conformed to God's will.
This seems really obvious, so why do so many of us miss this?
Many of us in North America live in the middle of church teachings that suggest we follow God to have a happier, better, more prosperous life. Or, we follow God because we want to make the world a better place. Or, we follow God because Christianity is part of our family tradition. The list of reasons could go on and on.
The idea of having our wills conformed to God's will may sound frightening, mysterious, possibly offensive, or perhaps desirable but unattainable.
We are very accustomed to believing we are entitled to have what we want, how and when we want it, and for the reasons we want it. That type of thinking does nothing to set aside the ego. Because the ego is not set aside, we live as ego driven personalities using Christian labels and language.
Our challenge is to become personalities without ego. That does not mean personalities with proper boundaries for self protection and self-improvement. A personality without ego is one who is satisfied in becoming and being what the Creator intended. No more is needed and nothing less will satisfy.
That requires we conform our wills to God's will and make that conformation the center and focus of our lives. How many of us who have followed God for any period of time feel regret for the paths God has led us on? How many of us feel regret for the paths we insisted upon taking without listening and waiting and accepting God's choice for us?
Is there really any reason for us to feel that conforming our wills to God will be a bad thing?
Obedience is the beginning of that conforming. As we get better at it, we should seek to follow God closely, not from a distance. From the close following comes the insight we need to live a life really worth living.
It's the step by step obedience that confirms the goodness of God's will and takes away the fear that what God wants for us is less than what we want for ourselves.