Thursday, October 20, 2011

Heidelberg and DeYoung on God's will

Question 124. Which is the third petition?
Answer: "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven"; that is, grant that we and all men may renounce our own will, and without murmuring obey thy will, which is only good;  that every one may attend to, and perform the duties of his station and calling, as willingly and faithfully as the angels do in heaven. 

I return again this morning to Kevin DeYoung's commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism entitled The Good News We Almost Forgot. I will reiterate my opinion that this is a first-rate book exploring and expounding this historical creed of immeasurable significance. What a beautiful creed and a similarly exceptional commentary on it.

As can be seen above, the Lord's Day 49-Question 124-of the Catechism concerns the will of God as it appears in the Lord's prayer. DeYoung's piercing and prudent discussion of God's will is extremely helpful. The entire chapter is worth reading, but for today consider this excerpt:

We need divine help so the God's will becomes our will ...

God must make us willing. And God alone can make us able ... The will of god is not our duty or drudgery. It is our delight.

And yet, it is a tortuous delight. It requires struggle against sin and the fight of faith. It means death, death, and more death. It would seem easiest for God to simply annihilate our wills and infuse our souls with His. But that's not His way. He prefers slow, glorious growth. He doesn't want His will in us as much as He wants our will to be His. He wants us to want what He wants, love what He loves, and hate what He hates. (229)

"He doesn't want His will in us as much as He wants our will to be His." What a gracious and glorious God He is to both desire this for us and enable us to, step by step, accomplish this. Let our prayer be: "Not my will but Yours be done."

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