“For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” (John 6:38)
I do not, and I spent the majority of my life not doing his will, even after He called me to Himself. It wasn’t that I did not desire to, I simply did not see a need to change much in my life, I did what I wanted to do, went where I wanted to go, and cared little how it affected those around me. I was a product of the world, self-centered, conceited, prideful and concerned with only the wants of my flesh, and I was chastised often.
You do not break a wild horse overnight, not usually at least.
Most men of God have this testimony, hard-hearted, self-willed, attempting to live life by their own design even after the Holy Spirit indwells them, at least for a time, and if you will pause to consider this you will understand this truth, that without the Holy Spirit it could not be so. No one can be transformed by the renewing of their mind by simply desiring to, by reading books, emulating good men who came before them, no one can be pleasing in the eyes of the Lord by trying harder, a Christlike life, a Christian attitude is not possible without Christ.
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
It is quite easy for those who only profess Him with their lips, although at times frustrating, for the most part they need only to follow a prescribed path of obedience, a moral conduct that does not include all of those blatant sins, but does not delete the minor ones, those that are not overly grievous in their sight, life for the most part goes on as usual, but they are a little more polite, a little more kind, perhaps a little more aware of their actions, but not for Christ, though they believe it to be so. The world calls it one who is done sowing their wild oats, one who has finally matured and accepted the responsibility of adulthood, one who is now a productive member of society while professing they now believe in God and want to live a good life.
But not a holy one.
They are on the same wide path to hell, just on a different section of it.
“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3)
Only the Holy Spirit can change a man from obedience to a moral construct to the willful submission of the Word and the will of the Most High, and only through love can that begin. That love is what I and others like me, hard-willed men who have set their own path before themselves did not understand. What the Lord Jesus Christ did on that cross that day He did for me, and He did not have to do it.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
That realization, slowly and over much time, and only by the revealing of this truth to me has caused me in love to submit to His authority in my life, over all of my life. Thy will be done, not my will is the epitome of that truth. The part of me that I once was still exists within me, that wants to be free to do as I please, to run towards my desires of the flesh, I fight with him every day, several times a day, but I have learned and am still being taught how to deny him, how to stifle his cries for a supposed freedom that I have been blessed to see as the truth it is, bondage to the world.
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matt. 16:24)
It gets heavy somedays, doesn’t it, that cross?
Do not grow weary, the more you submit in love, the lighter it gets. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matt. 11:29)