As young girls, a friend and I would be on the phone, deeply engaged in a very serious conversation, and out of nowhere would come this deep, authoritative voice saying: “It’s 9 o’ clock.” It was her father.
She would say “yes, sir” to him, “good bye” to me, and we’d hang up.
One night he did this and I was so moved by it, not only did I get off of the phone, I stayed off of the phone and went and got in bed. . . as if it was my father telling me to do so!
There was something about the authority in his voice. It wasn’t that I was afraid of her dad. He was one of the kindest men I knew. The effect his voice had on me was in response to the respect I had for him. And this respect was in response to his track record of being a great father. So even though I had liberties and freedoms that I could have exercised, I chose to do what he said. The rules where I lived were different, but I chose to carry out his will in my house as it was in his house.
Have you noticed that the rules of this world are different? Different, that is, from the ways of life fashioned for us in God’s Word. So how do we, with all this freedom and all of these rights we’ve been granted, know whose will to follow?
Well, Jesus taught the disciples to say in prayer “Your will be done on Earth. . .” not “as it is in Hollywood” or “as it is on Wall Street” or “as it is on Pennsylvania Ave.”, but “as it is in Heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
Heaven? Yes, Heaven.
As children of God we are called to find out what His will is in Heaven. That means, find out what God says about a matter, and respond here on Earth, accordingly. We do this by daily immersing ourselves in the Word of God, connecting with a local church body, doing life, not in isolation, but with other believers, and engaging in fervent prayer.
As I thought about my own struggle with this, I realized something interesting: My true concern is that “[His] will in Heaven” will be a complete contrast to my will on Earth—all the time . . . forever and ever! I have a tendency to mistake God to be this authority figure who sits up in Heaven thinking of ways to make my life miserable. “Oh, she really wants that? NOPE, can’t have it!” or “Hmmm, she’s good at this? Well, it’s gone!”
The Biblical reality is that God is a God of love. He has plans to prosper us. Plans to give us a hope and a future. He will bless us with the desires of our hearts. As we grow closer to Him, our heart’s desires will become that which pleases Him.
There’s something about the voice of God that should move us! Our Heavenly Father, like my friend’s father, has our best interest in mind. All the time! Forever and ever! Yes, we have certain freedoms and rights as citizens of our country. But, more importantly, we have the will of our God as citizens of Heaven. Remember, this is not our home. We are visitors, here for the sole purpose of “declaring [His] praises . . .” (1 Peter 2:9).
Are you tired? Tired of being tired? Perhaps, contrary to what the world around you declares, it’s “9 o’clock.” Say good bye to the drama, hang up on the foolishness, and go to bed, resting in His arms!
Just as I did not have to obey her father’s voice, we don’t have to obey our Father’s voice. But, choosing to obey her father’s voice earned me several nights of good long rest I didn’t even realize I needed. Likewise, choosing to carry out His will on Earth as it is in Heaven will get you some good, long rest you never thought possible!