In Luke 22, Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, “…nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done.” In the model prayer, Jesus taught his disciples to request “…thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” When we think of God’s will, we often think about it as it pertains to MY individual life. We think, “Where should I go to college?” “Who should I marry?” “Should I take this job promotion?” or any other similar question.
In Psalm 67, the psalmist pleads, “That thy way may be known upon earth…” Often, our problem isn’t so much in the doing, it’s in the thinking. Rather than thinking “What am I supposed to do?” we ought to think what is God’s ultimate goal. While we obviously won’t have the full answer to that, if we focus on what we know to be true about God’s character, and develop our relationship with him, it can help us to begin to see things from His point of view. When we start seeing things the way He sees them, it will lead us to accomplishing what He wants for our lives.
Look back at men who were greatly used by God: Hudson Taylor, Adoniram Judson, David Livingstone. What are some things they all had in common? Reliance on God even when nothing was going right. Commitment to faithful development of their relationship with God. Constant focus on God’s glory and the success of the Gospel. What would happen if you committed yourself to those things? Would you worry about the minutiae of everyday life? Would the big decisions of life really stress you out as much? Or would you find that, because you brought all those things to Him “by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving,” you had the peace of God that passeth all understanding”?
That brings us to the rest of the Psalm. When we are focused on the success of God’s overall plan, we will be glad and sing for joy when it is accomplished. We will see that, even when it seems that evil is prevailing, God will “judge the people righteously.” Success will abound, maybe not in our minds or from our perspective, but certainly from His perspective, and God will bless us. Does that mean that everything will be sunshine and rainbows? No, but even through pain, God gives blessings and growth.
Today, when you are tempted to be frustrated because a situation didn’t go your way, someone said something that was hurtful, or it just seems that today isn’t your day, focus on God’s character and His plan. Ask Him how you can be used to accomplish His goals. Develop your relationship with Him and watch Him bring joy in every situation.
“Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.”