Accomplishing His Will
After David had done the will of God in his own generation, he died and was buried with his ancestors.
What a wonderful epitaph: Davis served according to the will of God, and then he died. If we are Christians, on the day that our eyes close for the last time, we’ll be ushered into the presence of Christ, and we’ll celebrate as never before! At some point, He will ask us to give an account of what we did as believers on earth, and hopefully, each of us will be able to say, “Lord, I served according to Your will.”
Our service, even for the most dedicated of us, is checkered. David was a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14) who conquered nations, led the Mighty Men in battle, and united the divided nation, but he also committed adultery and murder. And by all accounts, he was not the best father in the world. God doesn’t demand perfection from us, but He desires our love, loyalty, and passion.
From looking at the life of David, we can surmise that God is very gracious to overlook our flaws if we follow Him with our whole hearts. Like the patient mother of an overactive toddler or the gracious father of an adolescent who is longing for independence, God overlooks our excesses and focuses on the big picture: Do we desire, more than anything in the world, to please Him, honor Him, and serve Him? If that’s our heart, we’ll accomplish God’s will, and He’ll be delighted.
History judges a man not by his victories or defeats but by their results.
What will be said about you after you finish your journey here on earth? What will people remember the most about you? Perhaps, more importantly, for Christians, will you leave a spiritual legacy? Will your faith, your walk with God, and your work in the kingdom of God be something that people remember?
We are a composite of every aspect of our lives. Most of us have things we are happy that we have done and other things that bring us shame. The greatest legacy is that of a transformed life, especially to those who knew us BC (before Christ).
Most of those we read about in the Bible had their moments of failures and yet they are remembered more for their accomplishments. The writer of Hebrews records how that through faith, they accomplished great things. There is no implication that great accomplishments were the result of them being great in themselves but instead it was their confidence in the greatness of God and their willingness to allow Him to accomplish His purposes in them.
Adam, who was created by God, made drastic mistakes but the grace of God overcame them and though him humanity existed. We may talk about Adam’s failure, but we are reminded of the grace of God and if for no other reason, his failure reveals to us the love and mercy God shows toward sinners. We can say that Adam certainly affected the world negatively, but we must also say that through him we are shown a merciful God and that’s a great legacy.
Most of us know the amazing story of Noah who built an ark and saved humanity and air-breathing animals. It’s true that after the boat rested on dry land, Noah got drunk, but that’s not his legacy. It was a failure but that failure didn’t diminish his legacy.
Abraham lied about Sarah being his wife twice, but he left a legacy of faith. He is known as the father of faith, a man who left everything behind to go on a journey with God into unknown territory, a man willing to give up his son, and a man who believed the promises of God even against all odds.
We all know that Peter denied Christ, not once but three times, but that’s not his legacy. He left behind a sermon and a faith and a life given to the work of Christ. He opened the door to salvation through Christ not only to fellow Jews but also the the Gentiles. Yes, he denied Christ on that one occasion, but his legacy is the bold proclamation that only through Christ could one attain salvation.
Paul, the church persecutor, was known for his attempt to destroy the new sect called Christians. But that’s not his legacy. He left behind a number of congregations who were Christian. He preached Christ successfully to Gentiles who received the message and were saved and he left letters which make up almost two-thirds of the New Testament.
All of us have failures but those failures don’t have to define us. A failure is nothing more than an opportunity for the grace of God to work. And if we will let God use our failures for His purpose and glory, we, too, can be known as people who have let God accomplish His will in our lives.
When they say the final words over us at the end of our life on earth, I hope that’s the stories they will tell. When we stand in the multitude before the throne of the Lamb, I hope we will hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant” and those words will follow us throughout eternity. I think that’s a goal worth striving for.
We may never be a sports legend or a music legend or some influential, household named superstar, but our lives can be those that our children and grandchildren and friends and neighbors remember of one who was a committed Christ-follower. We can leave a legacy of being a person of prayer, a person of kindness, and a person who was bold in their faith.
How will this happen? Here’s a simple truth. Incorporate into your daily prayers what Jesus taught us to pray: Our Father which are in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth (in my life) as it is in heaven. And if you will make that your prayer, your legacy will be that you were a person who accomplished doing the will of God.
Dr. John Thompson