"Have Thine Own Way Lord!"
"Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!" Sound familiar? This is the opening line of a hymn written in 1902 by Adelaide Pollard. It appears in Hymns for Worship on page 146.
When we sing this great hymn, do we think about the meaning associated with it? One of the purposes of singing is to teach and admonish one another. Notice the passage which so says: "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (Col. 3:16). When we sing hymns we are teaching one another through what is being sung.
The overall theme of Have Thine Own Way Lord is that of surrender and submission. Not a surrender and submission to the desires of our flesh but to the will and purpose of God.
God expects that we submit to his will and obey him. The Hebrew writer penned: "Though he [Christ, DO] were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him" (Heb. 5:8,9). There is no questioning the fact that God requires obedience and faithfulness on the part of those who come to him (Rev. 2:10, 22:14).
The service which one renders to God must be done wholly. That is, with all of our being. Not just when we feel like doing it but at all times. Even of old it was commanded: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" (Mt. 22:37).
Notice the complete surrender in Paul's admonition to the Saints at Rome: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but by ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Rom. 12:1,2). It is not always easy to surrender our whole being to the will of God, but it is nonetheless necessary. That is, if we are going to be pleasing to Him.
The one who will serve God must put God at the center of his very existence. Jesus said: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Mt. 6:33). Not second, or third, but first. That means above all other things and people.
How then are we to know what God's will is for our lives? Reader, God has revealed his will to man by the Bible. It alone furnishes man what is necessary in serving God. Notice this: "Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path" (Ps. 119:104,105). It is by the Bible that our path is illuminated so that we may see what God expects of us.
Paul penned to those at Ephesus: "Wherefore be ye not unwise but understanding what the will of the Lord is" (Eph. 5:17). In light of the fact that God has blessed us with his will, there is no reason for man to be void of an understanding of what God desires.
What is the significance of it all? After reading this you may wonder what any of this has to do with you. Dear reader it has everything to do with you. You have a soul and that soul will spend eternity either in the joys of Heaven or the pains of Hell. Your destiny will be decided by whether or not you submit to the will of God. Not only in initial obedience to the gospel through hearing (Rm. 10:17), believing (Jn. 8:24), repenting (Lk. 13:3), confessing faith in Christ (Mt. 10:32,33), and being baptized in water for the remission of sins (Ac. 2:38), but in remaining faithful to God until on this Earth you no longer live (Rev. 2:10).
There is coming a great Judgment Day. Jesus said: "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation" (Jn. 5:28,29). The all of that passage includes me and it includes you. When that day comes, and it will (2 Peter 3:10), what will be your reward?
"Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!" What a great God we serve! Indeed he is the potter and we are the clay (Is. 64:8). May we allow God to mold us and make us all that he desires us to be. This will only be accomplished as we surrender to him and follow his words. Have you submitted to the will of God? If you have good for you. If you have not, why not do so today? We would love to study with you and do all that we can to further your understanding of the Bible and assist you in obeying the gospel of Christ. Remember serving God now has eternal consequences and so does disobedience!
- Donnie Oliver