Summary: Changes God makes when we let Him have His own way

“When God Has His Own Way”

John 6:38 / Matthew 26:39

David P. Nolte

It is a human tendency to want to be in control. We want to be right. We want our own way. We want to win. We want to be in charge.

But there is risk in that because the Bible says, “There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 16:25 (NASB).

In the days of the Israelite Judges, before they had a king, the people had a tendency to idolatry and immorality so God would discipline them by foreign nations oppressing them. They’d repent and cry out and He would send a Judge to rescue them – that cycle of sin, punishment, repentance, appeal and deliverance was repeated over and over again.

In Judges we read, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:25 (NASB).

If any man ever had a right to His own way, it was Jesus. Yet He declared, and demonstrated, His complete surrender to the will of the Father.

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” John 6:38 (NASB). And, in the garden, “He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.’” Matthew 26:39 (NASB).

Corrie Ten Boom said, “The center of His will is our only safety; let us pray that we may always know it!”

In 1902, Adelaide A. Pollard learned that lesson. She was hoping to go to Africa as a missionary but found herself unable to raise the needed funds to make the journey. Greatly discouraged, she attended a prayer service and she overheard an elderly woman say "It really doesn't matter what You do with us, Lord, just have Your own way." The elderly woman inspired Pollard and upon her return home that evening, wrote all four stanzas of the great song Brenda sang.

“Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!

Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.

Mold me and make me after Thy will,

While I am waiting, yielded and still.”

God’s will is good, acceptale and perfect – but not necessarily cozy, comfortable and cushy. In fact, when God has His way in our lives it means a cross! It means change! Consider the implications of God having His own way:


A. We all make plans – short term plans like a Saturday picnic and long term plans like a career or education

B. Here’s what the Bible says about human plans:

1. “Mortals make elaborate plans, but GOD has the last word.” Proverbs 16:1 (MSG).

2. “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will be established.” Proverbs 19:21 (RSV).

3. “And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, ‘Today—at the latest, tomorrow—we're off to such and such a city for the year. We're going to start a business and make a lot of money.’ You don't know the first thing about tomorrow. You're nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, ‘If the Master wills it and we're still alive, we'll do this or that.’ As it is, you are full of your grandiose selves. All such vaunting self-importance is evil.” James 4:13-16 (MSG).

C. Not all our plans go down the tube – often they may align to God’s will for us. But when they are amiss, “Have Thine own way” means, “Change them as you want to!”

1. God changed my plans. In 1960 I began studies in the field of Electrical Engineering at New Mexico State University. There was a program in which I worked 6 months for the army at White Sands Missile Range and then attended classes for 6 months, repeating the rotation until graduation. In 1963 the Lord laid His hand on my life and changed my plans. I enrolled in classes at Northwest Christian College and graduated in 1965. He changed my first plan but confirmed the second plan.

2. If you truly want God to have His way, it might upset a your apple cart but He will replace it with an entire orchard.

D. Since

1. We cannot see tomorrow, let Him Who does guide you today!

2. We cannot control the future, let Him Who does control today.

3. We cannot see all unknown details, let Him Who can be in charge of each one.

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