Here I Am, Lord

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ʺHere I am, Lord; I come to do your will.ʺ (Hebrews 10:9) This should be the motto of a true Christian. In these short and simple words we finally recognize our true relationship with God. We can only say them through the wisdom of humility, which is the chief virtue of a mature believer. We can say this only when we have finally come to know that all that is true, good, beautiful and loving comes from God alone. These words are, in other words, a statement of faith. In saying them we are making a profound profession of faith in the only Being worthy of our total submission. Every believer knows the ironic truth behind these words, that in submitting to God’s will we enter a new life of freedom that is beyond our imagination.

What is God’s will for us? What does it mean to submit to God’s will? It takes a long time, even for a Christian, to understand God’s will for us. We come to the insight gradually through the love of our parents, our attendance at Sunday services, or Sunday school, and later through our own personal experiences with friends, with our reading of the scriptures, and our own prayer lives. In the end, when we are able to finally say in our hearts and in our minds, ʺHere I am, Lord; I come to do your will,ʺ it is because we have matured enough in our character and in our faith to see the wisdom of such a statement. We know its possibilities and its potential consequences in this world and, yet, we say these words joyfully and courageously. It means that we have finally come to a real and known personal relationship with Jesus, that we have come to really understand his personal, intimate love for us, and because of this, we are moved by a deep and passionate desire to serve him, and him alone, with our words and our deeds. We commit, with his loving and supporting grace to do his will towards all of his creation and all of his children, our brothers and sisters.

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God’s will is simply that we come to know him, to love him, and to serve him in this world so that we will live with him forever in the next. To know God is to understand that his will is to honor life, to confront evil with good, to heal the sick and to comfort the afflicted, to forgive the sinner, to suffer, if necessary, for the common good. This is the source and the cause of all freedom. There is nothing more liberating than the will of God. When we finally come to know this in the depths of our souls, how can we say anything other than, ʺHere I am, Lord; I come to do your will.ʺ Not my will, which is too often rooted in selfish convcerns, but your will, Lord. ʺThy will be done,ʺ becomes our constant prayer.

This, then, is the sign of an adult believer: He or she is one who has come to a profound maturity both in his or her own virtuous character and in his or her own Christian faith He or she has come to understand that his or her purpose and meaning in life comes from and is the end result of submitting, finally and completely, to the liberating and empowering will of the God of Life and Love.

During this Lenten season, let us pray constantly that God will give us the grace of a mature faith, so that we might make each of our lives a living prayer: ʺHere I am, Lord, I come to do your will.ʺ

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.