God’s will. Do those words strike a note of fear or confusion in you? It seems many times we struggle with God’s will for our lives because we’re afraid of it. We fear that what God wants us to do will be too hard, require too much sacrifice, be too demanding, not be what I want, not be what will make me happy!

You remember the story of the rich man who came to Jesus and asked what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus told him to sell everything he had and give it to the poor—and he would have treasure in heaven. Then he could follow Jesus.

Jesus didn’t tell him this to make him miserable, but because Jesus knew this would bring him fulfillment and peace. He wanted him to have God’s best—eternal treasures instead of settling for the meager riches of earth.

The rich man gave lip service to doing the will of Jesus, but backed out when he learned the price tag. What would people think if he gave everything away? What would his family do? Besides, that was his money and why should he have to give it away in order to follow Jesus? Didn’t make sense! So, his answer was no.

He wanted the will of God to fit within his pre-planned agenda. He leaned to his own understanding and decided that keeping his money was the right thing to do. But we read in Mark 10 that he went away sad! He chose not to do God’s will, and it caused him great sadness. Had he opted for eternal treasures, he would have been free and happy.

Don’t you imagine he spent many days wishing he’d followed Jesus, knowing he’d missed the important things of life? I don’t believe he ever enjoyed his money again; it was a burden to him. He chose it because he was afraid to do what Jesus told him to do. But Isaiah 53:6 tells us when we go our own way, we go astray. He chose his own way, went terribly astray, and was very sad.

Have you been giving lip service to wanting God’s will in your life, but in reality you’ve been scared to death of allowing him to call the shots? That fear is totally unfounded and unreasonable, and it’s a trick of the enemy to keep you from all the riches that God has for you.

He’s the God of all the universe, with all power, knowledge and wisdom; he loves you more than anyone else ever will and wants only the best for you; and he never makes a mistake. If he asks you to do something that looks like it’s too hard or requires too much sacrifice, remember the rich man. He kept his riches, but he lived a very sad life.