I remember once talking about how Christians do what they ought to do. A lady piped in and said that’s the wrong way to put it. She suggested that “ought” is a word that doesn’t fit with being a Christian. We “want” to do God’s will.
I think she was right to say that we should want to do God’s will but sometimes God’s will isn’t always what we want to do.
Jesus said, “So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.‘” Lk 17:10.
We have to come to grips with the reality that we are His servants. We are not here to do our own will but His who saved us. We have a will and our will must be submitted to the will of God. Our will, filled with various desires, must be brought into subjection to Jesus Christ. If we love Christ and cherish His life, then we understand completely why we should say, “We are unworthy servants; we have only done that which we OUGHT to have done.”
Jonah didn’t want to do God’s. But he should have done what he ought, the will of God. When it’s easy to do God’s will, we can talk about the joy that it is. But when it comes to breaking new ground, breaking out old habits, becoming a servant, and all things that pertain to spiritual growth, it’s not going to be easy. It’s those times that we say, “I am the servant of Christ and I’m going to do what I ought to do.”
Even Jesus was seeking if there was some other way to accomplish this redemption for sinful man. He said, “Nevertheless, not my will but thy will be done.”
I think if we have not come to terms with being a lowly servant, a worm, a clay pot, a lump of clay, then perhaps we still have too high a view of ourselves. Say now with me, “I am an unworthy slave, and when I do God’s will, I’m doing what I ought to do.”