Do we then lose ourselves? To succeed in identifying our will with God's will is not, as is often mistakenly said, to have no will of our own. Far from it. To have no will is impossible. It would be to not even be a person. Rather, it is for the first time to have a will that is fully functional, not at war with itself, and capable of directing all of the parts of the self in harmony with one another under the direction of God. Now we do not hesitate to do what is right; and to do wrong we would have to work against ourselves.
In chapter 2 we said that a person with a well-kept heart is a "a person who is prepared and capable of responding to the situations of life in ways that are 'good and right'." When through spiritual transformation we have in some measure come to know the well-kept heart in real life, we experience it as a gift of grace, no matter how hard we may have had to struggle in the process of growing into it. And it is a gift in which we find, precisely, ourselves, as Jesus taught: "He who has lost his life for My sake shall find it" (Matthew 10:39).
For the first time we not only have a fully functioning will, but we also have a clear identity in the eternal kingdom of God and can day by day translate our time into an eternity embedded in our own life and in the lives of those near us. The will of God is not foreign to our will. It is sweetness, life, and strength to us. Our heart sings.
So Paul took his stand in the open space at the Areopagus and laid it out for them: "I'm here to introduce you to this God.... He doesn't play hide-and-seek with us. He's not remote; he's near. We live and move in him, can't get away from him!" ~Acts 17