Can we truly seek the will of God without surrendering completely to him? If we have our own agenda, if obeying God interferes with our own selfish desires, how does this affect doing His will?
I’m glad that we can still “seek the will of God” even without “completely surrendering to Him” or we would rarely ever seek God’s will at all.
I guess it depends on one’s definition of “completely” but if taken at face value, it would be hard to find a person, or a group of people who could claim to consistently AND COMPLETELY surrender to God at all times, or even most of the time.
As finite, prideful, sinful and frail humans, we have to be careful when using all encompassing words like “completely”. In fact, we are only safe using them when and where God does it for us.
I’m not sure it is even possible (again, depending on how you define it) for anyone encased in this sin-cursed flesh to truly and COMPLETELY surrender all to God. In the purest definition of “complete” that will only happen once we are free of the curse of sin.
That’s the logical extreme answer. The practical answer is that TO THE DEGREE IN WHICH OUR OWN SELF-AGENDA EXISTS, IT WILL INHIBIT AND FRUSTRATE OUR EFFORT TO FIND AND DO GOD’S WILL.
And to your point, the opposite is true. To the degree that we do God’s will, it is easier to deny and mortify (put to death) the sinful will of our flesh.
Galatians 5:16-18 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. (NKJV)
Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (NKJV)
So my final answer to this question would be: YES, “self” (flesh) interferes with knowing and doing God’s will. So strive to surrender your will to God and the more you do that, the easier it becomes to both do the surrending, and to know and to God’s will.
It can be a self perpetuating cycle either positive (the more you surrender, the easier it is to know God’s will) or negative (the more you follow the flesh, the harder it becomes to know God’s will).