Do I want guidance? yes.
Do I want to walk in wisdom? yes.
usually always want it on my terms? no maybe yes.
It is embarrassing to come to the realization that I want things my way. (My family is probably laughing out loud right now asking me…have you not realized this before because we did before you even turned one years old!) But seriously, when it comes to the calls God has placed before me in the past, I would like to consider myself as a person that submits to God’s will in easy obedience.
To be honest, I am learning I
probably think too highly of myself and give myself more credit in regards to the submission I think I have before the Lord. Again, maintaining the theme of honesty here, it’s been pretty easy to submit to God in my life. God has allowed amazing things in my path- I can’t think of a time when the innermost part of my soul wanted to budge against what was laid before me. Sure, there were times where I wanted something that God didn’t want for me….and of course, it hurt and I struggled through decisions and obedience. But, even in those moments, I knew the thing I wanted most wasn’t best for me. In those moments I would have chosen to grown with Christ than to have what I wanted. In those moments I could muster up my own will and own strength to move past the “in the moment” desire because I had faith that what God had was better.
BUT….what do I find myself smack dab in the middle of right now? Gifts and callings from God that I don’t even have the strength, desire or will to conjure up obedience for. God has been faithful over the past year to walk me through suffering in various different ways. There have been times where it was hard but I felt the nearness of the Lord and there was an inner strength granted to me that worked inside of me by the power of the Holy Spirit to accept the suffering joyfully because in faith I knew this was actually favor and blessing. But, for the last two-ish months I have been discouraged and obedience to this
lot gift is not what I want to do. I want to work my way out of it. I want what I want.
For the past week I have just been praying for encouragement because I really don’t know what else to do. God has been really faithful to put encouragement in my path through friends and through my job. Tonight I listened to a sermon by Time Keller- Your Plans: God’s Plans and man….it was convicting and encouraging.
He talked about committing your ways to the Lord. Not in a way where you do things so that it obligates God into changing your situation or getting out of what He has for you, more so, unconditionally and radically trusting God for all the things that happen in my life so that I more and more am transformed into the likeness of Christ.
The most disheartening thing to me is understanding the truth in that but having rebellion in my heart that says, well…I still
kind of want what I want even if the God of the Universe is offering me His best. Wow. ugly. embarrassing.
I want to tell the Lord that I trust Him. “Give to me or withhold from me whatever you choose.” But what I am telling the Lord is “When I trust you I expect for you to do such and such.” And even if don’t expect x, y or z from time to time, my heart feels bitterness and heartache right now. I resist the transformation that leads to life and life to the fullest. I resist being shaped into the image of Christ. Seriously?
Keller finished the sermon with the most powerful picture of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He brings everything back to Jesus’s life, death and resurrection in a way I have never heard before. I love it.
He tells the story about Jesus falling asleep in the middle of a really big storm. The disciples, in fear, go the Jesus who is asleep and ask him why He is sleeping. Keller comments that His reply in asking them where their faith is was short and snippy compared to his usual responses. He gave a great analogy of a child making a request to a parent and not getting it. The child often times has a response of- “You don’t love me or care about me.” <enter in any rude remark you gave to your parents when they made you come home early for a curfew, wouldn’t let you get your ears pierced, didn’t buy you the new thing you wanted…etc, etc.>
As a parent you want to blow up and say, “You have no idea the sacrifices I have made for you; that I have withheld from myself for you. If you knew all I have done for you, you would know I have a loving purpose and plan for you and for our family.”
So, when the disciples said, “Jesus, don’t you care that we are going to die in this storm?” Keller thinks Jesus response behind the short faith comment was this:
“DON’T YOU CARE THAT I AM DYING FOR YOU?”
When the disciples said that Jesus was not navigating the storm, Jesus’s response indicates:
“THERE IS A REAL STORM, A COSMIC STORM COMING. THE STORM OF GOD’S WRATH, ETERNAL JUSTICE THAT I AM TAKING FOR YOU.”
Jesus humbled himself, bowed his head and walked right into the storm without any navigation from the Father. He was separated from the Father because I was suppose to be separated from the Father. I deserved the eternal justice. Jesus was abandoned, I was adopted. I will always have the Father. Jesus lost the Father for a time.
So, how ugly is my heart? Really ugly. Am I hopeful? Yes. I am God’s daughter, His child forever. Nothing can separate me from that. I am grateful for the grace I receive in this moment where my heart is rebelling and I have no power to muster up the “want to.” I really hope that in this season that there will be a transformation where I say, “Lord I will obey you, whatever you say to me, even if I don’t understand it or want it, I will accept anything you send me or don’t send me, whether I understand it or not.”
As I close out, I just re read this post. My heart is encouraged. Faith has increased and the entrapment of bitterness and and frustration has lessened through my sharing and processing. So…if you have read this far, thanks:) You are appreciated. Please pray for me and my heart.