Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Not my will, never my will, I make bad choices

I’ve been reading Oswald Chambers’ devotions for several weeks now.  His messages are somewhat deep causing me to read them at least twice but oh, what a blessing they have been! 

I’ve often questioned why so much of my life has been trials, tribulations, and even heartache.  Like Job’s friends, some would say all has been the result of my bad choices.  However, the Christian life is much like physical fitness training for the spirit.  God takes all my bad choices and then puts me through boot camp of the spirit to make my spirit strong and healthy.  If my life for the last 35 years had been smooth sailing, would my faith be as strong as it is?  Now, keep in mind, my faith has a crack or three in its cup but the basic design is very strong. 

Last Sunday, we visited a contemporary praise and worship nondenominational church in our new hometown.  The pastor’s name is Ross Jaeger.  His message was just awesome and touched my spirit to its very core.  I never considered that low self-esteem is a form of pride.  Neither did I ever consider that by not sharing my testimony I was being less than transparent.  God knows what I have done no matter what people know.This is my life, good, bad and ugly.  God has washed me white as snow.  Even more than that, He loves me and has forgiven me of my bad choices, which translates into disobedience, thus sin.  God has worked my bad choices for good according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28).  As Oswald Chambers so eloquently put it,

God does not give us overcoming life: He gives us life as we overcome. The strain is the strength. If there is no strain, there is no strength. Are you asking God to give you life and liberty and joy? He cannot, unless you will accept the strain. Immediately you face the strain, you will get the strength. Overcome your own timidity and take the step, and God will give you to eat of the tree of life and you will get nourishment. If you spend yourself out physically, you become exhausted; but spend yourself spiritually, and you get more strength. God never gives strength for to-morrow, or for the next hour, but only for the strain of the minute. The temptation is to face difficulties from a common-sense standpoint. The saint is hilarious when he is crushed with difficulties because the thing is so ludicrously impossible to anyone but God.

Jesus tells us “"With man [that] is impossible, but with God all things are possible" (Mat 19:26).  I have worked for several years to find “my place” in God’s work.  I cannot carve a place in the ministry unless God wants me there.  I have searched for the perfect job/career for me, it isn’t happening unless it is God’s will that I be in a particular position.  Sometimes, the Lord says to just sit and be still, patience and wait.  What an impossible task for this procrastinating perfectionist who wants resembles the Little Red Hen who would “just do it herself” (Galdone, 1973).

"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done" (Luke 22:42, NIV).

Lord, thank You for Your indwelling Spirit who is willing and able to direct me in the ways You want me to go.  May I not take You where You don't want to go.  May I not enlist You to do my will, but humbly submit to doing Yours. ----- Julie Ackerman Link, taken from Our Daily Bread devotional August 3, 2011.

Even though we have free will on this earth, God has a sovereign plan that supersedes even our plans for our lives.  If we will drink of His cup [plan] and go where He wants us to go, we will go over a smoother path than when we try to force God into our own plans.  God does NOT fit into a box even a well-made one.  When our choices take us on a detour from God’s wonderfully made plan for our lives, we must then endure trials and tribulations to teach us lessons that are much harder to learn.  But those lessons are the spiritual workout for the strengthening of our spirits and the breaking of our flesh. 

I pray the prayer that never fails for our lives ~ “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Mat 6:10)

Chambers, O. (1935).  My Utmost for His HighestGrand Rapids MI:  Dodd Mead & Co.

Galdone, P. (1973). The Little Red Hen.  New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Meyers, Rick.  E-Sword Bible Software.  (2008)  New International Version.                       

Keepin' all the stitches together on a wing and a prayer,
Leigh Anne

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