So I have been having a back and forth with my Daddy over some issues in my heart. Pertinent one has been the question of what extent God governs and orders our lives and what role choices play in all that. That sounds quite complicated but it actually is not, I will attempt to simplify it.
In the last few weeks I have felt like someone who is stuck; like someone in limbo; like someone who is waiting; waiting for manna to fall down to no avail. I wonder if Israelites had such a moment when they crossed into the Promised Land. All through their wilderness days, God had provided them with manna; every day they woke up and found manna ready for them. They may have at some point hated this manna but it seems to me that the joy of not hustling and receiving manna daily should have surpassed the taste. So I wonder if they missed this easy provision when they got to the Promised Land; I wonder if when they were busy looking for meals, earning their way through life, they ever wondered if they should have stuck in the wilderness, where food was provided for free. This is exactly what I have felt in the recent past; like a child who has known provision of manna, and so continues to expect this manna to fall and so when I have not seen this manna, I have been in limbo. I have been unable to make bold decisions, to trust that even if they are not the best decisions, God will lead me out. I have instead hanged at the shores of Jordan without actually taking the steps of faith into Jordan.
So this weekend I got angry at this feeling. I started wondering if I had made my faith the clutch that I use not to live an abundant life! So I made a decision this weekend, to unstuck myself, to get busy with life, to move on, to step into River Jordan, to do something and not just sit at the shores of the river.
The plan – broken
Yet God is also humorous. Even as I made this plan, a plan that I am confident I need to walk into, God has told me categorically, yes you need to make some steps, yes you need to get out of this limbo, but no it will not be per your fancy plans, it will be as per My plans!
Okay Lord, I am back where I started, where does choice in all this play? And is this what surrender is all about? I thought I dint have surrender issues so why are you teaching me old lessons?
Then in between all these debates, I came across this amazing testimony of how this lady met her soon-to-be husband and she said that journey started with a surrender that can only happen when you are broken. She gave the illustration of a horse, that unless a horse is fully broken, it can never be used by its owner. It will be too wild, too uncontrollable for it to be of any use to its owner. So the first task an owner always has is to break the will of the horse that it may be of use to him. She then compared this to our relationship with God. That we can never be used by God unless we are broken!
Did you know, to make a good soldier you have to tear them down so you can build them back up the way you need them to be. They have to get to the point where a superior officer will give them an order and they will just do it. There’s no time to ask why in warfare.
How sad that illustration is for the strong minded like me. Again, where does will and choice come in?
The icing to the cake was God getting me to start reading an amazing book called Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren that has been in my bookshelf for the longest. Yep the famous book, and no I have never read it. Till now. And so the next few weeks this will be the book that I will be reading.
The first chapter was the answer to this issue that I was dealing with:
“Many people try to use God for their own self-actualization but that is a reversal of nature and is doomed for failure. You were made for God, and not vice versa, and life is about letting God use you for His purposes, not using Him for your own purpose”
Ouch! That’s what that statement feels like. Ouch. How many times have I made up my mind on issues and attempted to use God as a rubber stamp? How many times have I been about my will and He needs to fit into this? How good it has felt to feel like I involve God in my decisions while all the time it is more like attempting to use Him as a rubber stamp. I thank God because even with this foolishness He has been faithful.
All for Him
Yet this is the Truth; it is all about Him, we are made by Him for Him.
In a world where we are independent, able to go to the moon and even attempt to clone human beings, this truth is very hard hitting. It is about Him and for Him. In a world where I have family commitments, ambitions, plans; things that I need to work for me, this truth is easy to ignore. Yet, the truth does not change, I am made by Him, for Him. When I think I can come up with some ways to make my days count for something, He reminds me it is about Him and for Him. Oh how hard surrender is.
And so Rick Warren asks me a question that I must ponder on. Inspite of all the advertising, inspite of the world that I live in, inspite all my plans, how I can I remind myself daily that life is really about living for God and not myself?
And I ask myself, how can I daily release the reins of my life to the Author? How can I stop taking the driver’s seat and allow Him to lead? How can I make God not just the starting point of my life, but the source of it? Because to discover your purpose in life you must turn to God’s Word, not the world’s wisdom. You must build your life on eternal truths, not pop psychology (and we have plenty of this), not success-motivation (and we have plenty in the form of self-help books) or inspiration stories (and this are useful but are not the eternal truth). Eternal truths. That is the answer. To daily feed on His Word. To ask Him for direction. To let Him lead. How? The journey continues till the answer is in place.
For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.