I’m realizing…. it’s sinking in….
…that when I decided to take God’s way, His path, His plan for my life…
I can’t expect for things to go exactly as I’d like them to go, in the moment.
I can’t expect for things to go as I’d prefer them to go, in the moment.
Because you know what?
His way for my life isn’t necessarily about “me“…..
It’s not about “what I want” anymore…
In fact, it’s more about denying “myself” than it is EVER about things going “my way.”
Because He’s doing something far deeper and far GREATER than that!
“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”—Luke 9:23
How easy it can be to lose sight of this truth, to forget that it’s so not all about us.
And I’ll be honest, sometimes I “kick and scream” about it.
(Oh those moments… ?)
Of course, I do, I’m human.
I struggle and wrestle with selfishness just like we all do at times.
But when we choose to follow Him, when we choose to take His way, we can’t expect to get to “hang onto” a “plan” that always “sticks to my plan.”
Because more often than not, things won’t stick to the plan I have in mind, the one I prefer—the “safe” plan that I’m comfortable with.
My plan, my preferences…will be torn to shreds—and thank GOD for that!
And God is faithful to deal with issues of pride, issues of selfishness, issues of unconsecrated stubbornness.
I’m realizing that God’s plan, His way, the things He likes to take me through, and in the WAY He chooses to take me through them… these things are messy.
These things are inconvenient.
These things are often edgy.
These things can sometimes seem “unfair” in the moment…
And many times in this life, I’ll not be perceived in the way I’d like to be perceived by others.
I may not be “approved” in the way I’d like to be…
Many times the things God asks me to do as part of His plan make me feel “unseen” or “unrecognized”…
I may even struggle with feeling “insignificant” at times.
But He works all of that out of me so that I can deal with these things I’m believing in my heart that are untrue. He faithfully works on my heart, removing the things I want to hang onto that do. not. matter.
And I learn to remember that He sees. He always sees everything.
He always knows…
These are the things that matter.
And He’s teaching me about what truly matters. ?
What if what He asks me to do ruins my “self-made reputation?”
I’ve got to lay it down…
“There’s trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests—look how many scoundrel preachers were approved by your ancestors! Your task is to be true, not popular.”—Luke 6:26-28 The Message
Watch for these kinds of things…
Watch for the times you feel like,
“Why am I even going to the trouble to do this? Is it even doing any good? Is it even serving any purpose? Is it even worth it, God?…. But I know You’ve led me to do this thing…I’m going to do it, even though I can’t see or perceive the ultimate results…I trust You.”
If He asks me to do it, then the only thing that matters is that I do it — the outcome, the “results” of my act of obedience to Him—is up to Him.
But I can remember this…
“Surely none who wait for You will be put to shame; but those who are faithless without cause will be disgraced.”—Psalm 25:3
“For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”—Romans 10:11
When we give our lives to Him, when we take His way, He’s going to teach us to let go of our safe, reasonable, “perfect” little plans…. and our self-made reputations that we’ve worked so hard to maintain.
And we might not love not being in control of those things…
But when we learn to let go of our “plans” and our own self-made “reputations”… we can take on His. ☀️
And He teaches us to live for His approval, and not everyone else’s.
This is part of what He has been teaching me.
“Am I now seeking the approval of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”—Galatians 1:10
I don’t know about you, but I’ve found some ugly stuff in my heart.
And you know, His “heart clean-up” process isn’t necessarily painless.
Sometimes He rips off those bandaids, and suddenly the wounds are ugly and exposed, and not very pretty.
But He’s with me. And He’s GOOD! And He’s faithful to finish the work He started!
“He must increase, but I must decrease.”—John 3:30
“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance…”—1 Peter 1:4
Remember, Jesus said…
22 “How favored you become when you are hated, excommunicated, or slandered, or when your name is spoken of as evil because of your love for me, the Son of Man.
23 “I promise you that as you experience these things, you will celebrate and dance with overflowing joy. And the heavenly reward of your faith will be abundant, because you are being treated the same way as your forefathers the prophets.
24 “But what sorrows await those of you who are rich in this life only. For you have already received all the comfort you’ll ever get.”—Luke 6:22-24
Am I willing to let go of my ideal, perfectly “in control” little plans for my life?
Am I willing to let go of my self-made “reputation” to take on His?
Oh God, I need Your help! Help me to get out of my own way!
Father…?… You and I know that these lessons can be hard ones to learn, and there can be some pain involved… but You’re so good to teach us these life lessons, and You always know what’s best. I trust You. Thank You for teaching me about the things that truly matter. And thank You for reminding me, for refocusing me, when I lose sight of the truth.
Thank You, Father. ?