For so long, I wanted things to be about me and how I wanted things to go in my life. Granted, that is the human condition that is so common to us all. To sum up that attitude in one word…let’s use “Pride”. Pride says, “I got this!” to which I now say, “Whatever!” No, in the grand scheme of things, not even my own life is about me. But that’s not to say it isn’t significant, it just means that it is fitting into God’s plan and not my own.
I may agree with that now, but how did I get there? How do any of us get there? It’s called “surrender”…it’s not a popular word, I know; and the “getting there” can be quite uncomfortable, but this journey of surrender is one we must make many times, over and over as we are coming closer to Him.
You see, up until about 10 years ago, I thought I was going to be a singer/worship leader and everything that involved. Little did I know, that wasn’t God’s ultimate intention and purpose for my life. So in ignorance, I set about trying to make it happen. Let’s just say that God had His way of frustrating my plans. I am so thankful for that now. My pastor made a statement this past weekend that is fitting right here. He said,
“It’s better to not have something you want, than to have something you don’t want.”
Little by little, I began to see that I really had NO control over where my life was going and that God actually desired for me to lay down all I believed (at that time) that I was called to. I felt alone and forgotten by Him for several years where it seemed I had been shelved. Had I been shelved for a while? Yes. Had I been forgotten? Absolutely not. Fast forward to the past 5 years. I’ve been going through a major shift; not in my basic doctrinal beliefs, but in the stretching that surrendering my own desires required of me. James 4:6 says,
“God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble.”
As long as I held onto the idea that my service to God was supposed to match up to what I thought, I was continuing in pride which meant God was continuing to “resist” me. Not in a forsaking kind of way, because He always loves us and promises to never leave us. (Hebrews 13:5) His resistance looks more like a mom with a child who is throwing a temper tantrum. It’s more of a way of saying, “Okay, when you’re done with your fit, we’ll talk.” Please tell me I’m not the only one who has thrown a fit with God…anyone else???
When I began to get worn out and began to obey, which requires humility, He began to give me grace and strength to do what He asked me to do.
As I review all of this, it’s plain to see that I had been on a mission to fit God into the story I was attempting to construct, thereby making Him “small” and containable. But make no mistake; nobody puts God in a corner! (you’ll only get that reference if you’re into 80’s pop culture)
I now realize that pride had caused me to become an idolater by magnifying the very thing I claimed God had called me to. But we know that isn’t how God works. Jesus said in Matthew 16:25,
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”
Laying down my own agenda to make room for His allows me to walk in a greater level of peace and contentment as I am finally submitted to following Him instead of trying to spear head this whole expedition. I mean come on…I was never qualified or equipped to “lead” God anywhere. I’ve also found that He has led me to far greener pastures than I could have ever found on my own 🙂
It’s a little comical when I look back and realize that although I absolutely LOVE serving on my worship team at church and I love to worship and sing and write music, I have NO desire to be a worship leader. I now see that it was God all along who was frustrating my plans and in the process, he was using every struggle to excise things in me that needed to go. I have to know now that all of it was always part of God’s plan because He doesn’t waste anything we go through, because it is all fitting into His plan; His story. Proverbs 19:21 states,
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”
I want to tell you, you can trust that His purposes are good!
I would love to hear from you. Are there areas past or present that you sense God is asking you to surrender to Him?
Where are you in this process?
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