Once we have committed our lives to Jesus, we know that God is sovereign and is on the throne of our lives. But do we live like this in practice, and how does it influence our thinking and our actions?
The choice to be independent is one of the virtues encouraged by our culture. But cutting ourselves off from people, responsibility, and families leads to increasing loneliness, which has become one of the greatest social problems facing our society. The parable of the lost son is fascinating. The son only thinks about himself and his agenda, causing him to ask for his inheritance. He wants what he believes he is entitled to, so that he can go and “enjoy life”. He seems to be suffering from a “fear of missing out”. An amazing part of this story is that the Father gives him what he wants. The son goes off thinking he knows best, trusting in himself – and we all know how that story turns out.
Just who or what am I putting my trust in?
So often, I am encouraged to put myself first, and to trust in my abilities, my experience. My wants and desires become pre-eminent. If I have this mindset, am I expecting God to fit in with what I think, answer my prayers the way that I want, and giving me the desires of MY heart? The plain fact is that God knows what is best – I don’t.
It is good to be clear about what is our job, and what is God’s job, so that we stop trying to take on a role that is not ours to take. I would suggest considering the following:
|To meet the need (according to His riches)||To answer the call – to go, to be Jesus’ hands and feet|
|To provide the vision||To communicate the vision|
|To give the blessing/provide the resources||To receive the blessing and pass it onto others|
|Power, Healing, Forgiveness||Faith|
|Provide seed to the sower||Sow the seed|
|Answer the prayer||Pray… and take action (sometimes we are the answer to our prayers)|
|Receive||Worship, praise, give, be generous, be thankful|
|Love people||Love God|
|Justice, Forgiveness, Excellence, Abundance||Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly (Micah 6:8)|
|Give good gifts to His people||Give a testimony|
|Eternity||Act in the here and now|
|Lead||Follow and serve (we are the followers)|
Much of this comes down to the idea of my feet, but his fire. What on earth does this mean? It refers to combining our effort with His direction. If we step out and are willing to walk in God’s direction, then we position ourselves to be blessed, and to be a blessing to others. His plans are different from ours (Jeremiah 29:11). When we work with God we put ourselves in a place where God can talk to us about what He wants us to do, where He wants us to go, and what we need to do in the Kingdom.
We can’t manipulate God into doing our will, no matter how noble or just or how good that might seem. Trust involves believing God, whatever (or despite) what it looks like. We pray… “Thy will be done”, but are quick to complain when what we want is not happening, or not happening quickly enough to fit into our agenda.
What is my default position? If someone listened to the words that come out of my mouth, what would others say is my default position (when things go awry)? It is good to remind ourselves that God is on the throne, not us. And if we are Christ’s followers, we need to be about the Father’s business – which is focused on building His Kingdom, not our own.