Spending energy incessantly on forcing your will is tiresome, but it is not helpless. However, isn’t being able to be helpless before God better than the alternative of trying to force him to do anything? So often we shoulder the burden of our own goals or what we see God doing and take it upon ourselves to make it happen.
Now work is a commendable effort and servitude an anointed spirit. I speak of pride.
People look at me funny when I say I pray to get out of God’s way. I literally pray that I remove myself from interfering with what God is already doing so that I don’t interrupt it, because I’m humble and he is much better at everything than I am. One of the ways you can get into God’s way is over committing to your own willpower.
Our will is capable, but it is flawed. It desires and is limited by flesh.
If we fear God, we fear obstructing his plans with our own free will. When we fear keeping out what God has in store for us, we allow more in than we do by working for our own gain.
By thinking that you have the power to do God’s work without God’s help or that God’s will is yours we put faith in an inappropriate place, in ourselves.
Real faith is embracing a state of helplessness before God by understanding our capacity to celebrate our own shortcomings but choosing instead to revere God. Rather than embracing what we are capable of by choosing to do God’s will we take part in a greater legacy by praising him.
Faith and earthly powerlessness go hand in hand. We ought not to worship God because it equips us to do what we want, but because it reveals our role and positions us in his plan to redeem the earth. Humanity will flourish.
This may not look like what we think it should. I find it rarely looks like I believe it should.
It’s so easy to think that because God calls us to be powerful that we should arm ourselves to the teeth with badges, titles and positions of influence as if we were called to these things by the pursuit of God. But is that power at all? Is it leadership?
The very act of surrendering to God is a process of letting go of our own will.
So often our will is tied to the worship of things other than God because our will is so utterly inefficient for satisfying our desires. They have a much greater capacity than our ability to slake them.
Think of Joshua and the walls of Jericho…
“2 And the Lord said to Joshua: ‘See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor. ‘… 20 So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat.” Joshua 6:2, 20
God’s methods may seem unconventional to us but how powerful can we be if we listen for God’s commands and let him topple the walls in our lives?
Humbling yourself before God’s understanding seems complacent to human understanding, but so often it is what allows God to act. When it happens we call it breakthrough.
When we use our own will God becomes a flag that we carry into battle, waving high and representing the nation of our thoughts, desires and goals. That’s like stringing up your father and marching him around while you pick fights with people.
God is our father and mother and a loving force in our lives, not a cause that needs protecting. It’s so easy to defend the idea of God without living in his presence.
Is God the flag from which you draw morale or is he your loving protector with his own plan?