Monday, September 18, 2017


We tend to make a lot of decisions every day. What to eat, what to wear, what to fill our time with, which errands we'll run, what we can put off until tomorrow, which phone calls to make or answer, and so much more. It can be overwhelming at times and enough to make us want to scream.

But let's be honest. There is also a part of us that likes the control. And if someone else were to call the shots and we didn't like them, we'd probably get pretty irritated.

Ask any husband and wife combo about this when they are going out, just the two of them. Both will invaraibly say, "Wherever you want to go is fine with me," when what they really mean is, "As long as you pick what I wanted in the first place."

What's frightening is that our relationship with God is absolutely no different. He gave us free will because he wants us to choose what he knows is best. And we say we want to seek his will and do what he wants for our lives.....until it's not what we would have picked given the choice.

We aren't much different from the Israelites. They witnessed so much and begged Moses to talk to God on their behalf and just give them the basics of what was required but they still didn't follow through. We, like them, like rules and hate them. We want to know what we're supposed to do but we often don't do it. We are not only selfish in our desires, but we are lazy in seeking God. We'd rather be told and know than put in the effort to seek and find. Or maybe I'm just talking about myself.

But the more I've been thinking about this yoke that Jesus offers that is light and fits just right, the more I realize that he's offereing what I really want. Answers. Not all of them at once, but just enough for today and with enough information to make me productive for my immediate purpose. And I say immediate because everything we do now is training and equipping ground for what is coming later.

In her upcoming book Fiercehearted, Holley Gerth writes, "But the process of faith, I'm finding is not like my careful systems. Instead, it's learning to live in the mystery." I keep trying to figure it all out because then I think I'll get it right. But if the ancient Israelites, my ancestors and yours, are any indication, we can know, we can see, we can hear, and we can experience, and we still won't get it 100% right. But faith? Trusting that Jesus will give us what we need to get us to the next step without thinking about the next fifty after that and how they'll all work out? That seems like a pretty sweet deal. 

I often wish that I weren't in charge of so many decisions. Maybe you do, too. The biggest perk to not being in charge is that if all goes horribly wrong, we weren't the ones who decided a over b or right over left. And let's face it, it's not going to be easy to surrender like we are called to because our eyes, ears, and hearts keep performing CPR on what we think we want and bringing those fleshy desires right back to life. But my guess is that if we do it the way Jesus asks and start surrendering daily (or maybe every second for those of us who are super strong-willed), we'll not only have our loads lightened but we might find the abundant life he promised. And the best part of that? We'll be living out of our greatest purpose in making him known to others because we'll stand out and our light will shine for all to see.

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