Thursday, February 20, 2014

Only the Potter knows how we should look, because He chooses our purpose.

I think sometimes we forget that only the Potter knows how to fashion us to suit His purposes.  We think we know our purposes here on this earth, and what we need to fulfill them. But the Lord says in Jeremiah “I know the plans I have for you” (emphasis on the “I”)  (Jer 29:11).

Or maybe we get some great ideas and plans, run off to implement them, and then ask God to bless them.  But Corinthians says that the thoughts of the wise are futile (1 Cor 3:20).

Or perhaps God has revealed some of His plans for us, and we think we know how to bring them to fruition.  But He says in Isaiah His ways are higher than our ways (Isa 55:9).

I think that we rarely know what God is up to.  Only He knows the intimate details of the plans, the step by step journey that He has planned for us.  Only He knows the upcoming battles we will face.  Only He knows the current state of our heart, and His desired state of our heart.  Only He knows what equipping will be required.

He loves us so much, He is so fiercely protective of us, He will not send us into battle unprepared.  The battle is the Lord’s, and His plan is victory.  Our equipping is critical if we want to partner with Him in victory.

Does it frustrate you, or bring you comfort, that God is the only omniscient One who knows how to shape us to fit the plan?  

Friday, February 14, 2014

Wrestling with God's Sovereignty

As I wrestle once again with His sovereignty, I realize the deepest question my heart is asking:  Can I really trust that He knows what is best for me?
When life is smooth, it is easy to give lip service to believing that He knows what is best.  But our commitment to God and His plan is challenged when life is not so smooth.
So what exactly does "smooth" mean?  Smooth means life is going according to my plan.  And that's the crux of it.  Deep down in the darkest corner of my heart, the place I don't want to admit exists -- much less allow God to penetrate it with His Light and Truth -- deep down in that horrid corner I see what I really want is life according to my plan.  Control, rebellion, and pride all wrapped up into one big mess.
Bowing to His sovereignty means that I surrender my "good" plan for my life (and the lives of those I love), to His perfect plan.  It means humbly acknowledging that He knows best, that He is the only One who is infinite and eternal and knows all -- the past, present, and future.  It means realizing that I certainly cannot predict the future, much less control it.
I can bow to His sovereignty kicking and screaming . . . or, I can come to more deeply know the One who died so I could live.  In knowing the depth of that love, I cannot help but to trust that His perfect plan, His plan that is colliding with my plan, does indeed have my best interests at heart.
Are you wrestling?  Tell me about it.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

What Does It REALLY Mean to Surrender?

Does surrender mean we wave the white flag in defeat?  Come out of the castle we have been defending with our hands high in the air?  Lie face down on the ground praying we won't be killed?

I have often wrestled with surrendering, alternatively angry and fearful.  Angry at Him for demanding it, requiring that I walk on His path and not my own.  And afraid of the unknown.  Although the current place may not be perfect, at least I know it.  I am familiar with the ropes.  No surprises here.  I can keep everything under good control.

But surrender is a leap into the unknown.  Will He really catch me before I hit the bottom?

Yes, surrender means we come out of the castle we have been defending.  The castle of idolatry of our plan, our way.  And no, we don't need to pray that He won't slay us in anger, for He is all grace, and His mercy triumphs over judgment.

To me, surrender is laying aside my plan -- which seems good and comfortable and right -- for His better plan -- which is completely obscured from my eyes.  I mean, if I knew a better plan, wouldn't I be on it? Can I really trust that there could be a better plan?

The most fascinating thing about surrender is that surrender to the Lord is actually victory.  It is His triumph of lordship in my heart, and it is always a vastly better path than I had chosen.  Sometimes, the "vastly better" about it is not obvious for a while.  But the deeper and deeper I surrender to Him, the more I am able to trust that His way is absolutely for my good.

What are your thoughts on surrender?  I invite you to share with me.