“If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24
The life of a Christ follower is not an easy one. i’ve known this for as long as I’ve been a Christian, but God hasn’t asked me to deny myself so much — until now.
I have been living a life of my own, defining my own path, on my terms. I have been telling God, “Hey, You can use me — but just in this way!”
But God has been prodding me, “What if I want to use you? Won’t you let me decide how to use you?” He asked me to lay at His feet these major areas of my life: my lovelife, my future career, and my present work. He asked me to surrender them to Him. These are the areas in which my grip on what I want has been strongest.
As I drove home crying in my car last Wednesday, I told God, “You have broken me.” And he said, “Doesn’t the potter break down the marred clay pot to make it into something He can use?” Potters cannot use clay that is resistant or unwieldy. They knead it, gently if it’s pliable but more forcefully if need be, to make it something useful.
He asked me to let go of someone I was hanging on to; I thought I had, but He helped me realize it wasn’t completely, and that I hadn’t surrendered control to Him of who to love and when to love.
He asked me to be open to a career path that might not include working in the media and that might include office hours. Try putting a square peg in a round hole and that’s me and office hours. Also, I’ve been studying and training for media work all my life so to have that possibly not where I should be is really the death of a dream.
God asked Abraham to offer Isaac up for a sacrifice (Genesis 22:1-2). Isaac was the child promised to old Abraham and barren Sarah — and Abraham had to show submission to God that even if he ended up killing Isaac, he had faith that God could raise the dead (see Hebrews 11:17-19).
So I said, yes, Lord, even if it means the death of a dream at this time, I know you will raise it some day. It might not be the way I see it and want it to be, but it will be Your best for me.
But wait! There’s more. This morning, I failed to wake up for a class I was supposed to be covering, and the penalty for that could be a) banning from the club, or b) suspension. And I asked God, “Haven’t I surrendered everything I hold dear to You? How could You let this happen?”
He said, “What if I removed you from your current job so I could use you? How would that make you feel?”
The resistance I felt to that question helped me realize that I had been holding onto this job as a security blanket. I was afraid that if I lost it, I might not be able to go to the gym and I might gain weight (which is a dreadful horror to me). And God helped me to see, He can provide even if I didn’t have this job.
So I find myself waving a white flag in surrender. I know who God is, and I know He will not shortchange me. I will be fulfilled wherever He leads.
Mark 8:35 “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.”
Tags: Relationship with God