“Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;” (Psalm 37:3-7)
It isn’t often I read something that hits me like a sucker punch to the gut. (And I should probably be grateful for that fact!) However, awhile back I read a post by Ann Voskamp which did exactly that. I’m not surprised in a way because her words have been resounding in my head this little while as I read her Advent devotional, finished her latest book and resonated with several of her recent blog posts.
The blog post I referred to at the beginning of this post, however, was this one that said:
“The greatest gift any of us can give to the world is more than our true self — it’s our self hidden in Christ who is The Truth.
I know they’re not out peddling this, and I know this doesn’t play well, sell well, or sometimes even sit well, but you can trust it, this is what makes all things well: Humans don’t most flourish when they follow their desires — but when they follow God’s.
No one gets to be their own God — and still say they love God.“
Wow, that last line leaves us pretty much no wiggle room – “No one gets to be their own God — and still say they love God.” This world is full of many people running around as little gods of their own lives (or so they think). Even as Christ-followers this is an easy trap to fall into.
So if we say we love God then we give Him our all?! This reminds me of my word for this year which is “surrender” (more on this to come later) and how even now I am considering what that means for me in terms of my walk with God.
For me, it means that I don’t follow my own desires but seek to surrender more and more of these to God and then paradoxically, as the quote stated, I will begin to flourish. Not that I will do this perfectly I’m sure but I believe God also looks at our heart and our intent.
In all this, I am reminded of the passage in Romans 7:15-25:
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Yes, thanks be to God! Thanks be to God for giving me the desire to follow His ways instead of my own. Thanks be to God who sends me the Holy Spirit to guide me on that hard journey. And thanks be to God who sent His Son to free us from ourselves. May I always remember these truths as I seek to live out God’s truth for my life!