Monday, January 09, 2006

My struggle

Everything I have in this life is a gift from God. He has provided everything I need, from the very essentials of life to the sweet pleasures. These include:
  • My health
  • My five senses
  • My abilities and talents
  • My job
  • My home
  • My clothing
  • The food I eat
  • My money and things
  • My intellect and ability to reason
  • Relationships with my family
  • Relationships with my friends
  • My relationship with my girlfriend
  • My ability to enjoy life's pleasures
  • Every other blessing

If there is anything that God has given me that I have abused, that is, have come to love more than the One who gave it to me, then God very well could take that gift away from me. It's called idolatry, and God cannot tolerate it.

Unfortunately, I am guilty as charged. I am starting to recognize where I am loving what I have more than I love God, and I understand in my mind what the consequences of that idolatry are. I just have not confidently submitted those things to God. The main reason for this is that I am afraid to.

Why am I afraid to give up what I have? Perhaps it's because I have committed the sin of comparing myself to others, deriving my value from my things and accomplishments rather than my identity in Christ. In these comparisons, I have determined that I do not have what others have: A great job, good looks, a spouse and children, a home, a charismatic personality, abilities and talents far greater than mine. I also compare myself to other Christians, believing that I am so much more juvenile in my faith, and I envy and covet the spiritual wisdom, intellect, maturity, and command of Scripture that other Christians possess. (I usually feel like I cannot put two thoughts together when I am speaking or praying, so I just clam up.) But the measure of all of these things that I do possess is such that I don't want to give up what little I have. I just don't want to be left with nothing. And having nothing scares me.

The struggle that I am now entering is a real wrestling match with God, and I will not emerge until He has pinned me down and I have surrendered to Him. I cannot just hastily say, "Okay, Jesus, I am willing to release everything to You. You can take away from me anything You want, and I won't cling to it." To say that would be irreverent and untrue. God knows when I'm being honest with Him; and He knows when I'm trying to cover over my true heart with pious words. No, I need the struggle. I need to sweat about it, lose sleep, lose my appetite, maybe throw up a few times. I need to argue with God, to plead with Him, and even try to bargain with Him until I genuinely realize that my machinations are futile, and that only His love can cast out that fear of losing what He has given me.

When my fears are gone, or at least diminished, I will have a greater confidence in Him, knowing that He ultimately loves me and chooses to provide for me and bless me. I will finally have that peace that has been so elusive, where I can truly rest in His arms and worship, worship, worship my beautiful Savior.

2 Talked Back:

At January 9, 2006 at 4:34:00 PM CST, Blogger h-i-p said...

That is so completely beautiful. Thank you so much for your honesty. My love for you increases tenfold when I hear of your inner workings, what makes you tick.

[[I need to argue with God, to plead with Him, and even try to bargain with Him until I genuinely realize that my machinations are futile, and that only His love can cast out that fear of losing what He has given me.]]

So often we mistake "futile" for meaning stupid or juvenille. Remember that it just means without end, or without an end which is worth the effort.

It is oft the fighting which makes us realize we have only to surrender to win the prize.

Let us hear more of your wrestling match.

 

At January 13, 2006 at 12:51:00 AM CST, Blogger Katie said...

Sounds like we were listening to the same sermon on Sunday. :-) I love that you are wrestling this out and working it through. Continue to seek Him and be honest with Him. I definitely identify with your wrestling match.

 

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