So there is this situation that I have been praying about over the last few months. And I will spare you all the details because they really don’t matter, I just wanted to share the principle with you. It’s been a tough decision; I’ve really been torn about what God would have me do. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my future and where I’m being led and how God has been preparing me and working in my life over the last couple years.
It’s almost funny in a way now to look back because as I’ve been praying about this one situation over the last several months, I never really felt led to a yes or a no answer about any of it. But as I’ve been praying about it the last several months this idea of ‘pursue Christ with all you have’ has started to really stick out to me. I would pray and be sharing all these things with God, questions and thoughts and just all this stuff, trying to figure out the best way to handle the situation, and its like God was saying ‘Rebecca, stop. Do I have your heart? Fully and completely? Are you following after me with all you have?’ And my response was ‘yeah God, pursue Christ-like-ness with all I have, got it. But could you just answer this dilemma over here first. It’ll only take a second. Then I can get right back to that pursuing Christ stuff.’
We focus so much on these ‘little’ decisions. We run around like crazy trying to handle 100 different situations thinking that if we can just get things settled and handled then we will finally have time to devote to God. We will finally have time to sit down and pray like we should. We will finally have time to study the Word and answer the questions we have about theology. We will finally have time to find a ministry that we can get involved in. We will finally have time to get lunch with that person God has laid on our hearts. We will finally have time and attention and strength to pursue a relationship with Christ like we know we need to.
It doesn’t work that way.
We can’t ‘handle’ all this other stuff and reach a point where everything is quiet, peaceful and under control so we can then focus on Christ. Who do we think we are? That’s the whole purpose of the cross-we can’t handle life on our own. We can in no way handle all these things that need handling. Never. Not going to happen. We won’t get there. In contrast, Jesus says ‘take up your cross and follow me.’ He gives lots of other commandments as well, but if you think about it, they all fall under ‘take up your cross and follow me.’ If we are seeking to follow him, to be transformed into His likeness (from the inside out, not the outside in) and if that is our focus- our whole focus, our total focus, our passionate focus….everything else will come together.
I think a lot of times God doesn’t care which decision we make as far as the little details of life. I don’t think the issue is ‘can I do this?’ ‘is this okay God?’. The issue is ‘are you pursuing Christ?’- a life spent following after Him and being conformed into His image? The question isn’t ‘God I want to glorify you, what should I do with my life?’ The question is- Does He have your heart? Your whole heart? Is He your most prized treasure? Are you complete in Him? Is His grace really sufficient for you? And is your life showing it? Are you living it?
If the answer to these is yes, then no matter what decisions you make concerning the little things, you will be glorifying Him and thereby fulfilling your purpose and His plan for your life.
For me the answer has been a total and complete YES…in principle. But principle isn’t enough. We can say we love God, we can truly love God. We can be passionate about our relationship with Christ and yet we can find our selves still not living it out and putting it into practice. For me, in this instance, God wasn’t just asking if He had my whole heart, He knew He did, He was asking me to prove it. “Are you really satisfied completely and totally in Christ? Then set this aside.” Tough? Yes. But the joy and peace that comes in being able to say ‘ok, lets do this’ and then doing it, and then finding that you are in fact completely and totally satisfied in Christ…no words can take on that description.
The cool thing I’m learning is that when you are totally consumed with seeking Christ’s glory, when that is your focus, you will find this unexplainable joy. And peace. Peace so deep and so strong and so eternal. And these decisions, these situations, they all pale in comparison to the glory of Christ. The fact that my simple, futile, messed up life can be used to point people towards the glory of the Savior of the world and encourage others to do the same…blows my mind. I don’t get it. There is no part of me that is good, no part of me worthy or capable of being used for this task. But when I am offered up for His purpose, to be used for His glory, He does just that. Incredible. Not saying decisions wont be tough, not saying we wont have to do things that make us hurt. We do. We will hurt. It will be hard. But the beauty of it is that we are still happy. Although it hurts and its hard, we are more happy enduring that process then if we were to never go through it. We are more happy setting our wants aside when God asks us to, then if we continue pursuing them. It’s not the fake happy that we put on so often, it’s not the fleeting happiness that comes and goes with different earthly pleasures, it’s a happiness that doesn’t come from this world, because its not based on something from this world, and because of that nothing in this world can take it from us.
Whatever you’re struggling to get a handle on, whatever situation you’re struggling to overcome and deal with, whatever decisions you’re struggling to make…Stop. Ask yourself ‘Is my heart His?’ ‘Am I pursuing Christ with everything I have?’ ‘Am I satisfied in Him?’
And if the answer is no, don’t freak out and start a list of things you have to get to working on. No. Just ask Him to make it so. Tell Him you don’t know how to give Him your heart fully but you want to. You don’t know what exactly is standing in the way of pursuing Him with all you have but you want Him to remove it. You aren’t completely satisfied in Him but you want to be. He is faithful, friends, He is so faithful.
Is your whole heart His?