I’m reading Job and slightly identifying with him (God, why is my heart in A-Fib?) and reading Chambers who will not let me feel sorry for myself. My energy levels are low, which puts me opposite a life-long condition of enjoying busyness.
I’m also asking God if this is a test. Does He want something from me that I haven’t yet figured out? Endurance? Trust — no matter what? Today’s devotional reading from My Utmost for His Highest gives fodder for those questions using three points for what God wants from me.
Put God First in Trust.
But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man. (John 2:24–25)
This has been a difficult lesson because I’m one of those people who find it easier to trust people than to continually suspect them. That kind of thinking neglects the truth that all are sinners, all are liars, and eventually everyone will hurt or disappoint. The safe person to trust is Jesus. He is Lord over others and of what others might do to me. I agree wholeheartedly with Chambers: “Never trust anything but the grace of God in yourself or in anyone else.”
Put God’s Needs First. I may claim that I’ve passed that first test, but this one is still a challenge.
(Jesus) added, “Behold, I have come to do your will” . . . . (Hebrews 10:9)
God is easier to obey when I can see the need, or His commands make sense. He is easier to obey when I do not have my own plans. He is easier to obey when I am feeling good, or people are treating me well. For some, He may be easier to obey when the sun is shining.
But what does God need? I cannot think of anything. He is complete, with or without my obedience. Yet when I think of my needs in terms of my children, there is an empty place in my heart when any of them is out of the will of God. Don’t I feel bereft when my children live in disobedience? If God the Father is like this with His children, then putting His needs first means doing His will first. I can set aside my plans most of the time, but any resentment that pops up shows that I am not really putting His needs first. I can do it externally, but is that the attitude of my heart?
Put God’s Trust First.
“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me . . . .” (Matthew 18:5)
This one is intriguing. Chambers says that God gave Himself as a babe and expects my personal life to be a Bethlehem, a place where the Christ child is born and grows up in me. His ultimate purpose is that His Son might be manifested in my mortal flesh.
I agree. But in what areas of my life am I not like Jesus? To ask God to show me is one of those questions that I’ve learned the best response after asking is to run for cover! He will show me and I will not like it. Even that is an admission that the ideal of putting Him first still needs some work.
This isn’t answering my questions, but it does give me a better place to focus.