Posts Tagged God’s will

It’s not about me! (again) – 2 Corinthians 5

I have been thinking a lot lately about how I ended up where I’m at. I am so happy to be doing what I know God has wired me up to do. I still have struggles, but they’re much different than before. I think it all has to do with the fact that I’ve finally realized that trying to live by my own plan, my own desires and my own initiative – gets me nowhere.

I struggled with relationships. As a result, I’m 0 for 2 when it comes to marriages.

I struggled with careers. As a result, several times I’ve gone from entry level to executive, only to get laid off and right back in the same situation.

Financially, I’ve had jobs earning 6 figures and I’ve had jobs that paid just minimum wage. Yet, I’ve never lived extravagantly or in need.

So, when I read the following verses in 2 Corinthians today, it confirmed some things I’ve been thinking about:

11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

I realize it’s not about me. When I live that way, I go no where, I struggle with no reward, I suffer and end up right back at the same spot where I realize it’s not about me.

I may seem out of my right mind, but I want to live for him who died and was raised again, not for myself. How arrogant of me to think I have a better plan for my life than my creator!

Lord, forgive my selfish motives. I want to live for you and you alone. I trust the plan you have for my life.

peace,
e

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Romans 1 – Choices We Make

As I read Romans 1 this morning, I was amazed to see the correlation of what we’re studying in Wildmen, the Wild at Heart book by John Eldredge, and the first chapter of Romans. Paul is talking about how God has revealed himself with His invisible qualities, His power and His divine nature, since creation. And, yet some choose to ignore that, suppressing the Truth for their own wickedness:

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

One thing I have come to understand is this: God created each of us with a plan. We may choose to live our lives seeking that plan (his will) and following Him, or we may choose to follow our own plan. Life is not “easy” either way because we were born into a battle between good and evil. But, I am convinced that following God and His plan for us is the only way to live a peaceful, happy, abundant life. People can choose to ignore God and make their own choices, but it always leads to consequences in ever-increasing difficulty and, ultimately in death and separation from God for eternity.

God makes it very clear. Sin is fun for a season. Some people get to the point where they abandon what they know about God and exchange the truth for their own wicked desires. That is where God turns them over to evil. I know people there now, learning hard lessons, living in turmoil and ruin, refusing to come back to God.

God will not force Himself upon us. He wants us to choose to have faith and believe in Him. Otherwise, we’d be just a bunch of robots, programmed to love God. Without faith, man may choose to worship God’s creation rather than God himself, leading to all kinds of trouble. I noticed several choice/consequences in this passage:

  1. They knew God, but chose to not glorify or give thanks to Him, so their thinking became futile and their hearts were darkened (verse 21)
  2. They exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like His creation, so God gave them over to shameful lusts (verses 25-26)
  3. They did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind and they were filled with every kind of wickedness (verse 28)

My prayer for those people is that they would eventually get to the place where all they can do is look up and see God. I’ve been there. It’s not a good place. But, God is still there to pick us up and put us back on the road to Him. That road is not easy but the peace and comfort, knowing God is at the end, makes life worth living.

Have a great day!

peace,
e

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