Monday, March 12, 2012

Live Oak Lenten Journey - Tuesday, Post #3

Why is it so hard to just abide in Christ? I have noticed my passion for trying to change for God this Lenten season waning the past week. I still recognize when my perfectionist tendencies and need for control take over but it is much harder this week for me to do anything other than recognize it. I don’t particularly feel motivated to do anything about it…

I’m sure it’s directly related to how much time I am spending with God during my days. I am ashamed to say that when life is busy, God sometimes feels more like an inconvenience – one more thing on my ‘to do’ list – than my Lord and Savior.

I have been reading a book recently called “Grace for the Good Girl” by Emily Freeman. There is one section in particular that I keep going back to in my head. It represents for me a complete paradigm shift that I need to make and haven’t been successful at yet. Emily writes, “ When we believe that God expects us to try hard to become who Jesus wants us to be, we will live in that blurry, frustrating land of Should Be rather than trust in The One Who Is. We will do whatever we believe it takes to please God rather than receive the acceptance that has already been given.”

She goes on to state that God doesn’t want us to please Him, He wants us to trust Him. This was (and still is) a crazy notion for me personally. When I read that, I thought, “WHAT is she talking about? Of course God wants us to please him! That’s what everybody wants!" And then I had my little “aha” moment. I certainly want people to please me - BUT God is not me. God is God and maybe God wants more from me than doing what he wants me to do (yes, a strange notion). Maybe he simply wants me to love and trust Him more than he wants our obedience.

It makes sense that in my sinful, controlling ways, I want people to please me. The ‘trust’ thing is often secondary to me. I want the people in my life to do what I say, when I say it, without arguing!

But - oh- maybe that’s what trust brings to us. Maybe if people trust us, they are more willing to follow us and therefore we are pleased by their obedience which comes from trust and not fear.

Maybe if I trust God more, and ‘work’ less, I will automatically follow him better and therefore please Him more.

Maybe my whole life is upside down and backwards.

Man, do I need Jesus…

Chesney Szaniszlo