All the ways of a man
are pure in his own eyes
but the LORD weighs the spirit.
~ Proverbs 16:2 ~
Above all the other traits (she said naively), I approach this trait with fear and trembling. I believe that at the core of nearly every deep work, is a crossroads marked “MY WAY vs. GODS”. I truly do. I believe the deepest layer of any struggle between growth and regression is about trust, or lack of it. I stand at a balance-scale and put my plan on one side, measuring it against my level of trust in God. I don’t know God’s plan (as far as the heavens are above the earth, so His plans are higher than mine), so it’s trust that occupies the other tray on the scale. I’m not even weighing plan against plan. It’s plan against trust.
Every correction, every re-direction in my life has at it’s root, two heels dug in, certain that the path to fulfillment is in the realization of whatever it is I have my heart set on. When I use my brain, there is nothing sound about that approach. On the contrary. To reduce the outcome of a situation to the skewed, conditioned lens that is mine, is ludicrous. Sometimes, it’s more than a trust issue. It’s a battle of wills, except God doesn’t play that game. I chaff against His prodding even when I know there is nothing but heartache on the other end of that path. Maybe I’m tired of waiting for something I think I should have (or someone else should have), so I begin to move, apart from Him.
Loving people practice deference. Loving people leave their care to God, and give what is in their coffers to the people God puts in their path. Loving people understand that their ideas are infinitely smaller than God’s; that the wise thing to do is put them squarely in to the hands of the One who has full knowledge of past, present and future, as well as the power to do anything He desires. They don’t dismiss their ideas, but allow God full access to them, yielding a massive upgrade. They remember that God’s intentions toward them are always good, that He loves them with an eternal, perfect love. And they remember that the work He has begun in them will without doubt, be brought to completion.
To demonstrate love of God, I must trust. I must defer. I must abdicate my ways and desires, and submit, just as Jesus did. To demonstrate love of people, I must serve. I must put others needs above my own, just as Jesus did. There is nothing in my flesh that moves easily with this reality, but it resonates soundly in my spirit, because it is the truth.
A few years back God began to show me that He gives me one day at a time. I am not promised tomorrow. As I practice the discipline of living in this day and no other, I find an ease and “do-ability” about traversing plains that I could not otherwise travel. I find it much easier to yield to Him and His ways. I think that is part of why He designed it so. I also find I am better able to trust. I am not pre-occupied with the future, which is when I typically begin to clamp down on things I am trying to manipulate…… to get my way.
Love does not insist on its own way. If you see your knuckles white from gripping your best laid plans, I encourage you to go to the altar. I’ll probably be there too. You may not even be able to open your hands….but God waits there, arms open to receive you. Even at the altar, He will not force you to release your grip. The age of grace we live in comes with freedom of choice, which He will not circumvent. God is love, therefore He doesn’t insist on His own way, even though it is the path to life.
There is a way
that seems right
to a man,
but its end
is the way to death.
~ Proverbs 14: 12 ~