Last week, I talked about God being the God of Today, of Yesterday, and of Tomorrow. I talked about learning how I am not the god of my own life, but God is.
This week, I want to go a little deeper into that topic.
You see, the world offers us two options:
1. to believe that others owe us a living (the worse choice). This is the “we deserve” philosophy. It can be secular: the government, our parents, our kids, etc. owes us, we deserve a job, healthcare, a good life. This is the IT’S McDONALD’S FAULT THAT I’M FAT crowd. Or, it can be religious: God owes us a good life. After all, we’re good Christians, we deserve it. This is the "If God’s Real then there shouldn’t be any pain, injustice, or hardship in the world" crowd. We deserve better!
2. to believe we can achieve our dreams through hard work and determination (a better choice). This is the hard work, pull yourself up by your own bootstraps group. “Follow your dreams” “You can do anything you set your mind to.” “All it takes is hard work.” This is the “Successories” crowd -- You remember the posters with the success sayings that used to be so popular. And well, it is better to work hard than be lazy, better to persevere than to sit around waiting for others to give you life on a silver platter. But, the problem is, very little of our lives is actually within our control. This option says we are the gods of our lives, we have the power. We can accomplish OUR dreams, OUR hopes, OUR plans.
But, I have come to see that God offers us an unbelievable, amazing, THIRD CHOICE (Whoo Hoo!) -- to make life not about US at all, but to make it about Him, following Him, laying down our lives for Him, living for Him. Making Him truly the God of our lives.
The way of obedience and submission to Him is the best way of all, because the way of laying down our dreams to embrace His, to following not our dreams but HIM, is what it means to make Him the God of our lives rather than ourselves. It's not setting our goals and working hard for them; It's dying to self-goals, self-control, and living in a state of joyful following of HIM every day.
See, what God calls us to is higher, better, more glorious. He calls us not to ourselves, our plans, our dreams, our goals, but to Himself.
Recognizing God's control, submitting to and following Him, is a higher calling. And it's not one we accomplish overnight. It is the calling of a LIFETIME, not something we check off a list and say "yep, I do that." It is the daily calling to die more to self a bit more every day, and follow Him a bit more closely, a bit more clearly. Every day.