As I come to grips with what this message and my reaction means, I wanted to share it here:
An old saint told me years ago that the devil doesn’t so much care what particular thing he gets us to fall prey to. His primary aim is simply to get us to do something outside of Christ, for then we are vulnerable.“Walking with God,” by John Eldridge -pp. 90-92
I want two things that are mutually opposed-- I want to live a nice little life, and I want to play an important role in God’s kingdom. And it’s in those times that I am trying to live a nice little life that I make decisions and choices that cause me in small and subtle ways to live outside of Jesus. The shepherd is headed one direction, and I am headed another. Not some flagrant sin—that’s too easy to recognize. Instead, I’m simply wandering off looking for the pasture I deem best. I don’t even think to ask God about it.
A very dangerous way of thinking.
As Christians we don’t get to live a “normal” life, and accepting that fact in all the details of our lives is what allows us to remain in Jesus.
There’s something we need to be honest about; part of us doesn’t really want to hear what God has to say.
Really. Even after years of God’s rescues and surprises and blessing upon blessing, there’s part of me that gets irritated when someone say, “Let’s ask God.” The act itself is a disruption. Sometimes it feels like grinding the gears. Stop? Now? Ask God? I’m bugged. That’s part of it. The other part of it is, if we do hear something, we’ll have to obey.
I don’t ask because I don’t want to know. If I know what God thinks, then I’m faced with the decision of whether to follow His counsel or not. What was initially just a quandary or moment of confusion becomes an issue of obedience. I don’t want that sort of clarity. Furthermore, I don’t want God messing with my approach to life.
And so we come back to holiness. To ask is an act of holiness, because we are seeking to follow our Shepherd. To live by faith in him. Then we are faced with the choice to obey what we hear, and our holiness is deepened.
What I am describing is a heart that is present and engaged with God, bringing our desires to him, yet submitting our wills to his, genuinely trusting what he says is best.