“until His sovereign will becomes your sanctified wish, your prayer life will be unplugged from its power supply. And getting what you want isn’t the goal, the goal is glorifying God by drawing circles around the promises, miracles, & dreams He wants for you.”
(Mark Batterson, Draw the Circle)
I grew up the youngest in a family of leaders. I think that position in life gave me a unique advantage. I had the privilege of learning good leadership skills from three people who led naturally while receiving lots of practice in how to follow. Those skills have served me well as an adult. I’m able and willing to take instruction, not having to do things “my way,” but once instructed, I have the ability to take ownership and get the job done with minimal supervision.
I believe that is the attitude God desires us to have. The Bible tells us multiple times how God desires a relationship with us. Not a robot-like existent but a true relationship. He wants me to share with Him what’s on my heart while He listens. Then when I grow quiet, He tells me what He desires for my life and I obey.
That thought used to scare me. I grew up with the idea that if I surrendered my will to God, He would “punish” me by creating a job for me that I truly hated and my life would be misery until I died and was rewarded with Heaven for eternity. I obviously didn’t read my Bible enough growing up, because that scenario does not describe the God I serve.
Truth is, God made me. That means He created the desires and talents and dreams inside me. Any good leader knows that if you want a person to be productive, you lead them in the direction of their talents and gifts. Sometimes, though, training might be required to help prepare us for the job that best uses the skills and talents God created within us and the training period isn’t always fun. It is our choice, though, how long it takes us to learn what God wants to teach us.
I’ve found for myself, when I surrender my life to His goals while continuing to have an ongoing dialogue with Him about my desires, I am giving Him freedom to work in amazing ways in my life. When I hold tightly to my agenda, then I’m restricting God’s power from working completely. Matthew 16:25 says it best, “Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. ‘Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am.’” (The Message).
The key to receiving God’s blessings in my life isn’t coming to Him with the mentality of “Here’s my wish list…I would like this and this and a little bit of that too, please, and you can deliver it all by next Friday. You remember where I live, right?” No, the key to receiving God’s blessings is first asking Him what He desires to see in my life and then waiting until I receive His answer…usually directly from His guidebook, the Bible. Our basic genetic makeup, likes and dislikes remain the same, but God is then able to use our deepest desires to help fulfill His plan…and His plan becomes our deepest desire. Then it’s my responsibility to work hard on the job He gave me while living in faith that what He promised will happen…in His time, in His way.
Come back tomorrow and we’ll talk about the extra special blessings that God sometimes gives “just because.” We love to surprise those we love – why wouldn’t God?
© Cheri Swalwell 2014