Yesterday, I shared with you the first part of what learning to rely on God means to me. Here’s the second point.
2. Relying on God means having a humble, teachable spirit.
Several years ago, I prayed and asked God to help me live radically for Him. He has slowly answered that prayer by changing the way I approach spending my time and money, and helping me to focus on other people more than myself. But the practical changes He has prompted me to make over the years involved sacrifice and inconvenience. So instead of humbling myself and following God’s leading in faith, I rejected His promptings and proceeded to look for a different answer, an answer that was more convenient and would fit neatly into my nice little life. When I didn’t find that answer, I got frustrated, cynical and resentful. Of course, I didn’t see any of this while it was happening. At the time, it just seemed like God was making me question everything and giving me no answers.
Just the other day as I was typing out my rantings, I wrote,
“Just tell me how to live and I’ll live that way.”
God replied, ”I am telling you how to live and you’re rejecting it.”
“Oh, that whole living by faith thing? Yeah, I meant the specifics.”
“You mean the ones that you could accomplish without me?”
“Um… yeah, those.”
“There aren’t any. The only way to truly live is with me. Living without me is death.”
“Hmmm… Still not the answer I was looking for.”
I’m beginning to realize that living radically for Christ is like working for a non-profit ministry. It sounds exciting. I imagine it making me feel deeply satisfied, fulfilled and reassured that I’m contributing to something bigger than myself. But while all of that may be true, when you’re actually working at the non-profit (as I did for 3 years), it just feels like a job. You come in the morning, sit at a desk for 8 hours, and then go home. The same feels true when God is actually showing you how to live radically – it feels very pedestrian and trite. Almost annoying. Like I want to groan and say, “Really? Does it really matter if I spend $10 on a pair of pants? Why can’t I have this one thing?“
God has obviously been telling me, “Yes, it does matter. Obey me even in the small things and I will bless you.”
Stay tuned for Part Three…