A great devotional from Rick Warren today. This one hits home for many. The reason why we don’t move forward with God is because we are trying to be God:
“It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.” (2 Corinthians 3:5 NLT)
Life is a struggle, but what most people don’t realize is that our struggle, like Jacob’s, is really with God! We want to be God, and there’s no way we’re going to win that struggle. But we try anyway.
A.W. Tozer said, “The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven’t yet come to the end of themselves. We’re still trying to give orders, and interfering with God’s work within us.”
We aren’t God, and we never will be. We’re humans, and the times when we try to be God are the times we end up most like Satan, who tried to be equal with God, too.
We accept our humanity intellectually but not emotionally. We give mental assent to the idea, but when faced with our own limitations, we react with irritation, anger, and resentment. We want to be taller (or shorter), smarter, stronger, more talented, beautiful, and wealthy.
We want to have it all and do it all and become upset when it doesn’t happen. Then, when we notice God gave others characteristics we don’t have, we respond with envy, jealousy, and self-pity.
Surrendering to God is not passive resignation, fatalism, or an excuse for laziness. It is not accepting the status quo. It may mean the exact opposite: sacrificing your life in resistance to evil and injustice or suffering in order to change what needs to be changed. God often calls surrendered people to do battle on his behalf. It’s not for cowards or doormats.
Surrendering is not putting your brain in neutral and giving up rational thinking. God would not waste the mind he gave you! God does not want robots to serve him. Surrendering is not repressing your personality. God wants to use your unique personality. Rather than being diminished, surrendering enhances your uniqueness.
C. S. Lewis observed, “The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become — because he made us. He invented all the different people that you and I were intended to be. It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.”