So how does God accomplish the answer to our hungry prayers? How does He ensure that we gain the wisdom as He receives the glory? In precise fashion He works in a way that purposely reduces us and, with equal purpose, magnifies Himself. It is here that we are tempted to forget all that we previously asked for. We secretly long for His magnification without our reduction.
These are days wherein God is pulling out the blade and whittling me down a bit. The details are not relevant but it is unmistakable for me: God is testing my faithfulness. I purposely choose the word “faithfulness” in lieu of the word “faith”. He is not inspecting so much what I believe (my faith) as He is what I will do with what I believe (my faithfulness). I sense so strongly my limitations and obstacles and how they seem incompatible with my longings for God’s greatness in my life. I hunger to serve in ways that have no outlets. The desire for people in my care to grow and deepen and bear fruit is sometimes quenched as I watch some of them lilt, dry-up, crumble and quit. What do we think when our eyes behold things that seem opposite of what we have requested of God? I will quote Mick McDowell, the chairman of Meadow’s deacons, who has served the same church for over forty years through the best and worst of times. His answer to the concerns I’ve mentioned above was quite simply, “Jeff…let God be God.” As God, He gets to do what He wants and it is always good. The wrestling spirit in us need never wonder whether it is grappling with some defect in the Almighty; no, the trouble is within us and this awareness is part of God’s determination to make us small enough for Him to use.
When frustrations and fears tempt to you to do something that contradicts the biblical principle of you being decreased while Christ is increased…you should slow down and not do anything. Some of us are so hardwired for doing that we cannot bear the thought of things moving closer to the precipice. We want to intervene, the handle, to manage and to own the moment, the decision, the battle and the outcome. We would rather do anything than sit idly by and wait for God to be God. Quite honestly, we find ourselves fearful of God’s methods at times and pridefully believe we can bring about a better result. Yet, when waters churn, boats fill and thunder rolls, we would do well to remember that we once prayed for God to get us out of the way so that He would get the glory. Maybe you can pray that for me. Perhaps you might pray it for yourself. It is certainly more necessary than the casual thinker might note. God’s gaining of the glory in your life is the sole purpose for which He has left you here. Let us ensure we don’t replace that with our own desire for easy, calm waters.
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