I have issues. Lots of them. And here’s the thing about issues: the more I surrender to God, the more of them I notice. And here’s the thing about God: the more I surrender to God, the more He makes sure I notice.
When I was young, and young in my walk, I would occasionally stand on ceremony that “I will never…!”
“I will never be a teacher” (a regular topic because most of my friends wanted to be teachers).
“I will never have kids” (a regular topic because most of my friends somehow knew exactly how many kids they would have, the gender and birth order of each, and had named them all).
“I will never live in the desert” (not a regular topic, but an obvious and very reasonable assertion for a mountain kid!).
As I have matured in my walk with Christ, I have come to the conclusion that the instant my lips project the words “I will never”, God accepts the challenge. I’m reasonably sure that He considers those words to be the outward confession of ugly issues that must be exposed and ridded in order for my heart to be wholly His.
And so the journey of sanctification begins.
God wants my heart above all else. When it’s barred up and entrenched in strongholds of arrogance, selfishness, greed, jealousy, stubbornness, defiance, anger, intolerance, bitterness, unforgiveness, conceit, vanity, laziness, strife, fear, insecurity, control, or any other ugly, Godless thing, there is no room for God.
When I asserted that I would never be a teacher, really what is was saying was: I am destined for greater and more sophisticated importance than that. I was standing firm on a stronghold of arrogance.
When I proclaimed I would never have kids, my selfishness was rearing its debilitating head; I couldn’t imagine sacrificing my wants and desires for anyone else.
When I adamantly protested I would never live in the desert I was stubbornly protecting my personal preferences and comfort zones. There was no way I would agree to live in such a hostile environment where I couldn’t enjoy life easily and according to my whims.
These things created a haven for sin that kept me separated from God. He was, and is, very serious about dismantling these strongholds (Gal.5:1) so He can have my heart.
I once heard a pastor say that God’s love language is obedience. The more I read His word, the more I believe this is true. He asks repeatedly for our hearts to be obedient to Him.
That’s the trouble with “I will never”. Even if the actual words don’t ever escape our lips, we can still have attitudes, behaviors, or lifestyles that manifest “I will never”. They are disobedient. They tell God no.
God fixed my “I will never” issue.
He plucked me out of a job with a huge corporation and deposited me into a third and fourth grade classroom one week before the school year began. I taught little kids in public school for 7 years.
I have two kids and I have stayed at home with them for 13 years. I homeschool them both.
I have lived in the southern Arizona desert for almost 11 years. That’s a lot of summers. That’s a lot of hot. That’s a lot of uncomfortable for a mountain kid.
I have had several other “I will never” thoughts and mindsets over the years, and God has graciously and patiently facilitated ways for me to surrender those. I have finally learned. God has captured my heart, and I do not want to tell him no.
Now I want my attitudes, behaviors and lifestyle to say “Here am I, Lord. Send me.” (Is.6:8) I make a point to project those words to my God and my King. Not so much because He needs to hear them, but because my heart needs to hear them.
What words are being projected from your lips? Are your attitudes, behaviors and lifestyle telling God yes or no?
Yes is the only answer! Amen! Let’s Go!
#amenletsgo #hereami #sendme #yeslord