*blows away dust and cobwebs*
Testing, testing, 1, 2…is this thing still on? Yeah? Alright, then, let’s talk. I’ve got some explaining to do. I know I’ve been MIA, but life has been life-ing, y’all. I’ve been jumping over hurdles and dodging curveballs again, and I put writing on the back burner. I pushed this blog to the back of my mind because I thought I had more important things to tend to. While the things I directed my attention to during my hiatus were important, they were no excuse for me to continue to neglect my purpose.
I was in survival mode for the last three years (that’s a whole different suitcase of a story that’s too big to be unpacked right now). While I was in the wilderness, I prayed specific prayers. And God answered those prayers…but in my not-at-all-humble opinion, the miracle He chose to give me was not big enough. I said, “Thanks, God, You finally brought me out of that…but I know You can do better than this. I’ve seen You do it. I followed Your instructions, right?”
(Mind you, I didn’t take the necessary pause after this question to hear His answer, because I knew that I’d held up my end of the bargain. At this point, it wasn’t a conversation, it was a monologue—because in my mind, I needed to tell Him what was up.)
So I said, “Look, God, I followed your instructions to a ‘T.’ I went where I thought You told me to go and did what I thought You wanted me to do. I feel like I deserve more than this! I did my due diligence, now what’s in it for me? I prayed, I fasted, I cried out to You! I begged You for a specific breakthrough over and over again! *scoffs* I HUMBLED MYSELF! And this is the reward I get? Again, thank You, but it’s not enough.”
That was the prayer I prayed Monday night. Tuesday morning, I repented when I discovered the root of my sin: Self-righteousness. Who did I think I was to try to bargain with God? What made me think that I “deserved” anything more than the ultimate sacrifice He made for me on the cross? How could I have the audacity to demand more than the unmerited mercies He gives me every morning? My focus was on me and not He. Scroll back up and count how many times I used the words “I,” “me,” and “my” in that tirade (they’re italicized on purpose). When I stopped to think about it, I realized that somewhere along the way, I went from doing things for God to doing things for myself and putting His name on them. Spoiler alert: Just because we attach His name to something doesn’t mean we have His stamp of approval! God will co-sign your endeavors when you sign your heart over to Him.
In my selfishness, I’d lost sight of the fact that I will never be able to do as much for God as He has already done for me. I was bitter and ungrateful, essentially using my prayer time to give Him a piece of my mind. That’s not how prayer works at all. Having known Him for 21 of my 27 years, I knew I was ALL the way out of line. I had to check myself (and more importantly, HE had to check me) before I wrecked myself.
Today is Wednesday, and I’m still working through this because I really do want more than what I currently have. We all do. The desire for more is human nature, but we need to check our motives. God’s glory should be our top priority. His love for us is unconditional, so who are we to put conditions on what we do for His Kingdom? Love is give and take, and He gave us MORE than enough at Calvary. The least we can give Him in return is obedience. We should answer His call and follow His instructions even if we never see an earthly return on our investment. Our ultimate reward is eternal life.
So, as I continue to pray for elevation in my life and in my purpose, I’ll make a conscious effort to be genuinely thankful that I’m not where I used to be. I’ll constantly evaluate my “why” and open up my heart to Him so He can align my desires with His will. There’s no need to tell Him what those desires are, either, because He’s the One who gave me the desires in the first place.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you [and approved of you as My chosen instrument], And before you were born I consecrated you [to Myself as My own]; I have appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5, AMP)
Unfortunately, I became full of myself. And you know what they say about being full of yourself: If you’re full of yourself, God can’t fill you. I want Him to fill me again. If I’m going to fulfill my assignment as His chosen instrument, I can’t tell Him what notes to play. He doesn’t need my help, anyway. He orchestrates everything perfectly in His timing.
I usually write things after I’ve gone through them and learned my lesson, but this time I’m writing about it in the moment, because I want others to see that God meets us where we are. He met me yesterday in spite of my self-righteousness, my frustration, my pride, and my ego. I’m grateful that even after I’ve treated Him like a genie in a bottle, He still loves me and calls me His own. And if He’s gracious enough to meet me in the midst of all my mess, He’ll meet you in yours, too. That’s the kind of Father He is.