“I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.” God’s Decree. -Isaiah 55:8
When was the last time you were brought to your personal point of submission? We know we’re at that point when something is happening that we don’t think God has a hand in. My question for you is, did it happen? Then God allowed it.
Why is there pain and suffering in the world? Most would answer that question by reminding you that pain and suffering are in the world because evil is in the world. So, when you’re suffering, where is God?
Do you surround yourself with people who will build you up and tell you that God is furious about what is happening? Do you hold prayer vigils and pray against the thing that is breaking you down? You speak words that reject it and rebuke it. An entire group of spirituals and sensationalists are at your beck and call because they want to be part of the hunting group. They want to fire the death shot. They want the glory.
What if God has a purpose for tearing you down? What if your suffering is the only way you will question everything you thought you knew? What if your suffering had absolutely nothing to do with you? What if you are a pawn? What if God is using you and your life just to prove a point to his enemy?
Don’t we ask God for more of him and less of us? Maybe he’s answering your prayer by letting you decrease as you are being torn down.
Don’t we ask God to show us more of him? Maybe he’s answering your prayer by bringing you to a point where he doesn’t fit into your ‘god box’ any more.
Don’t we ask God to use us and tell him that we submit our lives to him? Are you willing to suffer or be a pawn with no personal gain to yourself? If not, then there are limits to your submission. At least you know it.
We are supposed to die to ourselves. That’s not a figure of speech. How else can we be used by him? What if God needs you to be held out to the public and scrutinized, spit on and gossiped about? Sometimes we need to get it really wrong in order for us to see our pride. Are you willing to be the doormat that people abuse just so they can, eventually, remember their sin against you and submit their pride to God? What about you? Where do you fit in?
One day when the angels came to report to God, Satan, who was the Designated Accuser, came along with them. God singled out Satan and said, “What have you been up to?” Satan answered God, “Going here and there, checking things out on earth.” God said to Satan, “Have you noticed my friend Job? There’s no one quite like him—honest and true to his word, totally devoted to God and hating evil.” Satan retorted, “So do you think Job does all that out of the sheer goodness of his heart? Why, no one ever had it so good! You pamper him like a pet, make sure nothing bad ever happens to him or his family or his possessions, bless everything he does—he can’t lose! “But what do you think would happen if you reached down and took away everything that is his? He’d curse you right to your face, that’s what.” God replied, “We’ll see. Go ahead—do what you want with all that is his. Just don’t hurt him.” -Job 1:6-12
Job suffered at the hands of Satan because God wanted to prove something to Satan. Satan didn’t ask about Job. God pointed him out. God pointed him out twice…
One day when the angels came to report to God, Satan also showed up. God singled out Satan, saying, “And what have you been up to?” Satan answered God, “Oh, going here and there, checking things out.” Then God said to Satan, “Have you noticed my friend Job? There’s no one quite like him, is there—honest and true to his word, totally devoted to God and hating evil? He still has a firm grip on his integrity! You tried to trick me into destroying him, but it didn’t work.” Satan answered, “A human would do anything to save his life. But what do you think would happen if you reached down and took away his health? He’d curse you to your face, that’s what.” God said, “All right. Go ahead—you can do what you like with him. But mind you, don’t kill him.” -Job 2:1-6
Job had no idea what was happening or why. He cursed the day he was born, but he never cursed God. Job’s friends assumed that he had some deep sin in his life.
Do you think it’s because he cares about your purity that he’s disciplining you, putting you on the spot? Hardly! It’s because you’re a first-class moral failure, because there’s no end to your sins. -Job 22:4-5
Sometimes your Christian friends can be the biggest influence on your denial of God’s magnitude. If Job had made God smaller, then he would have sinned. But because of Job’s absolute submission, he went through the seemingly meaningless mess of human suffering and never questioned God nor himself.
Job’s friends thought it was sin, Job said that God could do this to him even if he hadn’t sinned. Job’s wife told him to curse God, Job told her that God wasn’t limited to the good experiences, he’s also in the bad.
His wife said, “Still holding on to your precious integrity, are you? Curse God and be done with it!” He told her, “You’re talking like an empty-headed fool. We take the good days from God—why not also the bad days?” -Job 2:9-10
Sin is obvious when it’s blatant. Pride is sin in it’s best disguise. Pride makes God smaller. When God is decreased in our lives, then our obvious sins have more power, our suffering is rejected as being a result of sin and our experiences are sifted through the ‘God wants nothing but happiness and peace’ filter. God is in everything and it’s all for his glory, so when you reject these things you reject him. You have found your point of submission and you choose your idea of him rather than who he actually is.
‘…even if he killed me, I’d keep on hoping.’ -Job 13:15
We know we lack maturity when we have not moved past the egocentric disposition. The world does not revolve around us. If your faith is the type that can take the hit, and if you have let go of your own wants enough to embrace God’s, then there is the likely chance that he’ll use you to take a hit for the sake of someone else.
If you just want to serve God because of what you can get out of it, then you’re not serving God, you’re serving you and your idea of God. Reducing God in that way always leads to sin. If you think that God is a god of peace and happiness, then you will sin trying to maintain that peace and happiness. Submitting your life to God always brings you to a point of resignation and finding simple joy in the fact that God chose your life as a vessel to do something through.
Ask yourself this question, ‘What if this journey I’m on is a wild goose chase? What if I’m obeying God for nothing?’ Your point of submission is found when you answer this question, ‘What if you are?’
Well, what if you are?