Intimacy with God: laying it down
Over the last few days I’ve been wrestling for clarity as to how to respond to a particular situation. It’s a situation over which I have very little direct influence. My only real choice is how I respond to the decisions made by someone else in a matter that is very close to my heart. Lest anyone feel sorry for me and think that I am being unjustly treated, that is not the case. It’s just not my call.
We all live through these types of scenarios – someone else is making choices that are legitimately theirs to make, their choices will affect us directly, and we are not likely to be consulted. What is ours to decide is how we will respond. And when it comes right down to it, our choices are simple. Either we will draw near to God in faith and obedience, or rise up against Him in rebellion. This can take many forms of course, but fundamentally these are the only two paths open to us.
Today I went for a walk at lunch hour and as I walked, I listened over and over again to Julie Meyer‘s beautiful song Alabaster Box on my Sony Walkman. In particular, God used these words from the song to speak to my heart :
So take every song, every spoken word
All of my dance, all of my rhyme
I give it all to you
It’s my fragrant oil, it’s my costly perfume
I take my alabaster box and I break it open
As I walked and listened, I realized that while Julie’s song speaks of offering our abilities and gifts to God in an act of worship, to fully offer myself to Him I need to do the same with my hopes, dreams, and visions. The Holy Spirit was prompting me to lay down all the specific details of my agenda in this situation, and truly surrender it to him. He was not telling me that my desires were wrong or that my agenda was bad. Even so, in order to pray well (which is really the only choice open to me at the moment), I need to lay down every dream and desire, and truly yield it up to Him, trusting that He has a way forward for me. I also sensed that He was giving me a time period, by the end of which I would know the outcome. In the meantime I need to keep worshipping Him by letting go.
This is hardly a new insight, but it is a very important one. Christ-followers often say that we want to know God’s will in a situation, but much of the time the reality is that what we really want to know is whether He is going to do things our way. But surrendering the situation to Him means dying to the idea that God should do things according to our preferences, and embracing the truth that He really does have a better idea (Isaiah 55:8-9)
So I am going to continue to set my will to surrender this situation to God until my pathway becomes clear. I’m going to seek to apply the words of Paul in Philippians 4:4-7 :
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.