Father Knows Best
The journey of every believer unto maturity, after being called by the sovereign Lord into relationship with Himself is a path of intense joy and sadness, victory and defeat, pain and exaltation. Although the Holy Spirit customizes each saint’s training regiment with the necessary discipline, defeat and encouragement towards the goal, there are touchstone experiences and epiphanies that are common to all who would follow Jesus.
One of the most profound transition points for all engaged in the process, formally called sanctification, (a fancy word for growing in grace to look more like Jesus) is the startling and strategic move from being committed to Jesus to being submitted to Him. Between these two words is a world of difference and life itself. It isn’t that committed people are not in the Kingdom, they are. But committed Christians have yet to yield to the only sanity of following Jesus Christ, giving Him the whole kit & caboodle to do with as He pleases. The Lord patiently waits for all His children to cry to Him for grace for this step.
This to be sure appears to be a scary thing, but it is the only sane thing and surely the only joyous thing, for the long haul. However for what ever reason, all of us tend to think we know what is best for our lives, and spend a great deal of time trying to manipulate and convince the King of the universe that the Heavenly Father doesn’t know best- we do! This move from being committed to submitted, like all spiritual growth is only possible by the abounding grace extended to His children by the Holy Spirit. God does know best. He made you and me: every hair, every joint, every personality quirk and toenail. He has our utmost good in His heart for us and longs to see His children walk in the good works which He has already prepared for us to walk in. But we are stubborn, so very stubborn.
Having sadly spent many decades as a committed Christian I offer this list of characteristics of committed Christians, and also submitted Christians. I openly admit and confess that I have not journeyed to the submitted side of the page permanently, but it is THE goal. Remaining in the place of submission is where Jesus has called us to be and where the sweetness and the goodness of the Lord is to be found. He helps us get there.
- Partner with God
- God is their co-pilot
- The goal is the all consuming end
- God is there to help them succeed
- Work before worship
- Their identity is in what they do
- Bend circumstances for their objectives
- Desire (secretly) to share in the glory
- Argue with God more
- Tend to live in frustration
- Do good things & good works
- Laugh less as life goes on
- Tend towards judging others
- Time with God is another thing to do
- Can run from the source for the task
- Rarely, if ever, enter God’s rest
- God is Boss
- God is the pilot, they don’t want the stick anymore
- Results are important, but equally so the process
- Success is being on God’s agenda, not our own
- Worship before and during work
- Their identity is hidden with God in Christ
- Yield to circumstances for the Lord’s objectives
- Know God shares His glory with no one
- Listen, then push, but behind the Lord’s blocking
- Argue with God less
- Live in peace
- Yields fruit that lasts into eternity
- Laugh more as life goes on
- By grace; grow in forgiving others, even enemies
- Time with God is life itself
- Abide! Abide! Abide!
- Lay down in green pastures with restored souls
Lord Jesus, grant me grace to submit to you today. Move this desire from my mind to my heart;
From knowing it is the smart thing to do- to wanting to offer my all for your kingdom, Amen.