Battling the Will of God
Have you ever done a dance with God, similar to a tug-of-war?
You grasp the rope because you believe who God is and what He's said is true. However, your flesh desperately wants to let the rope fly from your sweaty grip.
God only wants to pull you closer and for a myriad of reasons, you want to flee. Don't allow anyone to fool you, the Christian path is difficult. The Bible says AFTER you have suffered a while, Jesus will restore you (1 Peter 5:10). Battling the will of God is a heart issue.
What are we afraid to give up or turn down or even say yes to? What person, place, or thing are we allowing to distract us from direct instruction of Jesus.
1. a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else
2. extreme agitation of the mind or emotions
Deep inside my soul, a rebel child who's theme song is Born to be Wild exists. The ugly head rears when I've felt disappointed by God. A disappointment that wasn't even from God or caused by God, but by my own unrealistic expectations. An attitude of “ha, I'll show you” forms and cue theme music as it ushers in a distraction.
Distractions, for me, are deliberate. Their existence known, their presence often times welcomed. Through trail and error, I've unearthed my triggers and when old haunts knock at the door of my heart, I allow Jesus to open the door.
Sometimes walking out our faith can feel mundane and exhausting. Feelings exist and are real. Feelings need to be processed so they can be understood as to why they showed up in the first place. However, feelings aren't facts - they don't always tell the entire truth or are masking a deeper issue. Seeking out or unknowingly stumbling into a distraction is a direct reflection of our heart posture.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8-9, New International Version).
Satan only attacks what has value. When you're sold out for Jesus, seeking sanctification and His will... attacks will come. I implore you to dissect your heart and determine what your triggers are. What natural reaction do you have when loneliness, sadness, or disappointment wash over you? Do you run to a lover, pick up the phone to call a friend, have a drink?
I can say this with all honesty because I've walked it out, if it isn't Jesus...it's a distraction. Choosing Jesus over everything is the simplest and most difficult decision. Simple because He is good, faithful, provider, confidant, merciful, gracious, loving. Difficult because we become aware of our sin, relinquish control, and surrender.
If you're struggling with a distraction, something that is keeping you from the will of God on your life, hope and promise are still yours. I encourage you to confess to someone you trust, someone who will champion you. Repent, allow Jesus back into the driver's seat of your life and decisions. You must also give yourself grace. Do not believe the lie of the enemy when he tells you God cannot use you because of what you've done. You are worthy and loved by an all-knowing God. He still calls you and He still chooses you.
Paul encourages us:
“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.” (Philippians 3:12-16, The Message)
The Message (MSG). Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.
New International Version (NIV). Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.