Listen to this devotional:
Luke 11:2-4 – And [Jesus] said to them, "When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation." (ESV)
I have surrendered to temptation again: the temptation to wrest control of my life from God, to whom I have previously entrusted it. It is easily done — and, sadly, not for the last time. I hope I am getting better at giving Him permission to reign.
I ask, Why did I put my will before His, in aspects of my life?
The usual answer is pride and presumption: I am afraid of how God might counter my own desire with His divine "No" or "Yes"! Every bright idea, thing, or attitude, clutched in my hand, but not submitted first into His, lies awaiting an opportune moment, a tug to go deeper and cause harm. The more we thrash about resisting God's help, the deeper the unholy notion penetrates and the more it hurts. God is saddened by our folly.
As a Christian husband, father, son, and teacher, I believe I will be held to account for how I have conducted myself. As a young Christian I took control of my life — what a hero, chest puffed out!
What a Wally! +
Now, I hope I know better. God's will is first, so that His Holy Spirit can aid and encourage us in our lives, if we let Him. Every day is a new start with God, and anything held outside of God's purview will surely become perverted. We have a choice to make.
Let us offer up all our hopes and fears, life or death — all that may have ensnared us — willingly to God. I believe Jesus truly wants all the good, the bad, and the ugly, so He can redeem us, for this is why Jesus came.
It is only in submission to God that we find deliverance, encouragement, and a real freedom to grow and flourish.
Prayer: Lord, we long to be better disciples. Open our eyes to see whatever we are holding tightly in our hands that is not a part of Your desire for our lives. We give You permission to remove the fish hook of our wilfulness and sin. May we be brought once more into Your healing solace, because we ask it in the name of Jesus. Amen.
+ A "Wally" is an idiot.