Monday, May 26, 2008

Letting God lead instead of me

I've been on this kick lately where I want to take the reigns of my life and control them; that is, to the ministry God has called me to, as well as my entire life. Actually this desire pops up frequently. I often find myself wanting to manage the big dreams (aka vision) God has given me. I came across one of my life verses today in my devotions.

Proverbs 16:9 says,
A man's heart plans his way,
but the LORD determines his steps (ESV)
We plan the way we want to live,
but only God makes us able to live it. (The Message)
I find myself dreaming and making many plans, yet failing to seek God's will in the midst of it all. This verse from Proverbs brings me back to reality; that I can make all kinds of plans, but only God's will prevails. I can try to control my own life and frustrate myself in the process. Really what Jesus asks of me is, "deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Me." What I've been doing instead is nearly the opposite.
At the Whiteboard Sessions in D.C. this past week, Darrin Patrick spoke on idolatry being the root sin that all sin derives from. Idolatry is simply anything that is contrary to God and His will. We all have idols, whether we realize it or not. We all have someone or something that captures our heart and desires. What is it that we live for? What gives our lives passion and purpose?
This is true in my life as much as anyone else's. For the past three years I have been in love with the idea of being a church planter, of being the catalyst behind a new work in my city. Lately the Pod Coffee House has become my idol. I have become so consumed with the big dreams God has entrusted me with that I have lost focus on the "Dream Giver." I am finding that it is possible to idolize the very visions God gives us, to the point where we want to seize these divine opportunities and manage them, leaving God out of the picture, or on the sidelines ready to seek advice from when we need it.
If Jesus is not at the center of my life...If I am not passionately pursuing Him...If I am not speaking to (prayer) and hearing from Him daily (Bible) then I have slipped into idolatry, because if God is not in control of all of me, including my hopes, dreams and plans, then He cannot direct my steps. If, however, I surrender it all to Him daily, then the hopes, dreams and plans I have will be established by Him. I am then more like a satellite, open to receiving Divine signals from the Great Dream Giver.
I am finding that I cannot compartmentalize my life and allow God to control the portions that I allow Him to. He wants all of me or none of me. In Revelation He says we are to be "Hot or cold" and that He spit out those who are lukewarm. Me? I want to be red hot...on fire! That will not happen if Christ is not my Core.
The Core truth of The CORE Church of Troy is that Jesus Christ is the Core of everything we are and do.
Today I resolve to live out that truth. Please pray for me and keep me accountable!