I Bet We Need To Address This, Don’t We?
Tony has occasionally mentioned a funny fictitious name for God based off the Hebrew names from the Old Testament. He calls Him “Jehovah Sneaky.” It is humorously used when God does something surprising to or with us.
Have you ever been in a conversation with the Lord, when all of a sudden He brings a personal insight to you? It often is something you were trying to ignore or perhaps were oblivious to. And before you know it, He is guiding you to give something up, change an attitude, embrace something difficult, learn a new way of doing or thinking about something. In your mind and heart, you were just having a nice conversation with Him, but in His mind and heart, He had a new level in your walk with Him that He wanted to bring you to.
That happened to me today, and when I realized what was happening and the direction our conversation was going, I said to Him “I bet we need to address this, don’t we?”
I think He smiled.
I like to envision myself running toward the things of God like Maria Von Trapp up on the mountain with her arms wide open…until those things of God require a level of participation that I was not prepared for. When that happens, the famous Chronicles of Narnia quote by C.S. Lewis comes to mind.
“’Safe?’ said Mr. Beaver…’Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.’”
How often my human nature, still after so many years of life in love with Jesus, is reluctant or even scared when the Lord starts speaking words of life that sound suspiciously like hard work. Or that could be painful.
In my humanity, I hesitate, drop my arms, and whisper to myself, “what is this going to cost me this time?” Not quite the appropriate response from someone who fully believes that God is for me, not against me.
Jesus talked to the large crowd that was following Him in Luke 14 about what the cost of discipleship would be. He said very plainly in verse 33 “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be My disciples” (NIV).
The mindset of a devoted disciple is that nothing is off limits to God—He can have it all. His methods of transforming His people are His prerogative, and our best response is grace empowered obedience.
I say “grace empowered” obedience because obedience by itself can be task oriented rather than worship inspired. Grace brings a supernatural ability to please God in anticipation of the joy He has planned for us. Jesus’ obedience to the will of His Father is our highest example of trusting that the joy set before us will be worth surrendering whatever is necessary.
I want to be like Jesus. There have been many times in my life where I have responded to Him in what felt like full abandon. One particular morning during prayer, I had an encounter with the Lord where I truly understood what it was to sell everything in order to buy the pearl of great price, as spoken of in Scripture.
His presence in that moment meant everything to me and my heart’s cry was “I will do whatever, go wherever, give up everything just to have what I’m experiencing right now.” I was tasting and seeing the goodness of God, and absolutely nothing but pleasing Him was on my mind.
Likely most of us have had those moments. How wonderful it would be to live every day from that place of surrender and obedience. I often contemplate what that would look like in my own life, complete with my own set of circumstances, personality, and giftings.
When the Lord speaks to us specifically about something to change, embrace, do or not do, will we address the issue with Him? Hide our face and pretend we did not hear Him? Try to interpret what He’s saying to us through our own preferences?
Or will we wait on Him in anticipation of the joy that will come from responding to His instruction to us, in full trust that what He will ask of us will bring us nearer to all our hearts have ever longed for.