I like to make my own decisions about my life like where I live, how I spend my time, how I make a living, etc. I’m an independent sort and I pretty much want to do what I want to do when I want to do it….. except for this one thing.
By submitting my life to God as a follower of Jesus Christ, I don’t really get to choose. I can of course, choose when I follow or if I want to go where He leads but then what would be the point of following?
We only follow the ones we trust. And because I’ve chosen to follow, chosen to submit and admit He knows better than I do, I don’t always know where we’re headed, He and I. Kind of like Abraham.
When God called Abraham He told him this:
“Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you…” Genesis 12:1
“…to a land that I will show you.” He doesn’t always tell us but He’ll show us as we go with Him.
Because in the going is the showing.
It takes a willingness to go, a trust and simplicity to simply follow. God had given Abraham big promises in His call:
“I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great and you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you and I will curse him who curses you. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:23
So at age 75 Abram left everything he knew and followed God into the unknown. And he had absolutely no idea where he was headed. But it wasn’t just about Abraham. God, as always, had a bigger picture in mind. In fact, in Abrahams story, it was the entire world.
When we’re willing to let God help Himself to our lives, there’s no telling where we’ll ultimately end up. It can be a scary place, the place in-between, the space between the going and the showing. It’s in this place where we learn to trust and I won’t kid you, it’s not an easy place, not at all.
He will direct us for His purposes and sometimes we’ll be required to change direction. The thing we have to decide is just how much of our lives we’re willing to let Him have because it’s not always about us. Here’s how I know this is true.
When my husband and I got married our plan was to have a big family but God had an entirely different plan for us. We had one child, our daughter Francesca, and then for years we battled miscarriage, infertility and three failed adoption attempts. You see, God called us to be the parents of an only child in spite of our desire for more because God had something bigger in view than our happiness.
He gave us a daughter with a world class gift in music because part of His purpose was to touch a generation through her ministry. God is decades ahead in His thinking because He sees the end from the beginning. We don’t and it’s easy to get hung up because we haven’t got His perspective. That’s where the trust part comes in!
He enabled us to give her our full attention and resources, to carefully guide her life and prepare her for the future God had in mind for her. Which is not to imply He can’t do the same if you have a house-full of children. It’s just how He did it with us because He knows my husband and me better than we know ourselves. We both have extensive backgrounds in the arts which helped us guide her in the early days. Maybe He knew we would’ve been too distracted and stretched if we’d had other children. God only knows because He knows us.
I wasn’t happy about this at all. It took me quite awhile to see just what His purpose was in all of it. I tell the story of my infertility struggles here. Eventually, I made peace with God and decided to let Him help Himself to my life. He didn’t tell me where He was taking me but as I submitted He showed me.
In my going was His showing.
And the fruit has been good. Many have come to know Christ through Francesca’s ministry and thousands of hearts have been encouraged and blessed by her music. And my husband and I have learned to trust even when it makes no sense. And to follow wherever He leads us.
We might not always like the path we’re on but He’s faithful to remind us there’s a bigger picture. If we give God permission to help Himself to our lives there will be fruit.
Fruit that remains.
What are you struggling with right now? Does God have permission to help Himself to your life? It’s my honor to pray for you.