Phew. No nasty emails after the last blog. Leftovers from when I was a youth pastor…AHEM. I’m much more refined now. It’s interesting watching different age groups deal with the issues of independence and pride. Children go from helplessness to rampaging terrors. Teens are “ready” for adulthood at 12. College students know it all. 20-30 somethings want to conquer the world. 40 somethings start to embrace reality. 50-60 somethings want to know that their youth mattered. 70-80 somethings pine for their youth and resist assistance. UGH. We never truly experience peace based on God’s reassuring promises.
From day 1, we’re already trying to scheme and devise plans to have it our way, to maintain control, and achieve on our own strength. This was the original problem. Adam and Eve had everything. Yet they wanted more. Enter the problem of SIN. God tried to offer a solution through different guidelines. His people abused them. He came up with the ultimate solution by offering His Son to pay the penalty for our mistakes and failures. We still abuse that. What on earth people? Yes, I include myself in that miserable lot.
Let’s get this through our heads: God knows best. Sure he does. We believe that, right? Then why do we keep screwing up? We see the pattern here in Proverbs: “We can gather our thoughts, BUT the LORD gives the right answer. We can make our plans, BUT the LORD determines our steps” (16:1, 9).
At some point in our lives, we realize that things aren’t going as planned. While we might experience success, there is still a feeling of emptiness deep down inside. We try self help-books, being charitable, even becoming religious. All these things we come up with are still the creation of humans. We will always fail. I tried to come to God on my terms: by being a good person. The problem is, I will never be good enough because my righteousness falls way short.
BUT, God gives us the right answer. Despite our greatest efforts, His BUT is quite intrusive and obtrusive. It literally gets in the way of our foolishness. His way means saying no to ourselves and yes to Him. It comes through accepting His plan and facing it. It comes through learning to obey Christ and adhere to His standard. No, it doesn’t make me a robot and rob me of what I want. On the contrary, it frees me to be who I was created to be, guilt free and at peace. But after years of independence and wrong thinking, I need to follow His guidelines so I can process life properly.
People question why I didn’t become a lawyer? I don’t think it’s bad to be a lawyer and I don’t think it’s bad to be affluent. That was my dream and I believed it would bring me fulfillment. In my life, a career in law would have been wrong. God’s BUT got in the way again. He already knew that being successful in the world’s eyes would have been my downfall. The ambition, achievements, and accolades would have edged out my relationship with Christ. Gaining everything the world has to offer doesn’t even come close to what I gain by living for Him. It would have been a miserable life for me because I would have given up on God. Other people might be able to handle both but I can’t.
But God knew that.