Mark Affleck

Drawing a line through SELF

October 15, 2016
Spiritual Growth

Early in my walk with Christ I wanted to find an easy way to subordinate ME and my desire to play boss so I could promote God to be the CEO of my life. Something like, let’s say, simply drawing a line through the word SELF!
It didn’t take long to toss that nonsense aside and realize an “easy way” does not exist! So I got down on my knees to ask God for his answer. Here’s what happened.
God showed me that SELF is one of the greatest burdens we carry and impossible to manage. Even our best SELF clutches tightly to many of the fears that can defeat us as we battle worry, temptations, darkness, and our own confusing dispositions. Most importantly, SELF is a hindrance to our spiritual growth toward deeper intimacy with God.
When we rely on even a small part of our insistence on being our own boss, we are guaranteed to be locked away from the blessings that come from intimacy with God and his blessing of releasing through us a torrent of love for others. We’re ready to be fired as boss when we accept our weakness and the need to turn things over to the Ruler of heaven and earth.
Relying on our own power freezes us in place and thwarts any shot at living out our purpose for Christ and his Kingdom. That impediment leads to more inaction and the cycle never stops. How can we call on the power of God when there is no power left in our battery?
Our usefulness to God’s kingdom comes after we appoint God as the CEO of our life and give him the groans of our soul, fears, and darkest thoughts…and most majestic dreamscapes. Wisdom comes through repenting our predilection to follow our own precepts instead of God’s. When we do that, the Lord teaches us wisdom.
“I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.”  Proverbs 4:11
We’ll never blow up our SELF if we fall into the “meant to be” response to the circumstances of life thinking things like: “We are meant to do this,” or “We are meant to do that.” Meant-to-be thinking is not part of God’s plan for our lives. In fact, it is an insult to God because it says implicitly that we do not think he is capable to be in charge.
The truth resides on the flip side of that dynamic. God listens with incredible attention when we subordinate SELF. And he follows through!
God showered me with blessing after blessing when I subordinated SELF in favor of his control of my life—100% control. Surprisingly, it was not difficult to yield in obedience once I got into his rhythm through my daily quiet time. I was “sitting back” with supreme confidence that my God was in complete control. It was, and is, great!
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

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