Mark Affleck

Take Your Life’s LOOK-BACK Test Right Now

March 3, 2021
Spiritual Growth

By now you can see that this month’s spiritual imperative–RECOGNIZING OUR INADEQUACY without God–is mostly about not trying to be the boss of our life. About trusting God. About embracing HIS WILL over our own. That’s the neat and tidy summary. But it understates, if not ignores, the reality that trusting GOD’S WILL can be so frightening that defaulting to OUR WILL is an ever-present and enticing temptation.
Praying for the Lord’s will to be done is tough work. We’re more apt to pray for things to “go well” or that something uncomfortable “not happen.” Of course God wants those prayers. But he wants us to include surrendering to his will over our will.
“Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39
Make no mistake, having the faith to ask for God’s will to be done over ours is the challenge of a lifetime.
In fact, God’s plans for my life almost never match up with mine and, in some cases, veer off in a totally different direction.
To make this point come alive for me, I created a “LOOK BACK TEST.” Here’s a snapshot…
I continually look back 10 years in my life and consider what actually happened and then compare those results to my idealized view of what I wanted to happen. Almost always the Lord has at least something different in mind.
What’s the faith lesson?
We need to trust God and joyfully ditch our dreams if he has another plan (Jeremiah 29:11).
If we don’t, we will fixate on our “busted dream” concocted when we denied our INADEQUACY without God and allowed that to color, if not dictate, how we view the next 10 years of our life.
God will give us the power to ditch what we thought we wanted in favor of what he is asking of us now IF we acknowledge we are not boss and trust him.
Why ditch our idealized future dream and enter God’s gateway to his future plan for our life? To connect and then cement our heart to Christ.
I ask God to help me acknowledge my inadequacy without him so I can avoid forming a gap between my fear of negative events happening and his supernatural power to protect me and glorify him.
What does a look back over the last 10 years of your life reveal in terms of how your dreams turned out compared to what God’s plan produced?
“Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit. You don’t even know what your life tomorrow will be! You are like a puff of smoke, which appears for a moment and then disappears. What you should say is this: “If the Lord is willing, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15

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