Equals what? Hmmmm.
Well, for one, when I’m obedient to the Lord I feel the inexpressible joy that only comes through the surrendering of my will, plans, desires, hopes, dreams, etc. to Him, and embracing HIS will, whatever that may be and wherever it may lead. Even though it might seem to be a ‘blind’ surrender, because I have no clue where it will take me, I can be one hundred percent assured that He has it all planned out to the very last detail and within that knowledge, I can feel totally secure. Why? Because He said it in His Word and if He said it, then it’s true, whether I choose to believe it or not. My lack of believing His Word does not invalidate His Eternal Truth.
Easier said than done, especially if we are not fully convinced that God is indeed Sovereign, is in absolute control of this world He created, and has His hand upon events – and His creation - which includes us. He doesn’t overlook anything or anyone. And here is where it gets sticky for those who struggle and are hounded by doubts and fears.
Isn’t the real question this? “If THIS is God’s will, why is there so often such a struggle, so many obstacles to overcome, and why do I keep getting beat up when all I’m doing is simply trying to do what I sense He wants me to do in the first place?” And that is a legitimate question.
My own past experience tells me that I spent more time focusing on the question than the answer. The ‘whys’ of life kept me focused on myself and I developed such tunnel vision there wasn’t much room for anything else, except doubts, fears, insecurities and imaginary circumstances that didn’t exist let alone come to pass. But they sure did consume my time and energy, mentally, physically, and emotionally, while draining me spiritually in the process. Results? Joy, peace and the sense of security were in short supply.
The turnaround for me came when I realized I had to settle the question once and for all: ‘Is God truly Sovereign, no not?’ Was He actually in control of all things and did He indeed have an individual, personalized plan and purpose for my life? And if He did, was I willing to trust that plan, regardless of where it would lead or what it would cost me?
Now, that’s a scary decision, and yet, should it be? If I am completely convinced that I am so loved that Christ would have come to earth to die for me even if I had been the only human occupant on earth, would I not have an incredible sense of value and worth? And, since our Lord did only what God, His and our Father, wanted Him to do, then we can trust that God does care and is as interested in us as our Savior.
For those, including myself, who had no earthly role model of a father who cared, let alone loved us, it is very difficult to imagine God as a ‘Father.’ And yet, He not only cares about every aspect of our life, but does so to such an immeasurable degree, that He sent His own Son to bridge the gap between us so we could have a personal relationship with Him here in this life. That’s mind boggling to me. That says to me that I am important and that I can trust Him with my entire life.
Is this a one-time decision and then everything’s easy from then on? It hasn’t worked that way for me. I have countless opportunities to go back to the basics to review what I truly believe and that is: “Is God in control of this situation or not? Did He know this was going to happen or not?” If I really do believe that everything that happens to me had to pass His approval, then I can feel secure. In spite of how tragic or overwhelming it may appear, if He allowed it, then there has to be something He wants to accomplish in and through it in my life that will not only be for my best, but will ultimately bring glory and honor back to Himself.
I don’t like all these ‘opportunities’ that come my way, but that is irrelevant. My opinion doesn’t count here. What does count is my embracing the will of God for His own unknown, specific will and plan. Do I trust Him enough to feel secure in His plan and love anyway, in spite of how things may appear to me? Most often it is a conscious choosing to trust Him, anyway! Just because and in spite of circumstances! Just because I believe He is Who He says He is, and I believe His Word is Truth and that He is faithful to fulfill His Word in my life.
He is true to His character. He can only be Who He is. And that is faithful, true, pure, holy, righteous, loving, just, all knowing, and perfect. He works relentlessly in our lives to draw us into a closer, deeper, richer relationship with Himself. That vertical relationship brings fruit into His Kingdom as we live out our daily lives.
As a perfect Father and unlike earthly fathers, He doesn’t let us get away with anything that would prevent us from becoming more like Him. Every situation we face is designed to mold, make, and shape us more into His image.