He’s been working behind my back all along!

Have you ever been in a place where you’ve discovered that God has been working behind your back? It happened to me today and I couldn’t be more excited about it!

I’ve been praying about a young women discipleship program for the Junior and Senior High girls in my church for a few years now. At first, when God impressed the need upon my heart, I thought that I must be the woman for the job, so I prayed to that end. But I hoped that He would give me some help if I was to do it because I really didn’t have any experience with this kind of thing. I was grateful for the women who walked with me through my teenage years of spiritual development and I wanted to be able to pass on the legacy.

But, at least for the moment, this is a dream I was given to nurture in prayer and in faith and in discussions with other like-minded people, but not to develop. Instead, God has raised up a woman that He has been specially fitting for the job. A girl who will learn to follow God in new ways through this. And a leader who has a fine set of cohorts to get done the job that God has given them.

You see, God’s been showing me — and, oh, how I need it! — that I don’t need to be the one on whom everyone depends. I do not make people grow in godliness or delight in God’s grace in fresh ways; God does. I am just a little counterpart who gets the joy of being a part that is connected to the grand machine of God’s will.

I don’t figure any larger than anyone else, but I don’t need to because God uses everybody — and He uses us in the best ways when we work together on something larger than any one of us can see. We simply trust God that He can handle each of us and keep us in the place we need to be for His glory-machine to run well and be able to bless the whole world.

Salvation is first and foremost His delight, not mine

What is your idea of salvation? Is it more about you or Christ? I must confess that I most often live like its about me. I think about being saved and my mind turns to me. I don’t see it as a work that has ultimately been decided. I look around, and I expect more to have been accomplished, even if I haven’t seen it all yet. I don’t care how it has to be, I want it and right now! What worth is there in having a Savior if He doesn’t work for me? I wonder.

I know, this doesn’t sound very grace-full, but the dismal truth is that I am not grace-ful. After all, I am not the reason I was saved. At the littlest opportunity I walk away from seeking Him — I don’t remember that fact that I am nothing without Him for very long.

Again, let me remember that He is the reason that I was saved.

It was by His might.

It was by His fight.

It was by His delight.

Where is there any room for my glory in that? There is room for my responsibility and response, but there is no room for my own promotion campaign. He has done, and, in fact, is all.

never going deep enough

Do you ever think of God’s delight? When you are sitting around with nothing of any depth occupying your mind, do you contemplate the things that God delights in? If you do not, then it is no surprise that you grow bored easily and find great excitement to be impossible in simple moments. If you did, you would never know the baseness of these things we so ignorantly call normal.

It is not normal to be empty and then find nothing to fill ourselves. Is it so contrary to our natures for us to know of this God whose testimony is love, and not look there when the luster of our soul is worn thin by the world.

How can we race around with dull minds and sit about with frantic minds? We were not meant to survive on so little. We need more than stimulation, we need to immerse ourselves so deeply that we lose sight and perception of the meaningless drivel that we naturally default to.

We have minds, and hearts and spirits and bodies so distinguished by God and designed for Him that we are actually committing the greatest offense against ourselves to live in any way contrary to that.

Yes, this is about disappointing God, but do we realize that He is still disappointed when we deprive ourselves of what He always planned to have? Do we think so little of God that we assume He does not know us so well and love us so carefully that He would miss such a thing as whether we enjoy the meaning of our very existence. Yes, I think we do, and how much more a shame it is because He is nothing like the One we imagine.

It is not that we do not spend enough time thinking, it is that we do not think rightly. I could spend an entire day thinking about

something I don’t want to do,

something I’m afraid of,

something I can’t enjoy today,

something I wish I could change,

something that may never happen as I dream it. What a waste!

I could spend every day of the rest of my life thinking of

the highest possible thing,

the least remote concepts, and

the most regenerating realities that may possibly be known to man.

Is the choice really that hard? Is God and His ways so raw in their composition that they are uninteresting, or so familiar in their presentation that they are detestable? Have we gotten so disillusioned by the wrapping paper, that we forget that there are still new and different gifts inside each parcel? Has Christmas morning’s greatest occupation grown dull because we have grown dull?

We are so obsessed with manufactured beauty constantly advertised to us that we believe beauty does not exist unless it is freely exposed. What about the hidden nuances of all the things in our world that know nothing about. We pass by treasures in favor of trinkets because we never truly see what comes before our eyes.

So what are some of the things that we can set our minds and hearts on? A good place — in fact, the best place I can think of — to start is God. We must look at God to learn who He is according to the specific and highly unique substance of His heart. We hear these terms all the time, but what does God mean when He describes Himself as holy, unchanging, loving, and full of mercy. We cannot expect to have a corner on any of these things simply by reading its definition or memorizing verses that house its description. Let’s invite God to lead the introduction for us. Let’s go beyond merely hearing, merely seeing to knowing and believing.

Then the knowledge of God and His ways would arrest us with conviction, such that His delights would supernaturally take over and agitate our hearts. And by all this we would be moved toward more love for the One from whom every enjoyable thing does spring.