Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Quit Striving

Are you frustrated with life? Maybe you are frustrated with your boss or a family member? Have you thought about the real reasons for your frustration?

I’m not a full blown Type A. But I used to get frustrated when I wasn’t getting things done on my to-do list. Or when others wouldn’t do what they needed to do so that I could accomplish my goals. Another major frustration was being interrupted. Children are very good at interrupting life in small and big ways.

Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life begins with a powerful phrase. The first sentence in chapter one reads “It’s not about me.”

All Christ followers know that, right? Our frustration is because we want the best for others or the best for God’s kingdom, isn’t it? I’ve learned when I’m frustrated, I’m not trusting God.

Luke 1 tells about the angel’s news of John the Baptist and Jesus. John’s father and Jesus’ mother had very different reactions.

The Greek words for “how” in Zachariah’s and Mary’s questions are not the same. (search Luke 1 using the NAV with Strong’s Numbers at http://www.crosswalk.com/ for more on the Greek)

Zach wanted to know the full game plan and proof that it was going to work before he believed. Mary was in awe and recognized that it couldn’t be in her power.

Zach is like many of us. We want to get the details from God so we will know what we are supposed to do. After all, God has gifted us to do things. Surely he will give us the game plan so that we can get started and get the task accomplished.

Can you imagine Zach at home after that? Headache? You can’t have a headache tonight. He can’t talk but he is doing everything he can to make this happen. He’s striving.

Mary left town immediately. She wasn’t thinking about her part in accomplishing this goal. She was anxious to get to someone who would understand God’s way of controlling the situation. She was living, not striving.

Our Type A personalities drive us to think life is about accomplishing tasks. Our only goal is to love God and love others. God gives us gifts to do that successfully. Most of the time, the circumstance is insignificant. The key is to remember that accomplishing God’s will for your life is not about you.

In John 14:6 “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”

Quit striving. Be excited about what God has revealed to you. Don’t try to take control of his goals. You can’t change people. You are not the way to God. You may know truth but you are not the truth. Enjoy the life of letting Jesus manifest all the truth he wants in exactly the way he desires. Our giftedness, personality, circumstances are God’s tools, not ours.

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the mission:
PROCLAIM the good news; HEAL the sick and oppressed; BRING JUSTICE
~ Luke 4:16-20

Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing (John 14:12)
~ Jesus 

Copyright 2005-2010 Lisa Biggs Crum
Email LisaCrum@Grow2Sow.org for reprint permission