Digging Deeper into Ourselves

This is the third part in the series. (part 1 and 2)

Last time we left starting to acknowledge the void left by the men in our society. That this lack of Godly leadership has left a burden upon the women to not only step up, but to strive towards perfection in their lives. I have yet to meet a mother who didn’t want the best for her children, or a girl whose heart didn’t desire the best for her friends. God designed everyone to strive for the best in all they do. But women weren’t to rule (see Isaiah 3:11-13, women ruling is a side effect of the cultures sin issues) rather to walk side by side with men. As men we have been entrusted with much, including looking out for the welfare of those in our company. So how do we do this, how do we be men of God to lead those entrusted to us?

The answer is short, but very difficult; To be dependant on God for everything. It’s so simple, so cliché that it almost seems pointless for me to keep going. Except that in over three years of trying, I am falling short of this in several areas of my life. So it isn’t simple, rather requires self-inspection and relinquished control of each area of our lives. My journey down this road started just over a year ago as I ventured into the realm of prayer for the first time. Desiring to understand the promises and for Christ to teach me how to pray that I would see results.

One of the early lessons of prayer is to pray specifically. Before the blind man approached Jesus in Jericho and he cried out for mercy from Him. When Christ heard his calling He turned to him and asked a very profound question, “”What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51). Specifically, what are you asking of me. God asks us the same question every time we come before him with any petition. He knows how and desires to bless us, but asks us so that we know where to look for the change. There are so many areas of our lives that are affected by a dependence on Christ. Each one needs to be address in such a way that we may see the answers come from Heaven, to know that it is our faith in God and His love that answered us.

One of the hardest things for me to let go of has been the notoriety I gained in skiing. Granted I worked hard to get everything I had, the growth we had experienced was testimony to the work that was put into everything. It was the affirmation, acceptance, feelings of accomplishment, setting out a future, recognition, and even the envy of others that was so great. Those are only a few of the things that fueled me and kept me going, striving to stay on the top of what I was doing. The very things that fueled that drive, were the same things that were keeping me from a deeper dependence upon Christ. I started to pray through my laundry list of underlying motives for working with skiing, asking God to be my affirmation and letting Him know how I love to be affirmed, lifting up my need for acceptance (a huge deal for a once suicidal teen) and trusting God to meet everyone one of my needs.

As I was doing this a strange thing happened, my need for that role of skiing in my life declined, and my need for Christ began to rise. I had resigned shortly into this whole process (though, mostly because I was going on be gone for the summer and wouldn’t be able to maintain my level of commitment) which, in hindsight, turned out to help me look at each of these areas of my life with less reservation. In the year to follow the realization that those other motives still find such comfort in the seen. I still catch myself desiring, and sometimes striving for, affirmation from those around me and am reminded to again depend upon Christ. Still noticing an internal gloat over hints of envy/jealousy from a peer or friend, not relying on God to be my self-esteem and confidence.

If you have never before looked at your motives for the things in your life that consume the most of your time, please do. It could be work, your relationships (dating/marriage and otherwise), hobbies, muses, and/or a number of other things. I will admit it is hard, it’s hard to write about, hard to bring before God but do not forget how much He loves you and desires even more for you. You have been called, you are foreknown if your trust rests in Christ and there is so much more for you… If you would just ask (the blind man was given sight with four words, “Rabbi I want to see”).

“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son” ~ Romans 8:29 (I’d encourage you to also read Romans 8:28-39)

Let God bless you,
~paul