Probably the overwhelming struggle of the Christian life boils down to those five words—my way or His way.
Recently I read where a pastor was counseling a godly young lady who put the struggle very wisely. She was wrestling to open her heart to new possibilities that God was bringing into her life. She was so fixed on her way for so long, she discovered that her heart had become closed to God leading into any other options.
Here’s how she put it: “The struggle is that my heart is closed to other options because it is so fixed upon the one I wanted… even though God is closing that door.”
Sometimes I see people having a choice to make between something that is right and something that is wrong. It is a blessing to watch people choose God's right way; in contrast, it is very sad to see when they choose the wrong way. What makes this battle even harder? The fact that your way and His way may both be “good options.” Our decision struggles and personal will struggles are usually not a battle between good and bad options, but rather between two great options! So often, we get fixed on our will, believing that it’s “good” therefore it’s God’s.
We impose our own “good” will upon Him rather than surrendering to His good will.
The problem comes when God interrupts the script, calls us to set aside our “good” will and surrender to His. Now that’s painful. That’s often grueling. (Think: Abraham climbing Mount Moriah with his only son…)
“Wait, God… but my way is good! My way is spiritual! My way is better, even for YOU!” That’s what we want to say, perhaps even with tears.
(How silly we are to think that our finite minds can challenge the great infinite heart of God!)
But then He says, “Let the Lord do that which is good in His sight.” (1 Chron. 19:13) In other words, “Let me do what I want to do, what is good to me, whether you see the good or not.” My definition of “good” may not always match up with God’s. Bummer!
It’s very painful to let go of what is “good in my sight” to grasp what is “good in His sight.” Especially, when I can’t see what He sees. It’s easier to grasp my good will because it’s what I can see. His good will is usually an invitation to venture into the unknown. And that’s scary.
In the end, no matter how my human calculations conclude that my will is good, God’s version of good is always best.
Be careful about boxing yourself in to your own good plan. God has a way of interrupting our good plans with a little thing we would call His eternal purpose.
And we certainly wouldn’t want to be inconvenienced by that! Would we?
A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
(adapted and personalized)