We as Christians are called to fulfill the plan that God has designed for our lives. To know that plan and dream that dream brings great joy and excitement yet also comes with its share of frustration and heartache. You may know the end result of God’s path for you, but the trails leading there sometimes seem non-existent.
Marriage often times feels the same way. We know the end result we want, but it feels like we’re fighting through a pathless jungle to get there.
I sometimes wrestle with trying to take control of my destiny. I want to be in charge of everything, especially when God doesn’t move as fast as I’d like (and my husband). I find that my biggest struggles appear when I get ahead of what God desires for me, whether it is in my ministry or in my marriage.
Although I see the goal line, the place God planned for me, I have had to learn (the hard way) to allow God to illuminate the paths for me. I have tried too many times to forge the way on my own - with great failure and, at one time, almost losing my marriage.
Romans 8:5-9 “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”
We like to think of sin as an unacceptable act like adultery or dishonesty or stealing - something tangible we can easily separate from because we are “Christians”. In the Bible, there are no “levels” of sin. It is all equal in God’s eyes. Sin is nothing more than choosing to live independently from God.
We can either do it God’s way or our own way. When we don’t follow His plan for our lives, or we try to lay those paths to our goal on our own, we are allowing our sinful nature to control us. You cannot please God by following your sinful nature.
One of the most difficult tasks of following God is patience. We live in a fast-paced, goal-oriented, instant-gratification world that has filtered into the church. When things aren’t happening fast enough, we want to find a way to hurry it along. We forget to sit back and wait for God. We do it on our own.
Joel Osteen had a great quote in one of his sermons. He said, “Don’t let a temporary feeling keep you from a permanent blessing.”
How many times has your impatience caused you to seek a path not initiated by God? (I hate to tell you how often that has happened to me.) Or maybe you blurted some hurtful words out to your spouse when your feelings were irrational (no room for a blessing there). If we react with our feelings we are certain to get out of God’s ideal plan for us. That includes the healthy marriage He desires for couples.
Control can be a good thing when applying it to yourself (especially your tongue.) When you begin to exercise control on others and on the will of God, though, nothing good can happen. Learn to ‘let go and let God’. Stop trying to do it your way.
There are only two ways to go – your way or Yaweh! ;)