If someone told you that they wanted to be strong and ripped like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but they weren’t going to hit the gym, ate doughnuts every morning, and had their own strength training routine… what would you say to them?
“Good plan – I wish you the best!”
“Sounds smart – I bet you’ll meet your goals!”
“That is a terrible idea, and it most certainly won’t work for you!”
So often, we pass by opportunities to speak truth-in-love because we are afraid of hurting feelings, or we too are deceived about what the truth is!
Of course you’d tell your friend (if you were honest) that their approach will certainly not result in their desired outcome, right? And I fear that many of us approach the promises of God the same way. We want “everything to work together for good”, and forget that it is predicated on whether or not we actually are “loving God.” We want “what we ask for”, but we don’t bother to seek “His will”, or we “doubt”, or we don’t “keep seeking, keep asking, or keep knocking.”
If we are honest, most of us want the power of God without submitting to the processes of God! It’s as short sighted as wanting to be as strong as Arnold Schwarzenegger without a life committed to eating right and working out daily – making sacrifices for the desired destiny in sight.
How often do we get upset because our spirit man is not as in shape as we feel like we should be, when all the while, we are eating fast food, skipping workout sessions, and ignoring our Father’s advice?
If we are honest, most of us want the power of God without submitting to the processes of God!
Let’s stop lying to ourselves, take an honest assessment of where we are at, and repent for being lazy about our pursuit of Holiness and ask the Helper Holy Spirit for grace to run!
A few healthy assessment questions to ask yourself… and focus on 1 or 2 to grow in this week or this month!
1. How am I sacrificing for Christ’s sake?
2. How am I being extravagant in my love for Him?
3. Am I serving others?
4. What am I starving myself from that is on the world’s menu?
5. How much prayer time do I spend seeking the Lord each day?
6. When am I inconveniencing myself for the sake of the pursuit of Christ?
When we start from an understanding that there is a process that God wants to take us through, and we are humbly submitted to His wisdom on the journey, then we will not be so easily deceived by insta-Christian messaging. God is a God of the process, and I believe He is actually more concerned with our process than the product.
Because if we submit to the process, there is a certain result. If we pursue the ‘result’ or the ‘promised product’ as our goal, then we can often have contempt for the process and try to short circuit our way to the finish line.
If we really understand God’s love for us, then we will fully submit to His processes. And His processes promise an eternal reward, and FREEDOM here on earth. He didn’t set you free for you to wander in the wilderness… He set you free for the purpose of experiencing FREEDOM on ‘the other side of the Jordan.’
Are you embracing His process?
If you have been convicted of ‘desiring His power without being submitted to His process’, then your next step is obvious; ‘Repent and return to the Lord, that times of refreshing may come from His presence.’ (Acts 3:19 / Acts 17:30)
(And yes, there is an spirit man that the Lord wants to shape, mold, and train in you that is way more powerful, effective, and kingdom-advancing than any body builder parable could compare with! But that requires “by the Holy Spirit, to put to death the misdeeds of the flesh (Romans 8:13).” Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart. The most dangerous person in the world is the one who is fully obedient and submitted to the Lord!)