Don’t you love when God hits you sideways with something He’s probably been trying to get through to you for a while and you finally get it?
I admit, I have to laugh. Because when I do get it, I can look back and see how long He’s been after me to learn something. I laugh because God knows I’m a dolt sometimes and loves me anyway! He’s so good to give us space to laugh at ourselves.
In Bible Study Fellowship this week we’re studying John 16 and one of the questions asks, “What circumstances in your life test your commitment to follow Jesus?” I thought and thought about this question because over the past 9 years the Lord has brought me to a place where I can no longer imagine not following Him.
So I considered my previous life … a time when I backslid … and answered with the situations that tested (and won over) my commitment to follow Jesus. Namely – success in my career (which gave me prestige and popularity), health (which wasn’t that good, but wasn’t bad enough to worry about), and finances (which were so that I was frivolous and spent buying possessions to fill up the ache in my heart).
As we answered the question in leader’s group on Saturday, I looked at the words on the page: career, health, finances …
The three were the world’s interpretation of success. I spent my time focusing on those things that were going to help me live the “good life.” I was doing good. I had everything I needed and then some. I … I … I … what I didn’t see was the gulf between God and I getting wider and wider until … I lost it all.
That’s when it hit me. I’d answered the question a couple of days prior but right in the middle of leader’s group I had an epiphany.
God had brought me to the end of myself.
Ten years ago I was ignoring God and doing my own thing – great career, decent health, super finances. But now …
Now I have no career, no health, and no finances!!!
Why do I sound so happy?
Because I’m closer to Jesus than I’ve ever been in my whole life! That alone fills me with so much hope and joy I’m busting at the seams. At the end of myself my thirst was quenched, my pain was comforted, and my sorrow turned to joy.
So no, nothing can get me to go back to the world’s system. I’m following Jesus as closely as I can and when I get a little ahead of Him … or perhaps lag too far behind … I know that He’ll pull me close to Him again.
Have you come to the end of yourself yet?