Yesterday God got all up in my business. He does that sometimes, you know. He wants to do it all the time but I seldom allow Him that freedom. I have much to pray about and often (ok, almost always) think I know how things should turn out and what He needs to do. So right in the middle of all my asking (telling??) He managed to get a word in:
“What if it were up to you?”
How many times have I considered situations, people, ideas, etc, and proudly thought “If it were up to me…”, an opinion ready to be shared should anyone dare ask what I thought? But I must admit when He presented that question I had little to say.
I’ve been praying about some things for a long time. Big things, important things, the everyday, the mundane, and just plain annoying things. And I admit I’ve been less than patient in my waiting for answers. It was in the middle of my plea for help with one of those annoying things that He reminded me of this little thing He’s asked of me that I haven’t done. It seems so insignificant with all the many things going on in the world so I’ve procrastinated (my choice of words rather than call it what it is: disobedience). Then He said “Would you do this thing if it was the catalyst for your answer?” Uhhhh… Truth is, I don’t really want to do this thing He is asking of me. But neither do I want to have to deal with this annoying thing forever. And He’s leaving it up to me.
Like it or not, it makes sense to me. I can see why He is asking this of me. It’s a small thing that I understand could have a direct effect on the answer. I can see how He would leave it for me to decide.
But what if He said that to us about the big things, the brokenness of our world, the riots, the racism, the divisiveness?
Oh wait. He did.
If MY people, who are called by My name (that’s us, the believers), shall:
Humble themselves. This is big. And it’s the first step toward the answers we loudly cry for. Do we even know what it means to be humble anymore? To have a low estimation of our importance. This means laying down our prideful arrogance that thinks we can do anything worth anything without Him. The only opinion that matters is His.
Pray. We think we have this part down. Like me yesterday. But when I read this verse I see 2 things connected – praying and seeking His face. I believe our greatest prayers should be to know Him more, not for what we want Him to do or even the things He’s promised to do, but for Who He is. To pray for a deeper relationship with Him before anything, even if the world crumbles and falls around us. Because if I will really get to know Him I won’t be worried about the rest of the things. If I really get to know Him I will discover His heart for all those things and I will know how to then pray according to His will, not mine.
Turn from their wicked ways. We like to overlook this part. Or perhaps we think he switched from talking to us and is referring to the world of unbelievers. What are our wicked ways? Maybe like me, He’s asked you to do something, give something, say something, and you haven’t done it. Disobedience. It’s wicked. Maybe you’re wringing your hands in worry and fear for your own life, your children, your world, rather than resting in trust of Him. Disbelief. Did you know Paul called an unbelieving heart wicked? Are we willing to admit that we all have wicked ways we need to turn from?
Then. His heart is to love the world. His heart is to help us so that we can help others. But what if He’s waiting on us?
We want God to heal our land. The land in our homes. The land in our communities. The land in our country and we want to blame everyone else. But He’s given us, His people, a part. We have the opportunity to influence the healing we long for and it will cost us everything of ourselves.
If it were up to you, would you? Would you die to yourself in order that others may live in a world that can offer hope? Would you abandon yourself to a life of obedience in all things in order to see great things happen even when you won’t get any credit. These are the questions He’s asked me.
I’ve had to do a lot of repenting since yesterday. I’ve had to do a lot of changing my mind about how I’ll live out the rest of my days. I’ve remembered the longing I’ve had to one day hear those words “Well done, thy good and faithful servant”. I don’t want to trade the temporal for the eternal.
What if it were up to you?
Scripture reference: 2 Chronicles 7:14
“If it were up to me” was written by Kay Stinnett and first published on http://www.ourpassionatepurpose.com