I saw something the other day . . . . The kindness and beauty behind the gift given us found in the Holy Bible. What did the thief on the cross have when he got saved? He didn't have that and obviously didn't need that . . . . He recognized the Lord and submitted to Him. He believed and that was enough. All the theology, the history, the doctrine . . . the proverbs . . . the details . . . of what's gone on here . . . he did not know.
How fortunate we are. Not only do we have Jesus in Whom we can believe . . . but for added benefit God has provided words, information we can read to learn and enjoy about His character, His ways . . . the history of our race and His workings in and through our race . . . .
Some would-be followers make the mistake of worshipping knowledge (the first sin, led by unbelief, by the way) . . . becoming experts and famous, prosperous professors in The Word, all the while missing and skipping over the foundation and purpose of our being . . . which is relationship with the Word.
Seeing into this at the time, I wrote some quick notes: "Dying to self fully is required--give up. We can go off the rails wanting experience and ie., doctrinal understanding and (even) have those and yet not be submitted. Above all He wants us step by step in His will."
How to be "in His will"?
You've really got to be out of the way! It is dangerous and folly, for instance to be wanting to do more, do something bigger for God . . . and embark on that . . . when you actually haven't been Called to do so. Oftentimes . . . it is just another ego trip, cloaked in the false garments of sanctity. "I am doing this for the Lord!" . . . one says and one that may even be out in the "mission field" . . . or starting up a big project or this or that "outreach". The idea occurred . . . the person was "antsy" . . . feeling unfulfilled, inconsequential, useless . . . and a desire foments to "make something happen" . . . and off they go to "make some waves" . . . . But it could be nothing more than another, better disguised adventure in self seeking, self expression, self fulfillment . . . . God DOES call, and then you must go, indeed. But more often than not it happens that He really just wants you right where you are, doing "small" things. He knows your heart and all of our longings to feel important and useful . . . but learning to hear and know His will . . . is found in that holy activity known as "waiting on the Lord." Step by step He leads . . . and holding quiet and patiently observing and listening and learning . . . with the nervous and roaming self set aside . . . so that all-in-all you genuinely and reverently abide and have a living relationship (with Him) is (perhaps infinitely) more valuable--critical--than running to and fro making lots of noise . . . "making a scene" . . . but still operating from basically self-centered motives . . . .
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight . . . .
The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they do not know what makes them stumble.
We look to rules . . . laws . . . strictures to latch upon . . . so that we can get back to ourselves and our ongoing rebellion. Whereas we are generally called to remain in a submissive state, watching, speaking, listening--interacting, step-by-step . . . with the living Spirit. But we want to avoid that kind of attention and presence, so we look for a group to tell us what to do . . . with their sets of expectations, guidelines . . . . When the group gives us praise for following the policies and directives (as per "religion") we lie to ourselves that this enough and that this counts for attempting righteousness and pleasing God. Meanwhile, all it is is another way to avoid our servanthood, our needed submissiveness . . . .
Here is another thing . . . .
We pray . . . ask for things . . . . Why don't we get what we want? Why is it maybe so long delayed even if we do, to the point of "not really mattering anymore"?
When you ask for something . . . for yourself . . . from God . . . but you are not yet really "in His will"--as in, you are pretty much still a fraud and a phony in terms of your sincere submission and death to self-- . . . and . . . if He WERE to answer and give you what you asked for in that state . . . the grave danger is that you will think you are being rewarded. Going forward . . . you will continue in disobedience . . . entering a faster and tighter delusion.
It is not a blessing to get what you want . . . when you are actually not submitted, obedient, "dead to self" . . . which few of us are. It is a CURSE! Praise God that He withholds our selfish demands, or otherwise we will grow in vanity and pride and wind up further and further away from His HOLY, SPIRITUAL providence . . . . If we are "rewarded" . . . when are still running wild in self deception, then we are bound to go off the rails, onto another track . . . get sorely lost . . . . Whereas we ought be waiting for His "Higher", closer, more personal will for us . . . remembering that this is all about CLOSE, intimate relationship . . . and not about satisfying unregenerate wants and "needs" in our fallen, perverse, self-idolizing state . . . .
"I was regretting the past
And fearing the future.
Suddenly my Lord was speaking:
“My name is I Am.” He paused.
I waited. He continued,
When you live in the past
With its mistakes and regrets,
It is hard. I am not there,
My name is not I WAS”.
When you live in the future
With its problems and fears,
It is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I WILL BE.
When you live in this moment,
It is not hard. I am here.
My name is I AM. "