If I could count the number of times I thought I knew best, they would no doubt be as numerous as the stars. There was one time in particular I distinctly recall. A friend and I were working on a project together and I had an idea for how it should happen. I remember getting upset and annoyed when she didn’t do everything the way I would have. So, I wanted to take control, to tell her she was doing things all wrong. I had unrealistically assumed that I knew best and that she would act accordingly. As a result, things didn’t go so well.
This happens so often in everyday life, even to believers. We decide we know what we need and chase after it, expecting God to be our own personal genie and make it appear out of thin air. For many of us, it takes the full force of the resulting consequences to shake us awake and show us our way was wrong. And boy, does it sting.
But praise God that believers are not without guidance. God has used passages such as Ephesians 5 to show me that something completely opposite of my human nature is possible. The chapter is packed with rich truths and wise warnings, but there are several principles that strike me. Ephesians 5:1 declares, “Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children.” This verse shows me that in order to be an imitator of God, I must be His child. And in order to be His child, I must believe in what Jesus did for me on the cross. I am commanded to forsake the idols of my heart by the power of His Spirit and imitate God instead. And based on His character revealed throughout the Bible, He tells me this because He is my Father who cares deeply for me. Thus, He does not tell me to obey Him in vain.
However, knowing He is the only one who will satisfy me is one thing, but living out this truth is entirely another. Actually submitting to His sovereign rule is an area in which He has helped me grow over this past year, and it is by no means easy. Ephesians 5 talks about using time wisely because the days are filled with evil (vv. 16-17). Personally, I do not want to be a fool in any part of my life. But to avoid being one involves humbly confessing my lack of knowledge and control and submitting to the One in whom there is no limit of either.
Finally, I am commanded to do all of this with a right heart of worship and thanksgiving. I have found that when my human will rises to the forefront of my life, lifting my hands in worship and thanking God for who He is and what He has done changes everything. It often takes my emotions time to catch up, but when they do, I am left with the deepest, most unexplainable sense of joy and peace.
Following Christ rather than the world is not popular, nor is it easy, but doing so is always worth more than the consequences of rebellion. Jesus asked his disciples, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). Disobedience only leads to emptiness, discontentment, and destruction, whereas surrendering to God’s perfect will brings about a fullness in Christ so much sweeter than words could ever describe.
Kylee Greene [FLBC first-year student] is from Robbinsdale, Minn.
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