April 7, 2016
Oswald Chambers coined one of my favorite mantras: “Let God engineer.” Those three words captured his trust in the overarching sovereignty of God. And it’s that kind of trust that gives us a holy confidence.
Most of our emotional problems are symptoms of one deep-rooted spiritual problem: lack of trust in the sovereign God. It’s our lack of trust in Him that results in high levels of past-tense guilt, present-tense stress, and future-tense anxiety. And if we allow it to, that three-headed monster will deplete every ounce of holy confidence we possess until we lose our sense of destiny.
Many of us find our confidence in the things we can control, but it’s a false sense of confidence. Holy confidence isn’t circumstantial. It’s providential. Too often we allow our circumstances to get between God and us. Holy confidence puts God between us and our circumstances. And when we do that, the Almighty One dwarfs the giants in our lives.
Let’s face it: we are control freaks. We want to control our circumstances. We want to control others. And ultimately we want to control God Himself. We do this in the name of sanctification, but it’s pseudo-sanctification. It’s nothing more, or maybe I should say nothing less, than a futile attempt at self-help. Lack of trust is more than refusing God’s help. It’s a prideful attempt to help God by doing His job for Him. We play God by trying to control everyone, everything. But God hasn’t called us to be God. He’s called us to be ourselves. And our control issues are really trust issues. The less we trust God, the more we have to control.
Nothing is more spiritually, emotionally, or relationally exhausting than pretending you hold the planets in orbit. And the flip side is true as well. The greatest freedom in the world is relinquishing control and submitting your life to the Sovereign One.—Mark Batterson
“Come ye after Me.”—Mark 1:17
One of the greatest hindrances in coming to Jesus is the excuse of temperament. We make our temperament and our natural affinities barriers to coming to Jesus. The first thing we realize when we come to Jesus is that He pays no attention whatever to our natural affinities. We have the notion that we can consecrate our gifts to God. You cannot consecrate what is not yours; there is only one thing you can consecrate to God, and that is your right to yourself.1 If you will give God your right to yourself, He will make a holy experiment out of you. God’s experiments always succeed.
The one mark of a saint is the moral originality which springs from abandonment to Jesus Christ. In the life of a saint there is this amazing wellspring of original life all the time; the Spirit of God is a well of water springing up, perennially fresh. The saint realizes that it is God who engineers circumstances, consequently there is no whine, but a reckless abandon to Jesus. Never make a principle out of your experience; let God be as original with other people as He is with you.
If you abandon to Jesus, and come when He says “Come,” He will continue to say “Come” through you; you will go out into life reproducing the echo of Christ’s “Come.” That is the result in every soul who has abandoned and come to Jesus.—Oswald Chambers
When the God of the chess board picks up a chess piece and moves it to a new square, the chess piece doesn’t argue about it. It doesn’t protest; it doesn’t try to keep the Chess Player from doing it. It doesn’t say, “No, I don’t want to go to that space. I’d like to stay here. No, I want to go to that space over there. No, I’m a knight and I don’t want to hop this piece. I want to hop that piece over there.”
The pieces don’t argue with their Maker and Creator or their player; they yield and settle where He places them, and go where He sends them. Do you believe that? Well, then why worry? You’re in His hands! Think about this when you’re tempted to be anxious and worry about the future. Why worry? You’re in the hands of the Master Player, and if you let Him, He’s going to place you where He wants you to be, and you should trust your heavenly Father that He has your best interests in mind. God just has to move you or circumstances in your life around to position you where He needs you the most at any given time.
Throughout my life, I’ve served Him in all kinds of ways. You couldn’t imagine how many. I have just gone wherever His hand moved me, to whatever square He wanted me to go, and I have tried to be the piece He wanted me to be.
How many times have I made a decision to do something and the Lord stopped me? It’s really embarrassing! I wanted to do a lot of things I didn’t get to do. I wanted to go a lot of places I didn’t get to go. We’ve planned to make even more trips than we have. One of these last times God stopped me and gave me something much better and more important to do, that ended up reaching many more people. His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.2
We ought to thank God for all the mistakes we don’t make! Why don’t you thank God for all the mistakes you don’t make instead of bemoaning the mistakes you do make, and saying, “Why did You let me do this, Lord? Why didn’t You stop me?” Maybe He wanted you to learn the lesson that the most important decision you have to make is to be yielded to the Master of the chess board. You can choose not to be yielded. You’re a free moral agent. It’s a free country. It’s your choice whether to place your life in the hands of the Grand Chess Master, and if you choose not to, you can do so.
Why not choose to place your life in His hands? You have chosen to follow and serve the Lord, and to seek God’s will for your plans and your future. He is the Master Chess Player, and you can trust that whatever moves He makes in your life, He will cause all things to work together for your good.—David Brandt Berg
Published on Anchor April 2016. Read by Debra Lee.
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