September 2, 2010

God-Formulas

Well I haven’t kept my promise to blog more faithfully have I? I suspect my readership has probably dwindled from a handful of folks to, well...less . But regardless, I owe all two of you an apology :).

Well so far things haven’t quite unfolded like I envisioned. I really expected to be either moved to St.Louis already or in the process by now. But here we sit- still waiting, still in transition. Nope the house hasn't sold. We've had lots of traffic, but no offers. They say the housing market is slow right now (whoever "they" are). We've been busy keeping the house cleaner than is normal, stressing about shedding dogs and praying against rain when everyone else is praying for it (because of muddy paw prints) and rushing around frantically when we get the call... Its not been fun to say the least. I've now started praying that the Lord would keep people away who aren't going to buy. Since I've prayed that, we've not had one person call. I should be thankful I know. However...

I had this assumption that very soon after we did our part (put the house on the market) that the Lord would swoop in and blow our minds by selling our house like in a week. Thats ridiciulous I know, but I can't tell you how many times I've heard (or said myself) "when we do our part, then God will do His". It’s been assumed (mostly by ME) that’s how it would transpire. I’m not saying however God chooses to do this won’t end up being amazing, but it is funny how we get things in our heads about God's behavior. I call these "God-formulas". They go something like this- “I will do this and then God will do that.” Sound familiar? The one I’ve heard most recently is this-

“When you really lay this down, then God will move”
Really? Says who? How do you know that? Show me the scripture!

But I know that I’ve also assumed and passed around these same unsound formulas like an old sage to other trusting saints as if they were…well, Biblical. Okay I know there are truths implied in them about trusting, obeying, submitting and the like but we need to be so careful about how we apply them. Because the result of anything not based on the truth and the pure word of God is bound to bring forth fruit like- shame, fear, condemnation and even idolatry (faith in the ‘formula’ rather than God Himself). And all these can ultimately lead to disillusionment, discouragement and despair. How many saint’s walks have been shipwrecked because some assumed ‘God-formula’ didn’t play out?

With all this, I’ve been so challenged lately to examine everything and to assume nothing. I’ve had to fight the thoughts like- “I must not be laying it down since nothing is happening yet”. Okay then, assuming that's even true- what constitutes ‘laying it down’? Is the fact that I really, REALLY, REEEEEEEALLLLLY want to move like SOOOOOON mean I haven’t laid it down? I ask this because another good God-formula I’ve always heard is-

“When you get to the point where you don’t care, then you’ve really surrendered”.

Seriously? Is that even possible? Is not caring really an indication of when we have truly laid something down? Can't I trust God and surrender to Him while still having strong desires at the same time ? (assuming these aren't sinful desires of course) Are those two incompatible? But wait- didn’t Jesus Himself say- “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not My will but Yours be done”? I’m no theologian but to me that seems to indicate that Jesus had a strong desire… yet His desire to please His Father was greater.

These are rhetorical questions I realize and I don’t expect a cut and dried answer… but I am really wanting to make sure what I believe and proclaim is Biblical. The older I get, the more I realize how little I truly know about God's ways. Don't get me wrong, I plan to learn as much as possible and I know He takes pleasure in being sought. But seriously, can't we Christians sometimes just say "I Don't Know Why"? Must we so often default to our list of custom-made, Christian-culture quotes? I do know He is God. He is love and He knows what He's doing and is ultimately going to have His way. Sometimes I feel at peace with that fact and at other times it makes me nervous…But if that’s not 'laying it down', then I refuse to assume that means we’ll not move for ten more years.

And by the way another one that I've heard lately is this- "He must be delaying because He's getting things ready for you up there". I actually like this one, and I hope its true. :)

So here is where I am, like it or not... not on the other side of this transition, but stuck right here in the middle....waiting. And I have no clue as to why we are still here. I may never know. But I will not assume that God's plan is hanging on my working out a formula like some sort of stubborn combination lock, especially when I am truly desiring to please Him despite my obvious frailty. Because isn't it He who initiated this relationship to begin with? The WORD clearly states that He helps us in our weakness and that HE who began this good work in me, will be faithful to complete it. And this greatly comforts me.

So I continue to pray- Jesus, help me to lay it all down and please meet me where I am. If I am not sufficiently willing and surrendered, then please make me so. For I can do NOTHING without You... yet I can do ALL THINGS through You. Oh and Lord if you don't mind...could we please sell our house soon? Because I really love Missouri and I really want to be near my children.... But Lord (You know the rest)~Not my will but YOURS be done. Amen! :)

By the way- feel free to show me some love and leave a comment. I like to know who's reading this. But if you're an Anonymous blogger with no Blog account, please give me your name (this was added by me after I got two lovely comments by mystery fans:) Oh and I do screen them before I post them now. I have been getting weird spam comments... But don't be afraid. Even if I don't know you personally, I'll approve your comment if you're not spam or a weirdo :)

God bless, Kayla

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Awesome. I hear what you are saying loud and clear. You continue to amaze me with your writing gift. Love ya..

Anonymous said...

Absolutely perfect! Right on! We just need to learn to be honest with God and with ourselves. He knows us better than we know ourselves anyway! Thank you Lord for your patience with us!

Max said...

GOOD STUFF!! I love it :) Time to stop quoting the stuff off of christian T shirts and actually digging into what is truth and what is man made theology. Love you Momma! This was encouraging.

-Max

Nicole Brown said...

That is powerful. I needed to hear that this morning. Live you.

Anonymous said...

I hear ya loud and clear!!!! Recently, I've been guilty of a God-formula....I assume that if the Lord has me doing something, then I'll do it long term or forever! Then, when He changes the plan, I'm disillusioned and angry....did I miss God? did I not hear His voice? why's He changing the plan? So many lies and doubts flood my mind...and I take it out on God! I don't know what that formula is but it equals disaster!! So, I'm learning to walk WITH the Lord...even if He changes direction on me when I'm not ready :) and I'm learning to stop labeling myself, so that when He changes direction, I'm not confused about WHO I am.

does all that make sense?

anyway, your post made complete sense to me! And though I am and will be very sad to see y'all go to Missouri, I know why you want to be there....and will be happy for you! I pray that the Lord showers you with grace in the waiting! I heard a sermon recently by John Fenn, who was describing an encounter he had with Jesus. Jesus told him that He had created each person with exactly the right giftings and grace to deal with everything they'd encounter in their life.
That gives me hope. I pray it gives you a spark of hope as well :)

love you!

Tonja Rainey

Anonymous said...

I needed to hear that this morning as well. I love my sissy....

Anonymous said...

More or less the sameplaceyou are...however, I find comfort in accepting where I am at the present. I trust God has heard my requests and knows he tends to them as soon as is right for us. But by being content where we are, and trusting god to fix the rest is help for me. The amplified bible version always quotes when using believe " Adhere to, trust and rely" on God.