Tuesday, June 21, 2022
Dr. Richard Swenson made a difference in my life. I heard him speak at a Pastor’s Retreat several years ago. He spoke on the relationship between the Sovereignty of God and the pace of life. He loaded our minds with information and challenged our thinking about faith in God. He painted a scientific picture of our infinite God – a picture we had not seen before. Then, at just the right time, the Holy Spirit asked me a specific question – “If you really believe I’m that great and totally sovereign, why do you work so hard to make sure everything turns out right?”
There are only two possible responses to that question. One is that I don’t really believe that He’s that great and sovereign, and that somehow life depends upon my wisdom and strength. The other response is one of repentance, leading to complete trust in our Sovereign God. I chose the second response.
Life has gotten far too intense to live safely, securely, and satisfactorily. But the intensity of life is of our own choosing. Our faith has been placed in our own abilities to manage life rather than in God’s sovereignty. We have adopted the progress mindset of our culture and have buried contentment in the grave of greed. The pursuit of our dreams and desires has intensified the demands on our bodies. It has caused an increase in depression, irritability, anger, and frustration. We have become disorganized, fatigued, and are on the verge of burnout. Because we seek some form of release from the pressure, we turn to self-medication through alcohol, drugs, or sex, bringing moral failure into our lives. We suffer health issues like abnormal sleeping patterns, or intestinal and cardiovascular problems. All this because we have chosen to live at a pace we were never designed to live because we believe progress and prosperity are fulfilling. We have chosen that pace because we don’t really trust God to work all things out for His glory according to His purpose. We have decided we need to be in control.
As a result, the body of Christ suffers right along with our physical body. Come on, admit it. When we get busy and tired and overwhelmed with life, what’s the first activity that gets put aside? Church, right? Relationship with God is replaced with the lie that working harder at life will bring a better life. Now we are caught in the vicious downward spiral that brings cheering to the armies of Satan. We are too busy to pray or serve. We are too exhausted for relationships. Our joy is gone. We have become addicted to making life better by working harder at life, and we are in denial of our addiction.
But God wants to set us free. The truth is that He is in control of all life, and that when we sacrifice life for His sake, He will give us abundant life. When we admit our weakness, His power is released. The problem is that we really don’t understand or trust the God we claim to serve. If we really believed, then we would act like it. We serve a God who spoke the universe into existence. Nothingness obeys His voice. He controls time, space, matter, and light. He monitors the position of every elementary particle. He is sufficient unto Himself. He does not need anybody or anything to accomplish His purposes. He answers to no one. He obeys only His own counsel. He works on infinite levels all at the same time. He is God, and He is our friend. He is in control, and He can be trusted.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
God’s grace is sufficient for you, and His power is made perfect in your weakness. Quit trying so hard!