The Ultimate Referee

Several weeks ago, my boys were wrestling with each other. As tends to be the case, the wrestling got a bit too harsh and I knew in a matter of seconds a child would be crying out in pain.

Me: "Boys, you need to be more careful. Be gentle."
My youngest: "Why do you ALWAYS have to be the referee?"

Ever feel that way? Ever feel like your "fun" is being spoiled by others?

I reluctantly listened to a sermon from Dr. Tony Evans yesterday where he stated this about sin: 

 "You're in charge of it one moment and then it's in charge of you the next..." 

Reluctantly listened, not because I don't enjoy his speaking, but because it was forwarded to me by someone who had just called me out the night before about something that has potential to be an idol. 

I was already irritated because during my Bible study time this morning, my daily reading led me to verses about casting down idols and then, this...

"You are not thinking about God's concerns but human concerns." - Mark 8:33

Seems like God is trying to tell me something. He is throwing out caution signs from multiple sources to tell me to "halt" before I even begin. What sounds like a good idea to me, screams "danger" to those around me.  

Even now as I write, this verse comes to mind: "There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death." - Proverbs 14:12

I wish I could say that I am happy to oblige to the warnings, but my attitude reminds me a bit of my little guy's..."God, why do You always have to be the referee?"

Just like my sons had a decision to continue to wrestle hard and endure a consequence, I have a choice to forge ahead and face my own consequences. You would think after being in eating disorder treatment of some kind for the last 15 months, I would pause, drop to my knees, and thank God for the warnings. You would think that I would go wipe my forehead and state, "Phew, that was a close one!" 

Nope. Not happening. I'm frustrated at everyone who thinks MY plan is a bad one. I want to change their minds. I want to change God's mind. I want my way.

That being said, I read this reminder as well yesterday morning, "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give His life as a ransom for many." - Mark 10:45

This life is not about me. Not about my agenda. Not about my way. Not even about my seemingly positive goals. This life is about Christ. I am here to lose my pride and serve Him by serving others. I am here to "take off my former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires." - Ephesians 4:22

So, I stop. Stop planning what I was planning. Stop trying to prove my point. Stop looking at one thing as a way to get something else. I acknowledge that in this life in Christ, it's selfish to even think I really have rights. I surrendered those when I surrendered to Him. 

"No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." - Hebrews 12:11

Father, today, I pray for all of us who are struggling with being told "No," "Not now," or "Wait" by You. Help us to remember that You are a God who cares. A God who is not taken by surprise. A God who loves us with an everlasting love. Help us to draw nearer to You and to remember why we are here...to love You and love others. To proclaim Your name and declare Your greatness. (Deuteronomy 32:3) In Your precious and holy name we pray, Amen.

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