clear paths and open doors

Yesterday I read this from Mere Christianity :

“After the first few steps in the Christian life we realize that everything which really needs to be done in our souls can be done only by God.”

Then this morning I read this in My  Utmost for His Highest :

“The moment you are willing for God to change your nature, His recreating forces will begin to work.  And the moment you realize that God’s purpose is to get you into the right relationship with Himself and then with others, He will reach to the very limits of the universe to help you take the right road.”

He will do everything in His almighty power to help you take the right road.  Everything that really needs to be done in our souls can only be done by God.  The moment we are WILLING.

I think often we think we are more willing than we are.  Do we have a willingness to allow God to get inside of our hearts and our souls and tinker around in there until we are perfect?  A willingness to allow God to gently guide our feet down the right path?

The cause of my need to take a second look at these words from Lewis and Chambers are founded on the fact that God’s plan for us is  just so much better than the one we have dreamed up ourselves.  Lately, God has been showing me, in brilliant Technicolor, everything that He can do when I hand Him the controls.   I read somewhere the other day that Jesus had the most relaxed life of any man to ever walk the earth.  Jesus spent time with His Father, and then did what His Father needed Him to do.  He always knew that everything set out before Him, that all of the plans were already laid out by God.  Jesus came to earth and had to walk through a series of clear paths and open doors in order to get to the cross.  It sounds like an oxymoron to say that this walk towards becoming the Sacrificial Lamb was relaxing, but Jesus had the peace of God as He walked.  He knew exactly where He needed to be at any moment.

The cross, on the other hand, was excruciating.  A few days ago I had a job interview that I was really excited about, and of course, this led to insane nerves in the half hour before I walked through the door.  I could feel my heart pounding hard in my chest and my body felt weakened.  I wondered at that moment what Jesus’ mental and physical state was right before He was taken to be crucified.  My interview was a good thing, it was a path to something I WANT to do.  The crucifixion was the only thing that Jesus ever asked God to take away from Him.  We both cried out to God during our times of worry, but my worry, in comparison to Jesus’ worry, was the equivalent of a toddler’s cry when she isn’t allowed to play with an electrical socket (How’s that for an analogy?).  What must have it been like to be Jesus at that moment in the garden?  How fast was His heart pounding?  How much were His hands shaking?  I wonder if He was worrying about how much this would all hurt His mother.  I wonder if He was terrified about feeling a separation from His Father for the FIRST TIME in His entire existence.

There is so much more to the life and walk of Jesus than any of us can ever fathom or understand.  The more I read about Him, the more I fall in love with Him.  He becomes more human and more God in each passage.  His life, His death, and His resurrection were all part of the path God had laid out for Him.

Today, my prayer is that I will only walk through the doors that God has opened for me, and down the path that God has cleared.  These might not be the easiest ways to go, but honestly, I am a complete failure when God is not in control.  I’m okay with being a little needy when it comes to Jesus.  There, I said it.  I’m needy.

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

– Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

It’s not the health and wealth Gospel.  I may even end up on a cross someday.  But God loves us more than we love ourselves, and He’s got a plan for each of us to do incredible things in His name.  We just have to be willing.  The first step is to fall in love with Jesus.  Get to know Him.

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