Search This Blog

Sunday, September 26, 2010

More room for God

 3"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
(Matthew 5:3)

There are not many of us that would consider "being at the end of our ropes" as being in a blessed or happy place!  In fact, we'd probably argue that it is both frustrating and discouraging to be at such a place that makes us feel so helpless and without hope.  We would describe the emotional state of such a place as pretty mixed up and in a whirlwind of internal storms.  So, try to have a mindset of "being blessed" in the midst of that!

Yet, as Jesus stood on a hillside that day in Galilee with hundreds of followers sitting around in attention to every word that proceeded from his mouth, he opens with these words.  Maybe there were those in the crowd that were experiencing this kind of "end of the rope" emotional turmoil.  We aren't told, but we are given some insight into how Jesus gets in inroad into our lives.  It is at the place where we come to the end of our ability, the end of our striving, that he enters.

With less of you, there is more of God and his rule - that is the recipe for being blessed (truly happy).  In other words, when we step out of the way, God takes over.  No matter the circumstance - God is more powerful to work out the details that we are in our own power or strength.  Our wisdom falls short every time - we need God's wisdom in order to realize the blessing of the circumstance.

So, how do we get to this place were it is "less of me" and "more of God"?  Every time I want to give more place to God, I find myself resisting.  Why?  Plainly put, it is because "I" wants to be in control.  There is something fearful about "giving control" to anyone else in our lives - sometimes, we even feel this way about giving control to God.  He is the one who made us, fashioning us as uniquely as he did, giving each of us the capacity to both receive and understand him.  Yet, we resist him.

Hebrews tells us that Jesus holds everything together by what he says.  His words are powerful - they are both creative and sustaining.  At the point of our need, he speaks into our lives - bringing quietness where there has been chaos, order where there has been mess, and liberty where there has been bondage.  In order for those words to take root, "I" must step out of the way.  If we are only listening to the voice of "I" and not the voice of the "I am", we are not at the end of our rope.  

God allows us enough rope that we will struggle a little with our own self-control, but not enough rope to hang ourselves.  Why?  God doesn't want "puppets" - he wants sincerely committed and passionate children.  He wants us to be assured beyond a shadow of a doubt that his ways are best and his plans are for our good.  Enough rope, but just enough.  Letting go is not easy. In fact, it is pretty terrifying to let go of what we have trusted in, believed to be right for the circumstance, etc.  We struggle because it is a battle of the wills - our will against God's.

The next time you feel like you are "at the end of your rope", recall these words of Jesus.  Then, in that split second, let go of that rope.  His arms await you just as you let go.  You won't regret falling into the arms of Jesus.  Letting go may be the toughest decision of your life, but it is also the most rewarding.  With less of us in control, there is more room for God to enter into life's turmoil like only he can do.  There, we find blessing beyond measure!