Health and Healing. Day nine...
When our three‐year‐old granddaughter was eighteen months old, she was at the stage of development where she began to want to do things on her own. Since she was still too small to communicate with words, she pushed us away with body language when she wanted to go it alone. But whenever she bit off more than she could chew she would come to me for some help.
This is what all children do—from toddlers to young adults. They push hard for their freedom until they have a problem—at which time they are more than glad to accept some help.
If you have your own children, or work with children, you understand the tension in trying to decide when to help them and when to let them figure it out on their own. It's tough to know whether or not to jump into a mess they've made, or a challenge they face.
For most parents it's an either or situation—help the child, or make the child take care of it on his or her own.
If a parent does decide to help the child, it's far easier to say, “Here, just give it to me and I'll fix it!” than it is to say, “Okay now, let's work through this together, one step at a time.” The last thing a stressed‐out, busy parent wants to do is spend the time necessary to work with a child, step by step, through whatever problem the child faces. It's so much simpler for the parent to just take care of the problem.
Unknowingly, we carry these kinds of childhood experiences over into our grownup relationships with God. We just assume that we have to fix it, or that God will fix it for us (just as it was with our parents). It's one or the other—we do it or God does it. And this mindset has a devastating effect on our health and well‐being.
It's not an either/or situation.
We don't do our thing and then God does His. We do not have a life separate from God. He designed us to work together with Him.
And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” (Genesis 3:8‐10 ESV)
Even after Adam sinned (and consequently acquired the knowledge of good and evil) he still recognized the sound of God's presence. Adam had spent enough time with God in the Garden that he knew the sound of God's presence. This indicates a familiarity with God that few Christians experience today.
After God pronounced the curses on Adam and Eve for their sin (see Genesis 3:14–19), access to God was limited until the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom at the time of Jesus' death on the cross (the establishment of a new covenant, based on better promises).
Jesus, through His crucifixion, fixed those curses and made it possible for us to access God directly, and at any time—day or night. God, in the person of the Holy Spirit, lives within us.
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19 NKJV)
As born‐again believers, God lives within us. That's an even better deal than Adam had. God may have walked with Adam in the Garden, but God did not live within Adam like He lives within us.
I had no concept of how to have a working relationship with God until the few months following the failure of my business (which I discussed yesterday).
For the first few weeks I was overcome with grief. As far as I was concerned the death of my business was the death of my future. While God had used the business to bring about positive change in the lives of many people, I could see nothing but my own efforts going to waste.
I was passionate about serving God, but I didn't have a clue as to how to work together with Him in order to serve Him. As far as I was concerned, He did His thing and I did mine. But that's hardly what the Bible teaches.
So we have been sent to speak for Christ. It is as if God is calling to you through us. We speak for Christ when we beg you to be at peace with God. Christ had no sin, but God made him become sin so that in Christ we could become right with God. We are workers together with God, so we beg you: Do not let the grace that you received from God be for nothing. (2 Corinthians 5:21‐6:1 NCV)
My own self‐sufficiency was dead, just like my business. But I couldn't just roll over and play dead. I had to handle all the funeral arrangements, so to speak. But I was drained financially and emotionally. I had nothing to work with.
I had no frame of reference for something like this.
I had no concept of God working with man. As far as I was concerned, God did His thing or I did mine. It was one or the other. I wanted to just turn the whole thing over to God, but I had to do something or what I was facing would destroy me. And yet I had nothing—nothing within me.
All I could do was to begin to move. And as I began to move with absolutely nothing—nothing but a reliance on Him—He began to add life to my motion. I would move and He would add to my movement—favor here, an open door there.
The stress that had been killing me one circumstance at a time was gone. I had nothing to stress about, because all I could do was move—and watch Him work in miraculous ways.
You are a worker together with God. I beg you; do not let His grace be for nothing because you insist on working alone.
Have a good day,