By: carole l. haines
You could have knocked me over with a feather, as I stood there listening to that still small voice I was just beginning to discern and follow. “Whose Kingdom are we building here, Carole, yours or Mine?” Brand new at trying to actually listen to God, instead of manipulating, which was my normal MO, this question just laid bare the intentions of my heart. The grief that I felt over God’s Revelation of my own heart to me, can hardly be expressed in words. This was probably about 20 years ago or more, but God still speaks this message to me. It’s like a gentle knock at the door to my heart, whenever I start to try to “work things out” according to my own desires, my own thoughts, my own ways. It’s a subtle little sin, often mistaken for initiative, or being a visionary. Sometimes, innocently, initiative is exactly what it is. But the longer I have lived the more I have seen this insidious strand of sin in my own life, and it amazes me just how deep the rabbit hole goes. I’ve been walking with the Lord for almost 40 years now, and I am still dealing with layers of self-will; exhausting! But I find that I am in good, Biblical company on this one. The root of all manipulation appears to be FEAR. I love the acronym often used to describe it: False Evidence Appearing Real. God’s Word tells me that His Perfect Love casts fear out. Well, good, because I am so exhausted with trying to cast it out myself. Self-help gurus tell us to “Believe in ourselves!” But God’s Word tells me that He is the only one who will never fail me, never change His mind about me, never give up on me. His love is unshakeable. Mine is not! He is the only One I am to believe in, and believe through!
33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6) Let us be careful to only seek Him, and let Him reveal His ways to us. Let us lay down our own ideas about Kingdom work, and let Him fill us with His thoughts for building the Kingdom of God. Amen