My pastor said that on Sunday.
Hearing God does not mean we are surrendering to Him.
These words struck me, like an unwelcome plywood board to the head.
“You’re doing that,” God seemed to nudge me in the midst of the congregation. “You’re listening, but you’re not surrendering, and you’re definitely not trusting Me.”
See, I had been listening to God. I knew He wanted me to be patient on this whole job search thing. Yes, Lord. Of course, Lord. I am supposed to be patient, I got it. What was I doing though? Fighting it. Fighting it with all my being. I was desperately attempting to control my situation.
We can have a passive awareness of God’s instructions to us, without giving an active response.
My pastor used the illustration of he and his brother being instructed to take out the trash by his grandmother.
“Take out the trash,” his grandmother told his older brother.
“Okay, one more minute, I will.” His brother would say, eyes glued to the television.
Where would his brother be in a minute? Sitting, eyes still staring at the screen.
His brother certainly heard his grandmother tell him to take out the trash. He certainly acknowledged that he heard his grandmother’s instructions. However, did he take action, and take out the trash? No.
He listened to his grandmother’s instructions, he even responded, but he did not follow them.
“You cannot follow someone if you stay where you are at.”
More nuggets of wisdom from my pastor. If I want to truly follow God, I have got to listen and take action.
Not only that, but I have got to trust God. Again, more illustrations. My pastor utilized the illustration of a tightrope walker:
Now, this tightrope walker was highly praised by his fans. They cheered him on as he walked across canyons, juggled batons in between buildings… he was the best. They told him so, too.
However, one day the tightrope walker was performing a new act, this time bringing out a wheelbarrow. He pushed this wheelbarrow across the tiny tightrope wire, and returned to the other side to his cheering fans.
“You’re the best,” one man cheered.
“Why don’t you jump in then, and I will wheel you across?” the tightrope walker motioned to his cart.
As you can guess, the man vehemently refused, because while he praised the tightrope walker’s skill, he did not trust him entirely.
We do the same thing with God.
“Yes, God. You can do anything, God. You’re amazing. Perfect. Powerful. I trust you with my life, God.” However, when it comes down to it, we don’t trust Him.
Jump into my wheelbarrow, God says. I will wheel you across this canyon.
But we stay on the sidelines.
To trust God takes more than lip service. It takes surrender, giving up your white-knuckled grip on whatever it is you are holding onto so tightly.
Needless to say, after that sermon, I owed God a confession and an apology. This whole job search… I hadn’t surrendered it to God. Not only that, I had definitely not trusted Him with it.
So here I am, trying again. I want to do this the right way. I believe God will provide. Whatever the timeline, however long the wait is.. I am trusting God this time. I am surrendering this whole thing to Him. I am surrendering my fears of unemployment, my fears of being unworthy and lacking purpose. I trust Him to be my identity, my confidence, my source of peace and joy. I am jumping in the wheelbarrow, and saying “sure, Dad, go ahead and wheel me across. I trust You.”
I hope you can glean some insight and wisdom for your own life from this post. I pray that God opens your eyes and hearts too, as He has opened mine.
Peace and blessings, friends.