”. . . . and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price. . .” 1 Corinthians 6:19b-20a (NASB)
Our youth minister recently preached both morning and evening services while our pastor was in Israel. His morning sermon was entitled, “Does God Have Your Permission To Mess With Your Life?” Being the righteous, spiritually inclined, Bible believing believer that I am, of course my answer was a resounding YES!
Someone should have warned me to be careful how I answered that question!!!
Certainly God can mess with my life! Lord, my kids moving away messes with my peace.
Certainly God can mess with my life! Lord, my schedule is always too busy and messes with my time.
Certainly God can mess with my life! Lord, my projects around the house keep messing with my ability to write.
I’ve never been one to prohibit God from messing with my life, so why do I question Him when He does? Maybe God really didn’t have my permission after all. Oh-me!
Giving God permission to mess with your life is not a new concept to me. I’ve heard this preached on before, albeit a while ago. But telling God that He has permission and actually giving it to Him are two different things. It’s the difference between lip service and submission.
Therefore I’ve done quite a bit of thinking on this subject lately. There is a lot of messing around going on in my life and in the lives of others I know. Most of these interruptions are not necessarily welcome ones either. My kids are moving. My friend needs a steady job. Another friend needs her health back. In fact, my boss has to move and right now she doesn’t know where she is going to live! Giving permission, then living with the results produces difficulty in the process and creates chaos within your spirit.
That brings me back to the before mentioned sermon. During the service, Brother Kit reminded us of a teenage girl who gave God permission to mess with her life and then actually submitted her life to Him. Thus a Savior was conceived. It took only a moment to submit but a lifetime to live out the results. Her submission resulted in personal shame, ridicule and witnessing the murder of her first born Son. And I think I have it rough! Yet, as she walked in submission with God, He made sure her sacrifice of submission was not in vain. Her suffering was not unnoticed. Through her obedience, God produced the greatest work of Eternal Value this world has ever known or will ever know.
Come to think of it, although not recorded, I am sure Mary had great moments of joy and prosperity in her life as well. Life interrupted by God had some distinct perks that she treasured in her heart to ponder privately. I think she knew something we need to be reminded of today.
For you see, when it comes right down to brass tacks – God doesn’t need our permission. After all my life really isn’t MY life. It is His. Not only did God create me, He bought the rights to me with His own Son, Jesus Christ. I am not my own. Yet, He allows me this thing we call free will. With free will, I can choose to acknowledge His sovereignty over my life or not. Then when trouble avails itself in my life, God will use that toward blessing and purpose if I will only submit to His interruption. And I might actually learn something in the process!
Over the past few days God has dealt with my pride and just exactly what it means to give Him permission to mess with my life. Right now for me, it isn’t really a matter of “permission” (although, I have given it) but “submission” knowing that God’s way is always best – even when I don’t understand it or even like it (at first).
What about you? What’s going on in your life that you didn’t sign up for but are living with anyway? Did you give God permission to mess with you and now you are upset that His has? Let me encourage you to lay aside your pride, relinquish your rights, accept the bad times along with the good ones. Because God is your creator and FATHER! Understand God is never “out to get you” or set you up to fail. His plans for you are to prosper you – see Jeremiah 29:11. These times provide opportunities to prove ourselves to God by truly letting Him do what He does best – work His will! Always remember the blessings ahead for those who persevere when God interrupts!
Permitted and Submitted,