If I told you my life story, it might be hard for you to believe I hate getting out of the boat. I think I always have. I only do it when the necessity to do so is so great it compels me to do it. When I know the boat is sinking, I get out and come to Jesus walking on the water. Until then I stay in the boat, shivering and telling God how dangerous the waters are out there.
Over the course of the last week I have continued to think about what my life would look like if I lived free of pressure. What would it look like if I lived like God had no expectations for me? What if I lived like freedom was the end purpose of the freedom God has given me like He says it is?
Last Sunday my pastor talked about Peter getting out of the boat. I was already thinking about adventure before this because when I thought about all the things going on in my life, I realized if I lived my life with no pressure I would experience God was simply inviting me to adventure.
I do not always have fantastic mind-blowing time with God, but sometimes I do. When I think about no pressure I think of those times with God when I am just with Him and being with Him is all that matters. Everything else fades away as I experience the moment with Him. When I think of adventure, I think of God beckoning me during those times of union with Him. “Come,” He says, “Come with Me. You are never going to believe the fun we are going to have together! If you will just come with me, you are going to experience great things!”
So often I look at the spiritual exercise and discipline it takes for God to prepare me for His adventures, and I end up thinking about the pain involved in becoming who I need to become before I can experience the fulfillment of the vision. Instead of looking forward to the game and knowing it is all going to pay off in mind-blowing deepened relationship with Him, I think about the pain of the gym.
Lately I have found the Rock to stand on when the storm around me rages. I am out of the boat. I need a Rock. I made an enormous mistake in my life about a year ago. God has given me several visions for my life and ministry. Things He has put on my heart that I believe He will bring to pass in my life. About a year ago, I became a leader in some of the things for which He gave me a vision. My mistake was not in accepting the leadership position. My mistake was in thinking now it was my job to accomplish the vision. When I became a leader and it looked like I was “in control”, I took the vision from God and thought it was mine to accomplish. I thought He wanted me to be responsible for it.
Over the course of the last few weeks, I have realized so much of the pressure in my life came when I thought and acted like God wanted me to fulfill His promises in my life.
So I have started to give the vision back to God. Yes, He has promised me all sorts of things in the Scriptures and in my heart. But I am not the one responsible for accomplishing them. He is. All He asks me to do is follow Him today.
My God has no expectations for me. He realizes I cannot do it on my own. The things He has promised are entirely impossible for me to do. Many of them I could not create a roadmap to reach if I tried. I could not mend the relationships which need mending. I could not become who I need to become to step into His promise. I need Him to work in the hearts of the people around me. I need Him to work in my own heart. In Celebrate Recovery terms, I need to realize all hope for my existence and future is in Him alone.
I have given the vision back to Him. I have to re-give it to Him every day. Sometimes multiple times a day. When I center myself and realize my ministry and life are firmly planted on Jesus Christ, I can carry on with my day free from the pressure of performance. When I am centered in Him, I realize I have no power to accomplish the vision, so He has no expectations for me to do so. All I have to do is enjoy Him and His adventures in the moment.
Who do you believe is responsible for fulfilling God’s promises in your life? Are you trying to do something in your own strength that only He can accomplish?