Be “strong enough to decline to exercise your rights.”*This is an intriguing statement, especially in light of things I’ve been contemplating lately. It occurred to me last week that I have been finding my worth in being “the best,” and yesterday I realized that I do this out of a fear of becoming nothing, invisible, worthless. I’ve been asking myself if I’m able to relinquish to God this need to be known and acknowledged, to be best; to give up my methods of self-protection, jump into my fears and trust God to do what’s best.
Can I do this? Do I trust God more than I trust myself? The “correct” answer that all good Christians want to give to such questions is, “Yes! Of course I trust God!” But when it comes down to the nitty gritty, do I?
In North America, we talk a lot about our rights. We have the right to be who we are, to be self-determining, to live safely. Jesus said “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:39 NIV) Am I strong enough and willing enough to decline my rights and lose myself for Jesus’ sake? Am I willing to be nothing, invisible and worthless so that Jesus can become everything, visible to others and considered worthy of honour and lordship?
God, I’ve built huge protective walls so that I won’t be squashed out of existence by those around me but are these walls barriers to the good you want to give me as I lose my life for your sake? Am I losing my life because I’m determined to find it? I want to trust you in this, God, but can I? Am I strong enough to decline to exercise my rights? Am I willing to ask for your strength to do what seems so impossibly scary? I want to, Lord. Please enable me. Create in me a clean heart, oh God, and renew a right spirit within me. So be it.
*Oswald Chambers in “Bringing Sons unto Glory” in The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers page 228.