Fifteen or more years ago I attended a seminar where the speaker asked the question. “How are you going to bring glory to God?” It was assumed that everyone wanted to do the will of God and bring Him glory. The question at hand was how? Various ways, means and steps to attainment were suggested. It certainly sounded good.
Recently I have thought about this teaching, and I came to realize that no matter how well meant, it was akin to the Jacob spirit. Jacob, and his mother also, knew what God’s plan was for his life. BUT they felt they had to do whatever it took, no matter how wrong, to fulfil God’s will. No doubt you will recall how Jacob defrauded his brother Esau, not once but twice. Later he seemed to meet his match in uncle Laban who “took him” by tricked him into marriage with Leah first, rather than Rachel whom he loved. So, Jacob devised a scheme to rob his dear uncle of as many cattle as possible.
Over the past 2-3 months the words of an old hymn have been on my mind, or shall I say are being imbedded in my spirit. In Verse Two of her hymn - I will Praise Him - Mrs. M.J. Harris wrote:
“Tho’ the way seems straight and narrow, all I claimed was swept away; My ambitions plans and wishes, at MY feet in ashes lay.”
The Third verse begins, “Then God’s fire upon the altar of my heart was set aflame;”
For all of my life until recently, I thought that the “plans and wishes” lay at our Lord’s feet. I was wrong. How could they? They were not birthed of Him, but of self endeavoring to do the will of God. We are of course tempted to say, “God led me to do this, or I have prophecies given over me, and they say this is to be so in my life and my ministry, and that is why I am doing what I am doing” The fact is that which is truly birthed of God will nearly always go through death. Death is the END.
Have you considered God’s promises to Abram/Abraham, leading after many years to some fulfilment in the birth of Isaac, and that Abraham had to surrender God’s promise back to God, and believe that somehow God would keep his covenant promise? Don’t forget that along the way, dear, old daddy Abraham demonstrated the spirit Jacob would later have. Remember Ishmael.
How about Moses? When he realized that his true kin needed deliverance from the Egyptians, he went about doing it his way. His efforts resulted in him fleeing into the wilderness for in fear for his life. Without a doubt something of God’s purpose for his life must have been planted in him, but he did the Jacob thing. After 40 years in the wilderness, he had an encounter with God. In spite of this, he tried to get out of it as all the pride and ego, and his self abilities, had died a long slow death.
Remember that young lad David? Early on he learned what God’s purpose was for his life - “to be king of Israel.” What did it get him? A javelin from a jealous King Saul. He had to stay on the run for years, and as if the first anointing for kingship was less than good, he had to have two more anointings. One to be king over Judah, and later an anointing to be king over all Israel.
Earlier I wrote, “Death is the end.” Until, or unless, we get to the place in our lives where our only desire is to be a “worshiper,” and not a doer, we will be “spinning our wheels,“ as we produce, wood, hay and stubble. ALL of our fleshly efforts will be burnt up by the fire of God.
When our Father has given us a specific calling, or assignment, or a special enlightment of truth, it is so easy to find ourselves going past His ways and methods. Take this from one who knows by experience and lost a year of his life in a “burnt out” condition. Father’s ways are so simple, so easy. Did not Jesus say in Matthew 11:28-30; "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (NAU)
When “OUR ambitions, plans and wishes” as to how we will do the perceived will of are but ashes at our feet, will we be content to leave them there? Will we praise Him and be content to rest at His feet and wonder, amazement, and worship His ways? May it be so!