Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Finding Freedom

"You have a spirit of Korah. You're in rebellion. You don't like authority." A very wise employer of mine called the spirit out. I chopped lettuce for salads with a scowl on my face as he threw pizza dough into the air, stretching it to fit the pan.

Sometimes, I need to be stretched to fit the call God has on my life.

My selfish will struggled inside of me. It curled up into a ball, then stretched outward as the Holy Spirit pulled on it. It curled into a ball again, and I felt God kneading it, making my will flexible. Again, the Spirit pulled it outward, shaping my will into His.

Why is it that we struggle so hard against what God wants to do with us?

I have four children and a step-son. Over the years, I've noticed something about my children. When I take hold of their arms in an attempt to keep them in the place I want them, just long enough to get their attention so that I can speak wisdom and instruction into them, they love to twist and wrench and pull away. And that causes them pain.

"Be still, and know that I am God..." - Psalm 16:10 

How many times does God try to get us to stand still for a moment, gently grabbing for our attention, so that He can speak wisdom and instruction into our lives? And we wrench away from His Spirit, struggling against His perfect will for us. Then, like a child, we wonder why we hurt, and we blame it on God. Yet it was our own free will that caused us so much pain.

If we'd only stand still long enough to receive the instruction...

It would prevent so much pain...

I've gone around many mountains in my walk with God. So many times I've listened to instruction and forgotten to follow it no sooner than I'd walked away. It's taken me longer than necessary to get where I am today, because I tried too many short cuts along the way, thinking my way was better than God's way.

Which boils down to trust issues. If I'd trusted God the first time He brought correction, if I'd heeded the advice of my counselors (wiser, spiritually older, mature Christian women), if I'd listened and obeyed, I wouldn't have suffered some of the humiliation I did along the way.

We need to trust God that He has our best interests at heart. We need to trust that the mature Christians in our lives know what they are talking about, have heard from God, and only want what's best for us. We need to admit that we don't have all the answers, that we make mistakes, and that we need correction from time to time.

I learned to be thankful for correction. I learned that having a teachable spirit gets me further ahead in God's chosen path for me than my stubborn pride. I learned that humility prevents humiliation. I learned that it's okay to submit to authority. It doesn't make me less of a person to learn from someone else. No, just the opposite. It opens doors of opportunity when others see I'm willing to work within a set of guidelines and am open to learning from them.

I heeded that wise man's words. I wrestled with the spirit of Korah for a very short time, recognizing I needed to get rid of it. I allowed God to move in my heart, and it proved to be a life-changing moment in my walk with Him. I'm thankful for those who've spoken His truth into my life, unafraid of whether I would be offended or not. The truth hurts, but it never hinders. It only sets one free.

Photo Courtesy of William Stadler

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