I often feel like I am in constant battle. The Bible talks about a war going on in each of us, and I definitely feel it sometimes. Excuse my lack of art skills and look at the figure I drew to represent the battle. I feel like I am trapped in a triangle where the three forces vying for my attention are my sinful nature, what others want from me, and what God wants from me. I want God to win out, but sometimes the other two take control. It’s not about finding a balance between the three of these; it’s more about making who I am and what others want from me less important than what God wants.
An example of giving in to who I am is when I allow myself to be jealous of other people. In my mind I get jealous of what others have, how easy other people’s lives seem, and the attention that others receive. I stop focusing on how God has blessed my life and focus on what I am lacking. There is a verse in Ecclesiastes that addresses this. Ecclesiastes 6:9 says “Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless; it is like chasing the wind.” Yep. When I am enjoying God’s blessings and thanking him, there is no jealousy.
An example of giving in to what others want from me is when I allow other people to influence my decisions. Sometimes I am too hard of a worker and I don’t know when to say no. This leads to long hours working on group projects and often this leads to stress, frustration, and a lack of God time. I usually feel miserable. It would be so much better if I would just say no sometimes and let others share the load. I can’t do it all, but I feel that others expect me to so I sure do try sometimes. The truth of the matter is that I can’t do any of it without God.
When I rely on God and listen to what he wants in my life, I am happier. I feel more satisfied knowing that I am following his great plan. I know that his plan is better than anything I could plan. It takes patience, but I am finding that if I am constantly looking for ways that God is working in my life I see them more. Sometimes I can’t say how God is working in my life, because I am not looking. It takes a constant awareness and lots of prayer but God does show me bits of the plan. I’ve just got to be patient and searching for him.