“God is not trying to change you. He’s trying to kill you!”
I read this today and it rang a bell in me. It isn’t change that I need to worry about. I’ve working against myself for 42 years trying to change myself into the man of God that I have pictured before me as my goal in life. No, I just gotta die.
This is not about being a better Christian or volunteering more at church. It’s not even about reading more Bible or fasting and praying more so that you will become a stronger man of God. It ain’t about you. It’s about others. It’s about surrender. It’s about giving up your vision of yourself and giving in to Him.
A lot of folks look at me and think I’ve got this whole thing all wrapped up in a neat package, but I’m as scared as the next guy about letting go and stepping into the unknown. How do you just drop all the stabilizing things in your life and step off the edge of the cliff? Is that what it means to die? I just have to shut off the switch that is labeled “Me”?
No one realizes how scared every time I am called to stand up before even the smallest groups of people in the remotest of villages. Every time. No matter how many hundreds of messages I have preached or how many hundreds of churches have been ignited or how many hundreds of people have been saved and healed, “Lord, will I be able to deliver your Word with the Anointing that will change their lives? When they ask me to pray for them, will they actually get healed? Are you gonna show up? Cause, honestly Lord, I don’t know how to do this.”
No, this is about dying, not growing.
When I look at myself, I can see with a sharp clarity all the warts I have and all the pimples that are on my butt. I struggle with all kinds of stuff that I’d rather not tell anyone about. I don’t have enough faith. I don’t pray hard enough. I hate fasting. I catch myself thinking about the wrong stuff, saying the wrong things, leaning in the wrong directions. Lord, I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention, but I ain’t the guy you think I am. I can point to the guys who really are better than me, who could really do a much better job than me. I really have no idea what I’m doing.
But those prayers are all answered the same way. I hear that pregnant silence, punctuated with the sound of Him patiently drumming His fingers, waiting for me while I’m looking around asking if He can find somebody else.
So I swallow (gulp), take a deep breath, and say, I know I am not worthy - and will never be worthy. I don’t know how be some righteous Holy Joe, some great supernatural powerhouse in God, or how to lead your people. I don’t know how to organize a deeply theological sermon, don’t know how to do miracles, don’t know how to deal with people’s emotions, how to preach, how to pastor, or even be a great Christian … I don’t know anything.
But here am I, Lord.