Why You Can’t Find Your Way

“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.” John 14:6

“I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find green pasture.” John 10:9

the path.jpg

Trigger Warning: This post contains ideas that may upset you, confront you, mess with your theology, and transform you. If you are comfortable where you are and not interested in experiencing more from life and God, please stop reading now. Just go back to your regular church. You’ll be safer there.

Calling Codependency with God a Relationship

When I was a kid I remember hearing all the time “Careful. If you trust God with everything he might just send you to Africa.” Something about that sentence never quite sat right with me.

You hear lots of these sorts of comments growing up in Church. Another favorite of young singles is “What if God calls me to be single my entire life!?” (Sometimes I still fear this one just a little.)

How about “I know what you want, but what about what God wants?” or “just surrender it all to God and do whatever He says,” or “Have you prayed about it?”

These last ones are the hardest, because they each have just a grain of truth in them, but I want to reveal something here that I’m not sure you’ve ever realized:

God doesn’t want you to obey Him.

Say whaaaat?  That sounds like heresy to me!

Nope. It’s true. That’s not what he’s after.

I get where you’re coming from. I’ve felt the same way so many times. I’ve prayed, asking God for the right thing to do. Asking what I should do here or there, if I should take this job or date this girl. We’re all caught up looking for the “way” we are supposed to follow, ready to lay down all our needs, desires, and wishes, and surrender to the cosmic rule maker who wants us to get every choice dictated to us by Him before we take a single step.

Hey! That’s called codependency!

The thing is,

When you seek to follow God like an obedient slave, you give up the greatest gift He ever gave you: your identity.

You were never intended to give up all your desires for God. You were intended to fulfill your desires with God. 

I’m gonna repeat that, because this is where it starts gettin’ good.

You were never intended to give up all your desires for God. You were intended to fulfill your desires with God. 

Friendship vs. Codependency 

Friendship with God says “God, I really want to go to New Zealand, what do you think?”

Codependency says “God, I want to go to New Zealand. I know it’s selfish of me, and I only want what you want. Would you show me if it is your will for me to go?”

Friendship with God says “Man, I love going on adventures with you God, so if you want me to go pray for that lady, let’s do it!”

Codependency says “You’ve told us to pray for the sick, so I will go pray for her because I want to obey you.”

Friendship says “I want a spouse one day, and I trust that you’ll fulfill the desires of my heart. Show me what that looks like as You and I walk this out.”

Codependency says “God, PLEASE don’t make me single my whole life. I NEED TO KNOW if this person I just went on a first date with is the one, or else I might make the WRONG CHOICE!”

They look similar, but they don’t look the same. They don’t feel the same. One is about getting it right, obeying, losing oneself. The other is about having fun, enjoying, expressing oneself.

We so often believe the lie that to “become more like Christ” we have to be Jesus clones that do everything exactly the way he did in the Bible, when in reality He is the very Word that made each of us a unique expression of Himself, that can only be seen if we act in accordance with our personal God given identity! 

Following The Way

So how do we do it then? How do we know which way to go if we aren’t meant to be seeking divine dictation all the time? How do we know the way?

By being friends with the one who IS the Way.

I love that Jesus doesn’t tell people that he knows the way. Or that he will tell them the way. He says he is the way.

If he knew the way, following Him would be as simple as walking a path, or doing a plan, but that’s not how it works. Actually, He is the Door, and once we’ve entered via Him we get to come and go as we please. Moreover, whether we stay “in” or go “out” He says we will find what we’re looking for. (John 10:9)

We will find green pasture, not He will force us to a particular patch of grass.

We are not called slaves, but friends (John 15:15). Friends know the heart of the Father. They are in on what Jesus is like. They get a say in the friendship. Friends know the Way, by hanging out with Him, not by following His “perfect plan.”

Does God have a plan for your life? Yes. His plan is for you to be friends with His Son.

What about the whole “not my will but your will be done” thing? Jesus said that only after making it clear to the Father what he was feeling and wanted. They talked like friends first. PLUS, this scripture has to be understood in light of Hebrews 12:12 which says that “for the joy set before Him He endured the cross.” Look, no one wants to suffer like that, but Jesus went to the cross not because he had to, but because he wanted to. The Father didn’t make Him a slave to Divine will. Jesus willed himself to chose friendship with you no matter the cost.

So what do we DO? 

If we don’t pray for divine dictation, then how do we pray? How do we make big decisions? Probably something like this:

  1. Take a few deep breaths. You’re too stressed out dude.
  2. Remind yourself that the Way isn’t an answer or path, it’s a Person
  3. Meditate on the reality of that Person living inside you and with you right in this moment of need.
  4. Delight yourself in that Friendship. Enjoy Him, and enjoy that connection.
  5. Tell Him how you’re feeling. Tell Him what you want, and why it matters to you.
  6. Invite Him into the decision, and trust that whether you hear an answer or not, He’s giving you the exact response that he wants to and the exact response that you need.
  7. Take a few more deep breaths. Seriously, you’re doing great. Jesus loves the story you two are telling together and He is totally big enough to ride this thing out with you regardless of what you choose.
  8. Own whatever choice you go with, and continue to delight yourself in the Lord as you walk out that choice. Don’t blame God for making you choose it because He didn’t; you did. Don’t blame the devil for making you choose it because he didn’t either, you did. And please, don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t go the way you expected, because He likes the choice you made, and He is still 100% in it with you.

God made someone amazing when He made you. He loves that you like sports, or flowers or farting on your kids just to gross them out. He didn’t want a slave, and he doesn’t want codependency. He wanted quirky, weird, passionate you.

Now go do what you want.

*********

 

For more on Codependency and emotional health, I HIGHLY recommend checking out my Friend Alice’s website, http://poemachronicles.com/ She has changed my life, and I think you’ll find that she’ll change yours too.

For more of my thoughts on freedom, being yourself, and loving Jesus, check out this post from my old blog: https://realhoperising.com/2013/06/23/truth-freedom-and-love/


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