I am acutely aware of my frailty. I was gonna use the word “suckiness” instead. And, apparently, I still am. But that’s a tad more negative than how I really feel.
I am acutely aware that I do not have the power or determination to will myself into writing, much less writing a book (which is not at all convenient due to the fact that I have to turn in a book to a publisher in September). I need the Lord to empower me to write. A lot. And quickly.
And I am acutely aware that I do not have the contacts or resources to pull off any She Will event, even in Memphis. I need the Lord to bring attendees and money. A lot. And quickly.
And I am acutely aware that I do not have the power nor the vision to make my own ministry or force my way into an existing one. I need the Lord to clear the way to one or both of those. Whenever He wants to. But preferably now.
I need Him for everything. He is the means to all my ends.
Yes, He is much more than that. And we have to guard against the tendency to “use Him”, lest we find ourselves much more concerned with the gifts than the Giver. (See the graven errors of the prosperity “gospel”.)
But, in this instance, I am focusing on both the freedom and the vulnerability that comes with knowing I can’t do anything apart from Him.
He is the power. More precisely, through the work of the Son, the Holy Spirit provides the power I need to accomplish the Father’s will.
We can thank the Son for His agreeing to impute His righteousness to us and take the death our sinfulness warrants from us so we can have the privilege of being indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
We can thank the Holy Spirit for agreeing to dwell in us to empower and guide us to accomplish the Father’s will.
We can thank the Father for deciding to send His Son and the Holy Spirit to do their respective tasks and for revealing His will to the Holy Spirit that the Spirit would be enabled to guide us rightly.
We need all of them! We need the Trinity.
Apart from God, we can truly do nothing (John 15:5). He is the means to all our ends.
It’s freeing to not feel like I have to “make myself” in a world that screams otherwise. All that really means is exhausting myself by trying to manipulate and force my agenda to happen on my timetable.
It’s hard for some people to not have a life plan all mapped out. It’s embarrassing to some people to not have answers when others ask them where they are going, what they are doing, and why.
I’m not “some people”.
I rather enjoy (probably too much) the bewildered looks on people’s faces who can’t understand why I would get a Bible degree with “no plan”…or a master’s in ministry with “no plan”…or a book deal with “no plan” …or try to speak at ministry events with “no plan”. I have no idea what I am doing or where I am going next. And I’m okay with that. And that freaks a lot of other people out. Which is one of my favorite pastimes.
On the other hand, not knowing also puts me in a vulnerable position. All my eggs are in God’s basket. If He wants to dilly dally (as I perceive it, of course), that’s His prerogative. But it’s my life in the sense that I have to live in that uncertainty. And make decisions. And occasionally pay a bill.
Much like I do with others, He enjoys watching bewildered looks creep across my face as book deadlines and event dates near and there appears to be “no plan”. And as this “no plan” approach extends to my desire to “be in ministry” one way or another while I teach no classes and don’t serve my church because we are still a young church in COVID limbo with, you guessed it, “no plan”.
He’s going to take care of all the “details” like “selling tickets” and “paying for things” and “book theses” and “60,000 words other people will actually want to read” and “teaching opportunities” and “leadership roles in ministry”, (which seem like extremely huge important things to me).
He’s just giving me a chance to recognize my face is contorted in a bewildered fashion and uncontort it.
He’s giving me time to remind myself, “Oh, yeah! I do actually trust God because He is actually sovereign and good and He does give me enough grace to put one foot in front of the other day after day.”
He’s giving me time to show (Him, myself, others) that I don’t just teach these theoretical concepts in Systematic Theology because they are in the textbook. I teach them because I actually believe they are true. The Bible tells me so, and so does past experience.
He is faithful. He is trustworthy and true. And while we may have “no plan”, He always has a plan–the best plan–which will always result in our good and His glory.
And that sounds like a pretty good plan to me.