I could do things my way – but there’s a better way
Illustration: Christina Wong, Thir.st
Throughout the years, my heart has been yearning for things that God has not been giving to me. I yearned for a reputable career in the creative industry, but I’m now a full-time ministry worker. I desire for a relationship, but I’m still very single. I wish I had time to hang out with friends, but I find myself occupied with ministry even outside of work and church.
Week after week, the routine repeats. Full-time ministry work. More ministry after work. Lifegroup planning, mentoring, worship duty, more mentoring, lifegroup, more ministry planning. Still haven’t met up with the friends I’ve been trying to meet. I sink into my bed at the end of the day with absolute fatigue. Still single. The buzz from the flurry of activities dies down and the silence from my loneliness becomes louder than ever.
On some days, it is easy for me to fall into a pit of loneliness and disappointment towards God. This wasn’t what I pictured. Why is it so lonely to do Your work, God?
Then He spoke to me, “You need to do my work, my way. Trust me.” He asked for my full, total surrender.
LIVING WITH A SENSE OF EXPECTANCY
To do God’s work requires me to avail myself as His worker. A worker does not decide for himself his work for the day, but he waits on instructions from his superior. For me to be able to do God’s work effectively, I need to live with a sense of expectancy every day towards God.
What does the Lord want to do with me today? What does the Lord want me to do today?
I have no agenda of my own.
When I think that there is only one solution out of a problem and God has to give me that or nothing, that is me bringing my agenda to the table. Me thinking that I should be happy and not lonely doing God’s work? That is my agenda. My own agenda closes my own mind. A closed mind is a closed heart and a closed door.
This is the key to the freedom to do God’s work. To do God’s work effectively, I have to do it His way. I need to stop relying on my own strengths and logic. I need to make space for God’s plan in my life. I need to trust and obey Him.
TRUST AND OBEY
When our feelings from our own unfulfilled agendas become so great that they overwhelm us, it is easy for us to lose sight of what is at hand and the reality. The disappointments come like a mighty waterfall. The currents engulf us. The weeds wrap our around us. It is in these moments we feel that God has forgotten about us and shortchanged us.
But we forget that the truth is greater than our feelings. God loves us. (Psalm 42:8) God is our solid rock. (Psalm 42:9)
To do God’s work God’s way is to be a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. (Jeremiah 17:7-8) It has no agenda of its own and it simply does what it ought to do. It trusts and obeys the natural occurrence of life and finds fulfilment of its purpose through it.
The heart which has no other agenda but only God’s is the heart free from itself. It is fully surrendered and it fully trusts. Its emptiness is filled with the love of God. Its solitude can be turned into prayer.
I have no agenda of my own.