I used to think that God gave me a second chance, but that it was up to me to make something of myself. This belief came to the surface when I met with a counselor. He listened to me talk on and on about my life and my faith, all my dreams and aspirations, and at the end of it he pointed out a phrase that I came back to over and over: “I did it on my own, with God.”
I had said that I overcame addiction on my own with God. I made it through college on my own with God. I became an author and a pastor on my own, with God. When I say those words now, I realize how ridiculous they sound. I didn’t do any of that stuff—God did it. God saved me from drugs and gave me the strength to stay clean for 24 years. God led me to college and gave me the grace to learn and grow. God lovingly led me to churches that gave me a chance to lead and teach and inspired me to have something worth saying.
I didn’t do it on my own with God. He did it on his own, with me. I wasn’t completing His work—He was! He was the one guiding and providing. I was just along for the ride.
So I hope you feel a sense of freedom today. The key is to not take His care for granted. To not get impatient and try to make things happen yourself. To not get bored or scared or frustrated and try to do it on your own, because that’s just the voice of an idol calling, wanting to be your master.
We need to partner with God as He pursues us. If you want a really concrete way to do this, prayer is the key. Prayer is simply all you are not calling out to all God is so He can make you all you were meant to be.
There is no right way to pray. The only wrong way is not try. Just take a moment when you have quiet, like the shower or your in the car, and talk to God. Tell Him all your needs, all your concerns no matter how big our small. Lay out your problems and your weaknesses, and pretty soon you’ll be hearing His voice. You will see his provision. You will start to feel those ropes of kindness lead you along. You will feel the burden and weight lift from your shoulders to His. You will receive the tender care you need.
Realize that God doesn’t just save you; He makes you into all you were meant to be.
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