I've been on this "using kids as examples trend" recently while illustrating or writing devotionals and NO I am not having baby fever, but kids are the best template at times to drive home a point!
In a texting thread with a friend the other day, I asked how they were doing. I like to keep things as real as possible so I'll share the thread:
ME: Morning to you too! How are you?
THEM: In work mode
THEM: And blessed and focused mode. Trying to humble myself before The Lord.
THEM: Not easy
ME: In what way is it not easy?
THEM: Being committed to a life of prayer.
ME: You ain't never lied about that.
THEM: I've strayed from the feeling of an intimate God.
ME: Yes, we often times are like the toddler that says "me do it!"
(Pause on my part as what I said began to sink in)
ME: Dang.... Sounds like a devotional... I need to write this down! 😜
THEM: Me do it? Please expound.
ME: You know how you're trying to teach a child- let's say for example, to tie their shoes. No sooner do you give them the basics, they think they're ready to do it on their own. You reach out and try to help as you see them struggling, but you get a "I do it myself!" when you try to help them out, or as I said before "Me do it." In the teaching, learning, etc., there is intimacy with God and we (I do this all the time) often get the first bits of what He's saying as instruction and run off to "I do it myself."
Wow... Ok. There are so many things that I can attack here. But I'll focus on the "I do this all the time" portion of the thread. After all, I can only speak for me.
I have been the kid. On SEVERAL occasions. God? Can you give me a little credit and say that I've gotten a little bit better? Somewhat? Kinda? Maybe I'll just continue...
I openly admit that this is SO hard for me. I always want to do it myself. Peg it to my upbringing, my subsequent life experiences or past trauma that resulted in mistrust. Whatever it may be, I want to already know what to do, what to say, what to think and how to react. I also thought at times that if I wasn't the one doing it, then nobody could and if, well, when I failed, I suffered miserably.
But you know what the funny thing is? God 320Living'd ME. Yes, I just turned that into a verb. Straight up pulled me into submission and gave me a good ole whooping! In His gentle way.
I learned that while He created me as somewhat of an "independent child," He did MAKE me which ultimately means that as my manufacturer, He has my manual. And whether I like it or not, in order to live out my life's purpose to its maximum potential and be the power house He's called me to be, I have to go back to HIM for continuous instruction from THAT manual. Insert the obvious 'the Bible is the manual' here. But I'm talking about the specific one He has just for me.
Eventually, after numerous failed attempts and at times the same life lesson learned over and over, I realized that I could "Me do it!" but with Him as a guide. "He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, His spirit deeply and gently within us." (Ephesians 3:20 - The Message)
When He says "I know the plans I have for you," (Jeremiah 29:11 - NIV) it wasn't a joke. It LITERALLY means, there's a plan. A specific one. For YOU. You can always ask Him, "May I have a moment? I have a question about what I just went through. Exactly what WAS that? Are you kidding me? How does this fit in? Please explain or at least tell me what to do next."
If you're not that bold, take this approach:
"Show me how you work, God; School me in your ways. Take me by the hand; Lead me down the path of truth. You are my Savior aren't you?" Psalm 25:4-5 (The Message)
Show me how involves humility. You have to step into His workshop and be willing to learn. Take me by the hand involves trust. You don't go around holding the hands of complete strangers do you? Lead me down the path involves complete surrender - you have to turn off your GPS and give up your map for His.
All three invoke intimacy: Humility, trust and surrender. I know many of you have heard that word broken down as "into-me-see" or maybe you haven't but it deserves a revisit. Practicing humility, trust and surrender lets someone in. Into YOU for them to SEE.
It simply lets Him in.
And in that intimacy you'll discover for yourself like I did, the next verses in Jeremiah 29:11-13. "....Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart."
If that's not intimacy....I truly don't know what is.