I have absolutely no idea why, but felt strongly led today to send out a chapter from one of the books I wrote several years ago called “The Greatest Lesson of All: Answering God’s Call.” I am wondering if someone who reads this may be struggling with saying YES to God in where He is leading that person. Please don’t resist the Spirit of God. Though this is not my usual short Daily Inspiration, and will take a few extra minutes to read, I hope perhaps God might use it to encourage you to yield to His leading. . .
Gimme two rolls of that good looking salami. Three pounds of cheese. The white kind. With the holes in it. Whatever it’s called. Toss in some pickles. The long, skinny fellers. Nah, skip the salami. Gimme the ham. Don’t care about the fat. Yeah, the whole one. Got slaw? Forget it. Gimme the potato salad. Better not have eggs in it. Enough to feed an army. A family reunion anyway. Can’t wait, can you tell? Ha. Gimme the salami after all. You know something? Skip it. Just skip the whole order. Changed my mind. Gimme a break, buddy. Don’t gimme no nonsense, you here? I’m outta here.
Did it ever cross your mind you might be treating God like He is standing behind the deli counter at the supermarket? Gimme this, gimme that. A pound of this, a pound of that. Lots of this, none of that. Changed your mind, huh? Yes please. No thank you. Have a nice day, sir. Polite or rude, chatty, bossy, sweet, demanding, whatever. It’s all the same. You figure you can just pull your shopping cart right up to God’s counter, check out the specials, see what’s on sale, taste this, taste that, pick and choose, fill your shopping cart with whatever you please. Can the rest. Then off to the bakery for more picking and choosing. Gimme this, Gimme that. Gimme, gimme, gimme. Gimme God.
Not much different when it comes to His life’s purpose for you, is it? His calling for you. His occupation for you. His job for you. His assignments for you. His will for your life. His will for this very day. A little Gimme God here. A little Gimme God there. And hold the pickle. The long skinny feller. Don’t want it. Gimme God, Gimme this. Gimme that. You’re the one in charge, right? Don’t forget to say thank you. And off you go. Over to the cereal aisle. Where you’ll find a zillion choices. It’s a pick and choose kind of life, isn’t it? Even when it comes right down to what God wants you to do with the next 10 years of your life. Just Gimme God. Don’t like the potato salad? Get your money back. Or just dump it.
Now that you think of it, you can’t deny it. You start to realize maybe you are a little picky and choosey with the things of the Lord. In fact, it’s starting to come back to you. You signed up for that six-week small group at your church to learn how to hear the voice of God so you can do a better job at figuring out what He wants you to do with your life. But three weeks down the road, you decide you don’t like what God has to say to you. You quit the group. When the group leader calls to check in on you, you refuse to return her call. After all, you told the group what you discovered God wants you to do with your life. Now you don’t want the group leader to remind you. You’d rather forget. You’d rather tell God to give you something else.
You know perfectly well God has called you to go on a mission trip during your summer vacation from teaching, but you opt for the cruise instead. And the country club. And, oh, yeah, the gardening. You tell God you’re not up for a mission trip, and that maybe you’ll reconsider in the future. He should have given you other choices. Okay, maybe He wouldn’t have come up with the plan to sunbathe all summer. But surely He could have come up with something that you actually wanted to do.
You believe God is leading you to start a sewing class at the local nursing home, but you decide to weigh your other options before you make a commitment. You decide you wouldn’t mind visiting the nursing home once in a while, but you’re not interested in teaching sewing to seniors. You come up with a few great alternatives when you talk to your husband. Then you go back to God to tell Him that you’ve decided not to go ahead with His plan. Maybe you’ll change your mind, you tell God, if He gives you something more exciting to do. Gimme God.
Sometimes you feel like doing what God wants you to do; sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you do what He tells you; sometimes you don’t. Because the truth of the matter is that you’ve made it perfectly clear with God that you’re the one in charge. You’re the one who gets to pick. You’re the one who gets to choose. You’re the one standing behind the deli counter, aren’t you? You’re the one pushing your heavy shopping cart up and down the aisles. You’re the one who gets to decide what you want to toss in the cart. Even if your cart is overflowing. Even if the next item you stuff in there threatens to make everything in the cart come tumbling down and toppling onto the floor. What a mess.
Gimme God. Gimme this. Gimme that. Gimme what I want. Even when it comes right down to His purpose for your life, His next assignment for you, His occupation for you, His will for your future. His will for today. It’s your life after all, isn’t it? That’s the way you look at it anyway. Yes, even with God’s will for your life, you have to admit it. You’re driving your life around like a shopping cart, picking and choosing and telling God Gimme, Gimme. Gimme God.
Why not stop looking at all the choices? Give up picking and choosing when it comes to the will of the Lord. Move away from the deli counter. Get out of the aisles. Get rid of the shopping cart. Get out of the store. Stop thinking of God as Gimme God, and remember who He is. God.
He didn’t put you on this earth to live your will for your life. He put you here to live His will for the life He has given you. Not for you, but for Him. Not for your glory. For His. No more Gimme God. Give it up.
Did it ever dawn on you that living God’s will for your life, even when it’s hard, even when it’s scary, even when it’s unfamiliar and uncomfortable, even when it’s new, even when it’s nothing you would have imagined doing, is utterly incomparable to spending your life jamming jars of sweet pickles, Swiss cheese, day-old blueberry bagels, pre-washed lettuce, and double chocolate Brownie mix into your shopping cart?
Is it time to stop selling yourself short of God’s best? Sure, you can continue to pick and choose and play your Gimme God game. Or, you can get rid of your shopping cart and begin to live God’s best for your life. Let Him do the picking. Let Him do the choosing. His will. His way. For His glory.
When Jonah gave up living life on Jonah’s terms, and surrendered to the will of the Lord, he was immediately catapulted from a life of hell to a life of phenomenal significance.
He might not have liked what God called him to do, and he might not have liked what God did through him, but nobody, not Jonah nor anyone, could deny how powerfully the Lord moved through Jonah once he surrendered.
If God could save 120,000 people and their animals through Jonah’s surrender, just imagine what He might do through yours. Goodbye shopping cart. Goodbye Gimme God.
** If you are interested in learning more about the books I have written, please CLICK HERE.