For Lent, I am walking us through a book called Apprenticeship With Jesus. You can follow along by reading my highlights and reflections. Extensive previews of the book, including excerpts, can be found through Google Books and Amazon, as well as eBook purchasing options.
Day 10: The Bad: I Am Worse Than I Can Imagine
– Honesty is the starting block for change
– “The intelligent person recognizes that his or her well being lies in being in harmony with God and with what God is doing” – Dallas Willard
– Essence of sin – that God does not have our best interest at heart
– Find the honesty to admit utter ruin that results from living severed from the energy of God
I cannot tell you how crucial the concept of sin expressed in this reading has been for me. The idea that we have to take care of ourselves because God doesn’t know what is best for us is so much more transforming than listing a bunch of activities that we know God hates. I can think of direct times in my life, some even this week, when I overcame temptation simply by asking myself, “Do I believe that God knows what he is doing regarding this particular situation or I am I going to reject Him and take matters in my own hands?”
Apprentice Activity: Owning the Bad
– Find a quiet place and think about how your life runs when you are in control
– Ask these two questions:
How do things go in my life when I am in control instead of God?
What are the ways that I can make sure I am allowing God to be God – today?
The crux of this chapter has been on honesty. In order to achieve change, you must be able to recognize where change is needed and why it has been so difficult to change. This activity will certainly help us become more honest but I wonder if some of us are truly able to be honest with ourselves? I wonder if we all might need a little outside help, maybe from a trusted friend or family member?
What is Jesus teaching me? Give up control. Give up control. Give up control. The more control I have on my life the less I am walking with Christ in this apprentice relationship. I remember a low point in my life a few years ago when I felt that I had so little control over my life that I was determined to train our dog simply to show that I could control something. It didn’t work. I let myself get more discouraged instead of falling at the feet of Jesus and giving up my will for the chance to walk in his.
What do you need to turn over to God? Do you believe that God has your best interest at heart? Do you believe that God knows what he is doing?