“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.” (Matt 5:3, MSG) This reminds me of what John the Baptist concluded: “He (Jesus) must become greater; I must become less.” (John 3:30, NIV2)
We hunger to be closer to God and live according to His perfect will. Still, more often than not, we withhold part of ourselves and follow Him with just half of our heart, if you know what I mean. Just like the Israelites who wandered through the desert with God at the helm. They had seen with their own eyes how God delivered them from their cruel Egyptian task masters. Still they wanted their own way, and they grumbled when they didn’t get it fast enough.
It’s our human tendency to always want to be in full control, not realizing that far more often than not, we don’t know what is best for us. It’s when adversity hits us head on that we have the opportunity to realize that we are completely lost without divine input. When we are running out of rope, when we are facing what seems impossible, we realize we have no idea how to resolve the issue at hand. It’s during that time that we have an opportunity to experience our Father fully, as He will come through for us, if we depend on Him. It’s only then that we realize that with “less of us there is more of God.”
How many headaches could we have avoided if we had decided to let God reign over our lives. The apostle Paul concluded: “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2Cor 12:10b, NIV2). As long as we consider ourselves strong, we will never experience our Father fully, for we are in the way! “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Prov 3:5-6, NIV2)
Starting last winter, I faced something quite unusual. At times, when walking into my school building, or in the evenings as my wife and I did our daily 4K walk, I would either feel out of breath or quite dizzy. It got worse when I was in Scotland last summer. We were trying to catch a bus, and after running for just 30 seconds, my head became so dizzy I thought I would faint on the spot.
Back home, my doctor sent me to a heart specialist who declared I had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a thickening of a heart wall. In addition, apparently one of my aortic valves had only two prongs instead of three, and eventually I would have to undergo open heart surgery. The doctor himself didn’t say much. He just looked at me with gloomy eyes. I had so many questions to ask him, but he disappeared as soon as he delivered his diagnosis.
His reaction led me to the conclusion that I was probably a lost case. During this time of self-analysis, my adversity led me to be less focused on myself. After all, how could I fix my own heart? I became more focused on my Heavenly Father and less focused on my to-do lists. They could, after all, wait! And I became more focused on enjoying what life is about. I started to anticipate the glorious day when I would be with my Heavenly Dad. Fear dissipated quickly when God became so real to me.
It’s then that I realized that as long as we are more focused on our weaknesses than on God, no victory will ever be forthcoming. Victory can only occur when we focus solely on our Father, who will fill us to the brim with His love.
The day I pass on, I will miss my wife and children, but I also am filled with adrenaline at the thought of meeting Jesus face to face, my reality.
With more of God there is less of us. Only then can we purely enjoy our relationship with our Maker and Savior.
(To access the entire “Majestic Mountain View” devotional series, please click here.)
Written on September 19, 2014