It's My Life!
Friday, July 16, 2010

“I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.”(Jer. 10:23)

        One of Mother’s strictest rules was, “No swimming in tanks (ponds)!”  I don’t know why.  I never quite figured it out.  Maybe she lived in horror of one of us drowning.  But to her the only safe place to swim was in a supervised swimming pool (which may be one of the most dangerous places in the world to swim).  However, there was no rule she made which was quite so unrealistic as that one.  During grain harvest season, there was only one way to get the chaff off and that was to take a dunk, which we would often do at the end of a long hot summer day.  Other times were equally tempting for country boys, and inevitably we got into trouble.  One day, my brother, two of the hired hand’s kids, and I were swimming in a tank (pond) almost a mile from the house.  We got out of the water and up on the tank dam when we spotted my dad walking across the field at the “now you have no idea the trouble you are in” pace, and boy was he ever right.  When we got home, the old belt came out and we were as good as dead.

            However, the angriest I ever made my mother was one day she caught me swimming my horse across the “tank behind the house.”  Since my brother was off in college, I was on my own this time.  But it wasn’t so much the swimming that made her mad, it was a comment I made.  After she began chewing me out for my disobedience, in my sophmorish grown-up state, I said, “It’s my life, let me live it like I want.”  She burst into tears and began to whack on me with her old rubber shower shoe.  The whacks didn’t hurt, but the tears almost killed me.  I didn’t understand until years later why that upset her so.But isn’t that what we say to God so often.  “It’s my life.  Let me live it like I want.” 

            That’s what the people of Judah told God over and over as they tried to live outside His commands for them.   They had the writings of Solomon which made clear, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it reaps destruction.”  But they did not heed Solomon, nor did they heed Jeremiah the prophet.  They simply wanted to live their lives outside the interference of God.  However, in the event that they were in trouble, they wanted to make sure that God was ready and available to help.    The real issue that is so hard for most people to comprehend is that our lives do not belong to us.  They belong to the God who created us.  We are His and we were purchased at a great cost.  Jeremiah said, “I know, O LORD, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.” 

         We reject the idea that God owns us, because if that were true, then God would have the right to tell us what to do.  And we don’t like to be told what is right and wrong.In the past century, this has constituted one of the great cultural clashes.  We have people who do not want God to enter into life outside the arena designated as religious.  He is not to get involved in economics, politics, social action, and certainly not in moral development.  Those arenas, we believe, are our domains, outside the purview of God.  Yet, it is precisely in those issues where God dwells.  He wants us to make Him Lord of our economy, political process, social action, and moral development.  And whether we like it or not, it is ultimately Him who directs the outcome.   We don’t even walk in a direction that God has not already allowed us to go.  It is naive for us to believe we are in control.  So for each of us individually, or all of us collectively as a church, or nation, we must know that God is in control of our lives, and if we live in surrendered obedience to that reality, we will have “a far more harmonious outcome.”  

Kingdom Road Ministries
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10 South Main, Suite 201
Victor, ID 83455

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