Because we rarely release ownership of our lives on our own (even if we want to), God organizes a crisis to “assist” us in making a full surrender to the lordship of Jesus. Now, this is certainly not the pathway for every man, but in my experience it is for most of us. Suffering compels us to seek the God that success makes us think we don’t need.
It could be a marriage crisis, a crisis with our children, a health crisis, a money crisis or any one of dozens of other problems that drive that last bit of willfulness out of us.
For me, it was a business crisis. When I was a real-estate developer, I took big gambles. When a major recession hit, I was overleveraged and my world started to crumble. One day, while sitting in the rubble of my collapsing business, I was struck by an idea that I believe is the greatest lesson I’ve ever learned:
There is a God we want, and there is a God who is. They are not the same God. The turning point of our lives is when we stop seeking the God we want and start seeking the God who is.
I had received Christ, but it dawned on me: Morley, what were you thinking? Did you really think any amount of reinventing God in your imagination to be the God you wanted Him to be would have one iota of impact on His unchanging nature and character?
It finally sank in. I had wanted to change God, but God wanted to change me. He wanted me to follow Jesus with my whole heart: wherever, whenever, whatever. That’s what He wants for all of us—a full, total, complete surrender to the lordship of Jesus.
So as we do our year-end/new-year reflections, let’s each ask God for His grace to lead this fully surrendered life in 2014. To Him and for His glory. Amen!
Note: The preceding is an excerpt from Patrick Morley’s book How God Makes Men.