I started writing a whole ‘nother post earlier this morning, but I got some news today and felt compelled to switch gears. I’m actually still learning everything that comes after this paragraph, so I’ll just pray, type and see where it goes…
A good girlfriend called me today and told me that someone close to her had just called off her wedding. The groom-to-be did the unthinkable. My friend was pretty discouraged and she wondered out loud, “Why does it seem like the girls who do everything the wrong way are winning?” To her, it seemed like the fact that this promising union was now broken sends the wrong message to the “good” girls.
Her rationale and resulting frustration made a lot of sense. If you strive to do things God’s way, you’re supposed to be the girl that gets the guy. We both came from a background where the older church mothers would advise us to “keep that skirt down and those panties up,” “wait for the right one,” and call your “husband” forth by praying for him. If you do these things, then you’ll be swept off your feet by prince charming and you’ll live “happily ever after.” Sounds great…Except it’s not right. And it’s not always true. Because what they don’t tell you is that THIS > your efforts to do things God’s way…is not about THAT > being found by a husband. And the problem with making it about that is that it becomes the end…and the pursuit of God’s way becomes the means.
When you make God a mile marker along the way and place anything else at the “finish” line, the race becomes about you. If the “end” doesn’t materialize, it leads you to question whether or not God’s way works. You may wonder if “it” isn’t happening because of something you’re doing or not doing. When we perceive that our “goodness” is failing, we tend to put His on trial. If God is not responding to my “good” by blessing me, then He’s not being good to me.
In the beginning of Philippians 3, Paul lays out His credentials and other “good” things that should give him favor in God’s eyes. He’s been circumcised, Jewish pedigree, was a “Pharisee of Pharisees” and was obedient to the law. But as the chapter went on, he realized how worthless it all was compared to the “infinite value of knowing Christ.” To “win Christ” and to be found in Him and clothed in HIS righteousness is to discard your own. In God’s economy, to win Him is to lose you.
Then in verses 3:13-14 (ESV), the Apostle Paul says this:
“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
His “upward call” is the “finish” line…fellowship with Him is the prize. You cannot be “good” without God. He is the means AND the end. He is this life’s ultimate necessity…It is impossible to successfully pursue Him without Him.
It’s not about desiring a husband any less…it’s about wanting God more. What we’ve been setup to believe God for is not enough. The privilege of knowing Christ is a blessing and a mercy to which nothing else compares. His love for you is unending and, should you dare to put Him first, He’ll make Himself at home in your heart. He paid for your life with His own…redeemed you from the hand of the enemy and opened the door for eternal companionship. He’s invaluable…a Gift that keeps on giving. In Him, fullness is the order of the day. God should be wanted for who He is…not just what He does. His presence is too valuable of a treasure for such small aims.
To be quite honest, this post has convicted the heck out of me. Lord, I’m sorry. Sorry for having such an unhealthy attachment to my “happily ever after.” My desire to please You should stand alone with no support from underlying desires and motives. Lord, please find my obedience to be an appropriate response to your grace and mercy in my life and not just a way to encourage Your will. Help me to cultivate a lifestyle of dependence as I run this race. And most important, help me to always know and recognize You as the grand prize of this life. For when I commit my life to the pursuit of Your heart, You make me a “good” girl who wins.