I have walked with God for much of my life. And after someone like me gets comfortable in that walk, I start taking over again. It happens quite subtly, actually. Little by little, over time, so gradually sometimes that I barely even notice that it’s happening. I don’t know about you, but I’m a girl who likes to be in control. Give me enough time, and I can almost talk myself into thinking that self-reliance is a good thing. Surely God desires for me to put those critical thinking skills to good use, right? Or to rely on past experience, or even my education. Or to work really hard at being a hard-working and responsible individual. While all of these things can be qualities used for good, God never intended for me to take the lead without Him. If you’re anything like me, you know that can be a pretty frustrating and futile way to live. Still, often times before I know it, I’ve taken back the reigns on my life that were never meant to be mine in the first place.
What I’ve come to adore about studying the Bible with Good Morning Girls is the method of breaking the text down verse by verse. And God got me on the very first verse of Ephesians.
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God…“
God has a great plan for your life. For mine. But like Paul, we have to know who we are in Christ before the rest of the story makes sense.
Think about it, really. If Paul was going to spend time in prison and still fully submit to and accept God’s will for his life, his identity had to be secure. Really secure. So before Paul gives a bunch of disciplines to strive towards in order to grow in Christ-like maturity, he begins Ephesians by simply telling us who we are. He sets us up for spiritual success. And the reminder that I need in my life over and over again? Real success in the end doesn’t depend on me. Now there’s a load off.
My identity apart from Christ is lacking and without hope. My identity with Christ is everything!
Oh, to read Ephesians 1 and to refresh in my heart and mind that I am a child of the Most High God, who:
… has blessed me with every spiritual blessing.
… chose me before the creation of the world.
… adopted me as His child.
… gives me His grace freely.
… offers me redemption and forgiveness.
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened
in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you,
the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead…“
Why in the world do I fall back into the pattern of doing things on my own strength when the very same power that raised Christ from the dead is accessible to me as His child? It’s incomparably great power for us who believe! Once I let this truth sink in, I can “walk the aisle” in obedience, ready to fully surrender, once again, to whatever His will is for my life. Mountains and valleys will come, and I can follow His lead, confident of who I am in Christ.
And He will be enough.
Take the reigns, Father. They’re rightfully Yours. Give me the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that I may know You better (Eph. 1:17), and lead me all the way.
At His feet,