I had a conversation this past week with a guy about his goals, things he wanted to accomplish, and changes he seems to desperately want to make. I had a very similar conversation with the same man last year—same goals, same issues, same hopes. But a year later, very little, if any, change.
Another conversation I had with someone this week was quite different. There is incredible progress and change happening on a regular basis. Truly amazing things going on.
Both guys are awesome, Christian men. Both love the Lord and want to do His will. So, what is the difference?
While specific circumstances will always dictate differences in every story, some of the foundational elements I regularly see is an understanding of identity and a constant state of surrender.
On identity, I’ll speak for myself. I continually prove that I am a sinner while God continually proves that, well, He is God. He’s really good at being God and I am not at all, even when I try very hard. While that may sound elementary, it is not at all, because it is so easy for us to think that “we got this” when we got nuthin’. We have simply deluded ourselves. So, knowing we have to have Him for anything to work, to change, to move, to be different, is crucial and critical.
So the guy who cyclically talks about the desire to change is reporting what he wants to accomplish. The other guy who reports great things happening in life is actually bragging on what God is doing through him.
That brings us to surrender, which only comes when we are out of bullets and the realization sets in that there is no point in attempting to reload. Put the gun down and step away from the issue. Kick the weapon out of reach with arms behind our head.
Hand over the illusion of control of what we can do and receive the reality of redemption that Christ offers to do in us.
So here are a few tough questions we must constantly ask:
What am I trying to prove?
Who am I trying to prove it to?
What will I have accomplished if I prove anything at all?
Jesus replied, “…The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name. —John 10:25 NLT