12 August 2017

The uncomfortable (but true) reality that God doesn't owe me anything.

One of my favorite resources to use in youth ministry is the Fr. Mike Schmitz videos he produces for Ascension Press. 

I often use them at leadership team meetings for an extra dose of formation and they always lead to great conversations. The teens love him and refer to Fr. Mike like he's a priest they personally know. #kindasweet

There have been several videos that have really knocked me upside the head. Like the ones on fasting?! Whew. 

Last week I re-watched God Doesn't Owe You Anything.

It's a true yet uncomfortable spiritual truth I find myself coming back to lately. 

God doesn't owe me anything. 
Not one damn thing.

God doesn't owe me a wonderful marriage with lots of babies, that job I really want, or a certain number on my pay stubs. He doesn't owe me a life of ease, comfort, or even security. 
God will never ever be in my debt.

Sometimes I confuse God's faithfulness with the promise that I deserve good things in life because...well I just do! It is my right to be happy and have good things in my life. It is such a misunderstanding of the Gospel Jesus preached; we don't follow Jesus because we're expected to receive good things as a result of our fellowship with Him. 
Jesus is not a vending machine.

Honestly acknowledging this rubs me raw sometimes; it makes me uncomfortable that I feel this way and then when I have to honestly name it before Jesus in prayer.

I've noticed some of this mentality creeping in from time to time especially after my divorce and annulment: "Jesus I deserve this (fill in the blank) because I went through all this stuff (fill in blanks again)." When I live out of this attitude, I know it is my own brokenness talking back at me...which are subtle reminders that I still need counseling and Unbound prayer. 

When I catch myself going down that rabbit hole, I have gotten better at stopping myself and renouncing those lies. But at the same time, I've had to do A LOT of talking and (even more) being still with Jesus on WHY I have this perception with Him sometimes.

I don't love having to admit how many times I have whined to the Lord, "Okay Jesus, when is it my turn to have good things happen to me?!" My perception of God's goodness sometimes is weighed down by what I want and what I expect out of my relationship with God. 
And that's jacked.up.

I have done nothing to deserve this life I have been given, the many gifts and blessings I do have. 
When I get hyper focused on what I do not have in life, it makes me super forgetful (and ungrateful) of the many more blessings and good things God has freely given me.

Not because I deserve them or I am owed them, but just freely given...as gift.

I have a body that is capable of physical things I never thought I could do like train for a marathon.

I grew up in a home where my parents loved each other and loved their kids. Not everyone in life has that.

The list goes on and on.

Shaking my fist at God for what I don't have is not what changes things.

But changing how I look at all I do have as pure gift, that changes my heart and my perspective.

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