Sounds like a two-year-old in line at the grocery store, doesn’t it? Yep, we’ve all seen it: a frazzled mother toting her kids along on a trip to the grocery store, or to Pastor Jeff’s favorite hangout, WalMart. The mom tries, unsuccessfully, to keep her kids entertained and quiet while in the store, but, while going down the toy aisle or candy aisle, they begin to get out of control. They begin to ask, plead, and beg mom for _______ (you fill in the blank), and when mom says “no”, they begin their predictable behavior of being stubborn, grumpy, obstinate, and just plain hard-to-get-along-with.
Now, fast-forward twenty, thirty or forty years…. and you find the same behavior… from us. Yes, us… you and me. We want to watch out for Numero Uno, and we want, we desire, we conive, and we protect our own self-interest. And then God comes along and says, nope, I’m calling you to leave yourself behind. Here’s what Oswald Chambers says today in My Utmost for His Highest:
There is always a tremendous battle before sanctification is realized— something within us pushing with resentment against the demands of Christ. When the Holy Spirit begins to show us what sanctification means, the struggle starts immediately. Jesus said, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate . . . his own life . . . he cannot be My disciple” ( Luke 14:26 ).
Basically, we say, “I don’t wanna!” like the two-year-old in the grocery store.
I can tell you — from personal experience — the more you say, “I don’t wanna!”, the less you will experience God’s presence in your life, until one day, He stops beckoning you altogether. And that’s a dangerous place.
We’re called to lay down our lives… our own self-interest… to set it aside, for the sake of Christ and His agenda. In the process, we find that He has our best interests at heart all along.
The question is: How much are we still saying, “I don’t wanna!”?