Thursday, March 13, 2008

Constantly Vigilant

From an early March journal entry:

10:30 am Today, so far, I've been constantly upset by things not going as I'd like them to go. Then I stop and think... but it's God's will and God's plan that matters. I serve Him, not myself. I'm here to bring glory to Him, not achieve my goals.

I think of Autumn Lightning (The Education of an American Samurai" by Dave Lowry), which I read some years ago. The samurai student had to constantly be on the alert, never knowing when the master would attack or set someone upon him -- in bed, walking down the hall, even on the toilet. No place was out of bounds. This is how you must be when at war, when you are a man-at-arms. You're trained to use your weapon for defense, thus you must always be ready to use it.

How like the Christian Way of Life, where we are soldiers in a war, too. (2 Ti 2:4) The weapon, of course, is God's word. And the attacks come at the master's behest for our benefit, to train us and make us stronger, quicker and more solid in our use of our weapon. They mostly are the small things in life. Things not going your way. The dog steals a sock when you're hanging out the laundry, then rips it in the ensuing tug of war as you try to get it back. People change schedule without notice and now all the things you'd planned to do, you can't. Distractions pile up until the morning's gone and you didn't get a lick of writing done...

But it's always your plan that's being thwarted, never God's. And this stuff isn't even suffering for His sake (Phil 1:29). It's just things not going your way. The kingdom of darkness will set up situations to get you out of fellowship. To get you to worry, to feel condemned and guilty and now, in my case... to get me mad and frustrated. For so long it's been fear and approbation lust I've had to deal with. Now we're moving into power lust as God probes ever deeper, challenging and grinding and stripping away the layers of arrogance.

So again, the thing to focus on is that it's God's plan, not mine. His plan moves on. My plan is nothing. My goals for the day don't matter at all in comparison to me staying in fellowship. And His goals for my day are unknown when I start out. I don't know what His plan is until I see it unfold. Because of that, I must trust Him continually, moment by moment, always getting my thoughts off myself and my situation and bringing them back to Him.

Which is exactly where He wants them.