We live in a world where we have a zillion options. When I was growing up, we were excited to see a new store open in our shopping center. Baskin Robbin’s 31 flavors. Imagine! 31 flavors of ice cream!
Today we have endless ways to create our own customized lives. We can choose what car we drive, in what color. We can decide how our homes are decorated, what kind of diet we prefer, what kind of phone to buy and what type and color of case for that phone. Recently, I got an email from my bank saying my card was expiring and did I want to choose a new picture to customize my new card? I did. My new card will now have a picture of a golden retriever—my idea of the perfect dog, by the way.
Since we have all these choices, we may be tempted to allow that freedom— to choose exactly how we want things—to carry over to our relationship with God. At first we might deny this. We might say we are happy to yield to God in all areas of life since we’ve given our lives to Him. But are we really happy to let Him do all the choosing?
How about Psalm 98:4 that says, “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!” But I’m an introvert and don’t feel comfortable being demonstrative, especially in church. God understands that, since He made me, right?
Or how about 1 Peter 3:4 that says, “But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.“ But I’m an extrovert and have a need to be outgoing and sometimes noisy. God understands that, since He made me that way, right?
Perhaps we should conclude that God, in fact, made us exactly the way He planned, and then intentionally asked us to do things outside our comfort zone. Hmmm. Kind of uncomfortable, isn’t it?
We take all these personality tests, Enneagrams, compatibility quizzes, and skills surveys, and we think we have come up with our “true” selves. Perhaps there is some truth to the conclusions we draw, but there is something very important that we must accept. Just because we know ourselves so well, we still don’t have permission to take God’s word and pick and choose what applies to us. We cannot customize God or His word. He says what He means and there are no exceptions based on our preferences.
We may think that all our choices, the ways we make our lives our own, are harmless. Aren’t we just trying to make this life as pleasant as we can? Is that really wrong? But if you want the truth—letting God do the choosing will bring us joy beyond measure. After all, He knows us better than we know ourselves. That doesn’t mean that you have to ask God what color car to drive but I’m sure you’ve had times when you thought you had no choice and God gave you exactly what pleased you.
My challenge to you is that you take a moment to sit quietly with the Lord and ask Him where you have been justifying your own preferences instead of desiring to be obedient to God’s direction in His word. You will be blessed. I promise.
“How happy are those whose way is blameless, who walk according to the Lord’s instruction! Happy are those who keep his decrees and seek him with all their heart.” – Psalm 119:1-2 (CSB)