I was listening to Erwin McManus preach today and he said something that really hit home with me. It really stuck. He was preaching from James, where it says, "Consider it all joy when you face trials of various kinds."
A trial is anything in your life that's bigger than you. Some of you may wonder, 'Why isn't God showing up in my life?' Do you ever wonder, 'Why—why aren't there any miracles?' I believe in miracles.
I just think most of us don't need one. 'Cause our lives are so small we don't really need God to show up. If your life is so small that it only needs you, you don't need God.
When you don't have a trial, you have to work hard to create extra room for God.
The trials that God uses to test our faith show us what we have in Christ, not what we're missing in and of ourselves. And God gets creative with his design of the trials that he walks us through.
He uses trials to teach us, whereas, when we're lords of our own lives we make things so comfortable for ourselves that we never go anywhere, never learn anything.
Just because a wheel is spinning doesn't mean you're going somewhere. That wheel's got to make contact with the ground. There has to be a little friction for progress to happen.
I've wondered over the last few years why it doesn't feel like God is doing anything with me anymore. Why does it feel like he's just done with me? Why is nothing happening around me?
Tonight I learned that I might be boxing him out. My life is so small and I've so carefully curated it, I so carefully manage it, that there is no intercession needed.
I haven't needed a miracle. I haven't needed God. When I have a problem, I solve it myself. And half of the problems I face are contrived anyway.
I live so small. I control every single aspect of my life and I've made my life so small that managing it is easy.
It's like, the street vendor at a farmer's market doesn't need a general manager over him. He's just selling fruit, he's not Wal-Mart.
Imagine if the street vendor had a board of trustees and a CEO and four tiers of middle management to help him make decisions about his apple cart.
My life is an apple cart and I'm its transpo, sales, accounting, management, owner—it's easy to do all of those jobs yourself when the company is so small.
Now I know what you're thinking—and I agree—I know I need God in a salvific sense. I need him to save me. Or in the sense that he holds everything together, I need him to give me breath.
But right now it's like I'm letting him give me the breath in my lungs and then I'm telling him to get lost—there's no room for him here. That's how I've lived my life, as if I can manage all by myself.
What would it look like for me to step out and take an enormous risk?
A new and enormous risk would certainly invite trials, but it would also be a new and giant area of my life in need of God's occupation. I'll need him. I'll need him to fill that space. I need him now, but I'll need him so much more then.
When I'm no longer able to manage every facet of my life on my own, I'll need him. When my life is not so small, when I'm aiming higher, building something bigger, I'll need him.
Let's get creative in the ways that we let God work in our lives. Let's take risks. Let's enjoy all the strange trials that God allows to come our way and trust that it's all to grow us and show us the faith we already have, not the faith we lack.
Let's get creative in our ability to adapt to difficulty. Let's let God manage our lives in ways that we could never manage ourselves.
Let's franchise this food cart and go public—let God be the CEO that takes us from farmer's market to global conglomerate. Ok I murdered that metaphor.