I think as Christians, it is easy to sing along with Lecrae and say, “I can play the background, and You (Jesus) can take the lead” (song of the week). But what does this truly look like? Are we ready to completely sit back, and let God take over this show? I know in my own personal life, this was a huge struggle. As a Christian I knew that my life was ultimately in God’s hands, but I wanted to call the shots. I was working to make myself famous, not God.
Over time, I realized that I had to completely deny myself and allow Jesus Christ to take the lead. This is easier said than done. How many times, growing up, did you gripe and complain about projects you had to do for school or chores your parents made you do? If you are anything like me, it was probably ALL THE TIME. This was no different in my spiritual life. I did not want to complete the tasks/responsibilities that God had given me to complete. It’s easier to just complain and act like I’m not worthy enough to do what He’s called me to do, right? Wrong! In complaining and pushing God away, I was ultimately saying, “God, I know myself better than You do, so let me take care of things the way I see fit.” I never once stopped to think: maybe the He has put me in this place in my life so that through me, His Name could be glorified. Jesus Christ’s life and death was the ultimate submission to God’s will that we can follow. “..signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God” (John 21:19). Jesus Christ lived to glorify God the Father.
Some of you reading this post may be thinking, “I don’t know what God has called me to do” or “I’m not ready to do what He wants me to do.” As Priyanka said in her post, the main role He has called us to is submission. We are to submit under His authority and allow Him to take control of all aspects of our lives; big (1 Corinthians 6:20; “Glorify God in your body and in your spirit.”) and small (1 Corinthians 10:31; “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”). The main way to learn how to do this, is through prayer.
One examples of a great prayer warrior in Scriptures is Nehemiah.
When I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven. I said, “I beseech You, O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who preserves the covenant and loving kindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, let Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer of Your servant which I am praying before You now, day and night, on behalf of the sons of Israel Your servants, confessing the sins of the sons of Israel which we have sinned against You; I and my father’s house have sinned.
Nehemiah 1: 4-6
Nehemiah, a cup bearer for the King, saw the disparity in Jerusalem. He was saddened by the ruins of God’s promised land and knew that it came about because of the sins of his people. Nehemiah did not play the blaming game or even ignore the problem, rather, he saw a need, and acted appropriately: through prayer. Through his prayer to God, he gained perspective and he gained confidence. It was not an easy task for a cup bearer to approach the King and ask him for a favor, but Nehemiah did, because he spent time in the presence of God and depended on His strength to handle this matter. He spent “day and night” praying on behalf of the Israelites. Through constant prayer Nehemiah gained enough insight to realize that he needed to leave the luxuries of home, and act in accordance to God’s will. He turned to God for guidance and direction, because he realized that God was ultimately in control.
Like Nehemiah, we need to call upon our Savior, confess our sins, and ask for His strength and guidance. As we go before God in prayer, we gain His perspective and begin to trust in Him, rather than ourselves. We learn through prayer, that God is in the lead, while we “take the background.” In the end, through hard work and prayer, Nehemiah was able to stay focused and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. For me, the greatest part was not just that he accomplished the task at hand, but that in completing this job, God’s name was glorified.
When all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations surrounding us saw it, they lost their confidence; for they recognized that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God.
The nations perceived that this mighty work had been done by God. Not by man, but by God!! Nehemiah’s simple act of obedience and submission to God’s plan, ultimately caused his enemies (and all the surrounding nations) to see that God was in control. God wants to use you to reveal His glory to the world. Our life on this earth is short and should be meaningful. Is God’s reputation being affected by our lives? Our we setting our eyes on Him and making Him famous? His plan for you is to be faithful to His calling and to focus on Him in all that you do.
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.