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Entitlement?

I was reading in Isaiah today. In the passage I was reading through, Isaiah had a vision of God on His throne. The vision highlighted His kingship, glory, power, and worthiness of praise. As Isaiah is seeing this, he speaks:

“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” (Isaiah 6:5)

God goes on to remove guilt and atone the sin of Isaiah that he might stand in the presence of God. Then God asks who he shall send. And Isaiah responds immediately, “Here am I. Send me!”

The reason this interaction struck me so is because it starkly contrasts who I have been before God over the last few days. Undoubtedly, I do need atonement in order to just exist in the presence of God. I need my lips cleansed. I need my guilt removed. But my concern as I am before God is not my righteousness before God, but it is His unrighteousness toward me.

I feel abandoned. I feel left alone. I feel unaided. Rarely, if ever, have I ever felt so in need of His aid. Never in my life have I felt so completely bereft of it. In so many areas. My life feels like such a mess. I move to fix things as best as I know how, but I succeed only in making things more of a mess. Nothing I do works. When I back off and pray, things seem to just get more messy anyway. God feels so absent and I see no physical evidence of His hand working. The spiritual oppression I am in the middle of is intense, terrifying, and incessant. The onslaught of lies to my mind and soul is wrecking me and there is no end in sight.

The difficult part is that I’m working so hard to be obedient and to demonstrate love. I’ve stepped out in so many ways, acting in faith despite deep-seated fears and a multitude of reasons to be hesitant. I went and am going to seminary for the sole reason that God called me there. It’s not something I’ve thought was necessary for my life or something that would be particularly helpful, but I moved in obedience. I have learned some important things there, but lack a strong sense of why I am there. I moved to a crappy neighborhood in Minneapolis in order to live out what I believe is God’s call on my life to be a light in dark places. But I have no guidance as to what I am actually to do here and the light that is in me feels so dim, so dark itself. I moved in obedience to pursue a very particular girl that God very particularly called me to, but I have not been met with the movement of God’s hand. Rather, there is more intense oppression and immense difficulty for my emotions. I try so hard to show selfless love, but my words and actions are futile. Satan is winning.

I’m angry at God. Frustrated with Him. I don’t get what He’s doing. Whatever it is, He doesn’t feel faithful. I don’t understand. I’m trying to, but it’s not working. His glory feels false to me.

I know that the problem is not Him. Deep within me, I know. It’s me. Because of my obedience, I feel entitled. I feel like I deserve the movement of His hand. I feel like He should work in incredible ways on my behalf and load my life with blessings. I feel this way partially because this is my past experience with God, where even small acts of obedience result in incredible and beautiful acts of God. But, the reality is, I am entitled to nothing. God has already given all for me. I deserve nothing. I should be so grateful just to be forgiven and atoned. Just to be able to stand before God in any way. I am hesitant to obey any longer, to tell God “Here I am. Send me!” But I have to go if he asks. I have to. I have to learn to see His glory and let my own undeserving nature become clear in light of who He is. I have to obey and continue obeying, and hoping for God’s freedom, blessing, redemption, and victory to become a reality in my life even when I see no sign of these things.

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Categories: Miscellaneous
  1. June 22, 2009 at 8:14 am

    I want to tell you something profound and enlightening for this, but you’re already there. I mean, you already get it. These frustrating and tedious times are awful….so important and awful.

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