How is it that I so often to fall into mental formulas?
My Problem + My Effort = Solution
Somehow the enemy has branded this so deeply into my subconscious that when obstacles arise I automatically operate out of it.
And it used to be that, if I was lucky, I might remember to add prayer into the equation.
My Problem + Effort & Prayer = Solution
Yet God is showing me even this equation is completely off base.
As I was reading Revelation the other day the true formula began to crystallize. And by TRUE I mean, the one that God has established. It’s not just a nice thought, it’s a principle woven into the very fabric of life, earth, time, spirit.
Yeah, I normally avoid Revelation like the plague (probably due to all the plagues and doom illustrated there.) But as I read the first few chapters my eyes grew wider and my jaw dropped lower.
I have been reading Revelation completely wrong:
Through my old lens of “it’s all up to my effort to succeed,” all I could see was the unattainable standards to reach, and the doom sure to follow if I didn’t.
But reading Revelation through the lens of my Father’s good heart and intentions for me changed everything!
Suddenly I started to see a pattern.
As God sent messages to specific churches, there was a clear formula used in each one, and it was basically this:
Dear church of ______
This is who I AM (and it happens to be the solution to your issue I’m about to address.)
Here is your issue.
Here is the reward you get for overcoming this issue which I AM the solution for!
With the lens of “my own effort” it’s as though I was always blind to the first part- the solution. All I could see was the issue (that most likely I had) and the reward (that I’d surely never receive because I wasn’t nearly perfect enough.)
But the thing is…God started the WHOLE passage – each time – with the Solution. He started off by describing the part of His character that “filled in the blanks” of the church’s issue or effort.
And Revelation isn’t the only place I saw this pattern:
When Moses stumbled upon the burning bush and God gave him a mission, Moses immediately detailed the reasons he would never be adequate to fulfill it, and therefore would never receive the reward of that calling.
But God’s response is astounding:
He completely IGNORES Moses’ personal tirade, and simply declares HIS character.
Moses’ character and issues were not even a part of God’s equation for solution and reward!
So if this is true, what “formula” should I be operating out of when I want solution to obstacles, and to taste the mind-blowing rewards that God has outlined in His word for those who overcome?
I’m beginning to think it looks a lot more like this:
Solution (Him / His Character) + Surrender (Ours) = Reward (Him)
He is the Beginning and the End.
He is the Solution and the Reward…and in the middle is simply our surrender.
Not our effort.
Not even our problem.
(Because what really would even look like a problem to God? And if nothing is an issue for the magnitude of His goodness and power, why would I add it into my equation?)
This formula is counterintuitive. It is brain-bending. It is too good to be true.
I mean really. All I have to do is surrender? …Trust You really are all you say you are, and then I receive an unearthly, immeasurable, incomprehensible reward?
I don’t get it.
But I’ll take it!