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Missing Out on Life

Missing Out on Life

I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out. Luke 19:40

I remember, as a teenager who was just beginning to wrestle with lust, pride, and selfishness, thinking that one day, I’d live as God wanted. I wasn’t doing anything terrible and I just assumed that eventually, I’d grow up and want to live as God intended.

Youthful self-destructive desires matured into grown-up self-destructive desires though. I developed a pattern of following my appetite that didn’t just automatically go away as an adult. I didn’t purposefully choose to follow God’s path and so I naturally followed mine. In doing so, I found misery and consequence. In my disaster, I realized that following my way meant that I’d missed out on the life God intended for me.

This was a painful realization. I’d just always assumed that since I believed in God, he would cause my life to go in the right direction. At rock bottom though, I realized that it was completely possible for me to choose evil, missing out on the life I was supposed to experience.

In today’s passage, Jesus triumphally entered Jerusalem to the welcome of his adoring disciples, who rejoiced, praising and blessing him. The Pharisees, offended, told Jesus to silence his followers. Jesus though, insisted that it was God’s will that his name be praised, and that if the crowd didn’t do it, even the stones would cry out. God was doing something fantastic and nothing could stop it, though those individuals in the crowd – like the Pharisees – could miss out on it.

I’ve heard this said another way in church recently, “We can’t stop a move of God, but we can miss it.” We cannot thwart God’s overall plan, but he does allow us to go our own way, missing out on that plan. We can, if we choose, pursue pornography, drugs, greed, gluttony, pride, and selfishness. In doing so, we don’t change God’s plan for the universe, but we can certainly miss out on the life he desires for us.

In my disaster, I realized that if we want to experience true life, it doesn’t just happen naturally. Doing what comes naturally to us leads to misery. When we don’t purposefully choose life, we miss out on it. If we want to know faith, recovery, and joy, we must daily abandon our will, choosing the life he desires for us.

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