A Dangerous Question
What shall I do, Lord? Acts 22:10
I’ve known those whom God instantly and miraculously delivered from their addiction. Those I know who’ve experienced this would be the first to tell you that they still have other struggles – they aren’t perfect – but God did perform an instantaneous miracle regarding a specific addiction. This was not my experience, so I’m a little jealous of those people, but I did eventually get my miracle of transformation. It just looked a little different.
It’s not that I didn’t ask God for the instant miracle. I did. A thousand times. I didn’t find transformation though, until I finally turned to God and asked, What do you want me to do? Just tell me and I’ll do it. For me, that was the beginning of recovery and growth. Previously, I refused to do anything and so, nothing changed. God wanted to work in my life, but he first wanted me to be willing to obey, doing whatever he asked me. When I began to do that, I found recovery.
This is reminiscent of the Apostle Paul’s conversion experience. Persecuting followers of Christ, Saul was zealous in his hatred of Christianity, until he met Jesus who struck him blind. Saul didn’t ask for miraculous healing of his blindness. He knew that Jesus wanted something of him, so he asked the right question. What shall I do, Lord?
We often treat spiritual growth, faith, and transformation as things that God simply does or doesn’t do for us. We act like we have no part to play. God is always faithful to do his part though. Now, he asks that we do our part in response. If we’re struggling, if we desire growth and transformation, then daily, we must ask God what it is that he wants us to do.
This is a dangerous question though. It’s dangerous because obedience will always lead to change and death of our old life. This is unfortunately the very thing many of us are still clinging to and the reason we don’t ask God what we must do. We want the new life in theory, but in practicality, we desperately hang on to the old one. Change, while worth it, can be frightening and painful.
What do you want me to do God? Go to treatment? Get counseling? Break off that relationship? Confess my struggle? Help my neighbor?
Daily, we must ask God what he wants us to do. Then, we must do it.