Listening Up and Giving In


I was never a very good listener… to teachers, parents, or anybody else. If I listened at all it was so that I could intentionally disobey. My favorite was always when someone told me not to jump off of something. It was basically the only way to ensure that my bravery would appear. When I was four I jumped off the jungle gym at preschool, and continued on directly to the ER, because I had yet to master the art of rolling out of a fall, it was only a sprain.

Later in life I got a little better, because I at least began taking what others say into account, but still I have this independence and pride problem that always wants to do things my way rather than anybody else. I notice it when I am in meetings or receiving suggestions especially. I usually do not like either because I believe I know what is best. Obviously the flaw in this idea, is that I don’t. Nobody ever always knows what is best. That is why we have one another, because we all have different perspectives and can see blind spots that each of are incapable of seeing.

I carry this on to my relationship with God as well. I always wanted Him on my terms. I wanted to be a CEO, I wanted power and prestige. But ever since I was a kid I could feel that He wanted me to be a pastor, and that is the last thing that I ever wanted. So I fought him like I fought my parents, my teachers, and anyone else with a suggestion. I rebelled against Him because I wanted life my way.

Luke wrote about John the Baptist, he was Jesus’ cousin and was now grown up. He had a special connection with God that was rooted in John’s ability to be in agreement with God’s will.

Luke recorded, “In Jerusalem Annas and Caiaphas were high priests in the temple. And in those days, out in the wilderness, John (son of Zacharias) received a message from God. John brought this divine message to all those who came to the Jordan River. He preached that people should be ritually cleansed through baptism as an expression of changed lives for the forgiveness of sins.”[1]

John received the message and followed it with passion. He didn’t try to rebel, but he gave in to God with love and heart. He stood up with bravery and if you read on you discover that he lived with boldness until it led to his execution for standing up for what was right against the king.

I want to live with that kind of bravery. The heart of total agreement with God’s will. Giving in to God’s vision for my life was the best thing I have ever done, and it is a constant growing experience. Which is better: to get MY way or to go the RIGHT way?

[1] Luke 3:2-3 The Voice