When it comes to God, all people everywhere have the same basic problem with him.
He's God and we're not.
Of course, each of us wishes we were God, because we're all so much wiser, better informed, and know what's best for us better than he does. If only he would listen to us, what a smooth-running place our world would be.
Who's Got the Problem?Leo Tolstoy said, "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." The same might be applied to God.
We want to change God. We want to change his mind, change how he treats us, and change his authority over us. We pray our hearts out hoping we can change the only unchangeable being in the universe. Millions of us spend our entire lives trying to get God to do things our way.
We're convinced the problem is that God just isn't listening to us, but of course the real problem is that we aren't listening to God. We don't want anybody telling us what to do. We want to give the orders.
I gave God orders for much of my life. It never worked. For some reason, he simply refused to follow my plans, no matter how brilliant they were. But to my credit, after only four decades of that, I finally gave up.
In all honesty, I can't say it was some flash of genius on my part or a spiritual epiphany. I was just plain tired. Worn out. I decided to let God take over, more out of exhaustion and curiosity than love for him. Despite my wrong motives, he stepped in and took up the challenge.
A Problem of Our Own MakingNow, more than ten years later, I can tell you from experience that what seems an impossible problem is actually life's greatest opportunity.
Think about it for a minute. Here's a being who's all-powerful. No force on earth can stop him. Not only that, but he knows the future. He creates the future!
But the best part is that he loves you even more than you love yourself. I had a hard time accepting that, but it's true. On those days when you hate yourself for being stupid and bumbling and incompetent, he still loves you. When you feel like a loser, he knows better. He knows his child is a winner, a prince or princess in his royal family.
God proved his love for you by sacrificing his son, Jesus Christ, so you may live with him forever in heaven. That act alone shows there is no question about God’s love for you.
Jesus tried to show you how safe you are in God’s hands by calling him Abba, an Aramaic word which roughly translates to "Daddy" or a toddler's "Papa." Until Jesus used that term, nobody fully understood what our relationship with God is like.
How to Overcome Your Instincts
Your spiritual maturity begins the moment you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, but that's not the end of the story. As a Christian, you continue to grow in faith over the course of your lifetime.
If you're wrestling with God like I did for so many years, I urge you to flip this problem around and turn it into an opportunity. It may go against all your instincts, but it's the right thing to do.
Jesus understands your reluctance to let God take control. That's what he was talking about when he said, "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it." (Luke 9:24 NIV)
Losing your life for Christ—giving God control—assures you of being a winner. The Holy Spirit, your infallible Guide, stands ready to help you make this life-changing choice. He can show you how to overcome your human stubbornness and see things from God's perspective.
Our culture worships independence, but independence is highly overrated. Being dependent on God is the smartest way to live. After having lived both ways, I can tell you that letting the One Who Never Makes Mistakes take control is the stress-free way to live.
Miraculously, things work out. Sure, you'll still go through rough spots and disappointments, but your final destination is never in doubt. Whether you're rich and famous or poor and unknown, this life is like a wisp of smoke compared to the eternity of joy you'll spend with Jesus.
Do you see God's authority over you as a problem or an opportunity? If you'll acknowledge that he's in charge, I think you'll find, as I did, that that's when your life truly starts to turn around.
Jack Zavada, a career writer and contributor for About.com, is host to a Christian website for singles. Never married, Jack feels that the hard-won lessons he has learned may help other Christian singles make sense of their lives. His articles and ebooks offer great hope and encouragement. To contact him or for more information, visit Jack's Bio Page.