Ok – so, you might have come to this blog thinking that I was going to talk about ‘beer’… well, I am… just probably not the kind you are thinking of.  But, I promise you, the kind of ‘be-er’ I’m talking about here will be far better than any quick ‘buzz’ you could get off a six pack of Corona’s…

Over the last month or so, God has been revealing some things to me regarding my heart, my motivations, what ‘drives’ me, my foundations, etc.  It’s been quite a humbling period for me… realizing that over time, there has been a few ‘bricks’ in my ‘foundation’ that I’ve allowed to be weak points; places where if there could be a spiritual ‘breaking point’ or ‘failure’, these are where they would occur.

What God has been showing me came to a ‘head’ this morning when I read Romans 9.  The 16th verse says this:

Therefore, God’s choice does not depend on a person’s will or effort, but on God himself…

This was incredible freeing to me and a huge wave of peace filled my heart.  God reminded me that it is He that determines the purposes and plans for my life, regardless of my own will or effort – and His plans for me are awesome (Jeremiah 29:11).

Let me explain – I have found myself at a place where I was striving to ‘perform’ and excel in almost every area of my life – my relationships, my work, ministry, hobbies, etc. It’s not a bad thing to want to do well in things; however, the problem arose for me in that the drive to perform and excel in ‘everything’ positioned me (at least sub-consciously) in the ‘drivers seat’ of my own life…instead of genuinely trusting God in the plans He already has for my life and in His timing. What God has been showing me is that His number one desire for my life, above all the things I could do, have done and want to do, is to know and love His Son Jesus Christ more deeply – and to learn to rest and trust in that relationship alone. I had found myself becoming a ‘do-er’ instead of a ‘be-er’.  God wants my relationship with Him to be rooted and grounded in ‘being’ a child of God, not constantly feeling like I have to work, strive and perform to please Him – that’s not a relationship based upon faith, hope and love – but a relationship based upon works, performance and fear.

As I spent some time being quiet and still (hard for me to do) – thinking about these things, this word picture came to mind –

There is a man in a boat floating down a river.  He is an educated, well seasoned man of 43.  His face is determined and focused as he works the one oar he’s been given – first on one side of the boat, then the other. At times, he is groaning under the weight of the boat and his determination to paddle the boat faster than the current is taking him and to maneuver the boat down the river in the way he thinks best.  After a short time however, to his dismay and frustration, be begins to tire.  His muscles ache under the strain of the constant rowing and he can feel his energy waning.  Finally, in a state of utter exhaustion, he stops paddling. Initially, he is discouraged and feels like he has failed.  He can sense fear and anxiety growing in his mind and begins to feel a slight anger toward himself in his heart. But, with his body totally spent and no energy to even lift the oar, he can do nothing but just sit and let the river take him down stream.  Soon however, to his amazement, he begins to notice things he hadn’t noticed before – the deer drinking at the river’s edge, the majestic pine trees that fill the dense forest, the campers on the shoreline waving to him as he floats by and the clear blue sky that covers him like a soft warm blanket.  This brings great peace to his anxious heart.  He feels safe.  He begins to realize that in his efforts to make his river journey the way he thought it should go; paddling so hard and fast, he was missing all the beautiful landscape along the way, not to mention all the rocks and obstacles in the water that were battering his boat because he was so focused on paddling he didn’t have the time to watch for them.

His face soon changes from one of focus and determination to one of hope and joy. He realizes that his boat is safe and trustworthy and smiles at the realization that the river knows exactly where it’s headed.  He no longer feels the need to paddle as the current’s pace is just perfect – as it allows him to enjoy the beauty that is all around him and keep a look out for obstacles in the way. He knows now that the river is going to get him where he needs to go on its own – it doesn’t need his help.

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The point of the story is this… it is better to be a ‘be-er’ than a ‘do-er’.  For those of us who seem to be of the ‘over-acheiver’ type, this can be difficult and challenging.  We constantly feel the urge to have to do something… sitting still and doing ‘nothing’ just does not compute in our brain.  However, I would like to offer up a challenge – it can be done.  And not only can it be done, but it must be done!  Why? If we don’t, we will find ourselves in the ‘seat’ that I found myself in – the driver’s seat.  I have learned from experience that I don’t want to be the ‘driver’ of my life – I have proven too many times that I should have my ‘license’ revoked.  If I believe God created me with purpose and value, then why wouldn’t I want to let Him lead me… ‘drive’ me into the future He has for me?  Besides, both of us can’t drive – it’s either Him or me.  It’s far better to be the passenger than the driver… it’s far better to be a ‘be-er’ than a ‘do-er’.

Be still and know that I am God… (Psalm 46:10)

The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, without painful toil for it. (Prov. 10:22)

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… people cannot do any work that will make them right with God. So they must trust in him… (Romans 4:5)

God makes people right with himself through their faith in Jesus Christ… not in obeying the law (Romans 3:22-28)

The people of Israel tried to follow the law to make themselves right with God, but they did not succeed… (Romans 9:31)

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Comments
  1. altonwoods says:

    Hey Brian! Any extreme of either being a do-er or a be-er is trouble! Some people are so wrapped up in waiting on God that they turn a blind eye to the doors He’s opened for them and the purpose He has for their lives! All of us must face our own “obstacles” or as you said “rocks” between us and Christ, it’s a journey away from self and towards Him that is best accomplished when we know who’s really should be driving!

    • brian hetzer says:

      Hey Jeff – yes… extreme either way is not healthy. Like you said… it’s a constant journey away from self and towards Him and knowing how really should be driving… thank you my friend!! Have a blessed day in Christ!

  2. Pink says:

    Brian, great post. I challenge myself more to let God control the boat in my life. It’s not easy because I think I have what it takes to steer but I know that sometimes my steering is not where I need to go.

    Thanks
    Pink

    • brian hetzer says:

      Great words Pink! Yes… it’s a battle for all of us… to let go of our ‘controls’ and let God fly our plane. I think this also applies to people in our lives as well. Sometimes, we want to be ‘God’ and control them and steer them in the direction we think they should go, but God loves them too and has a purpose and plan for them as well and it’s not the same as ours. All we can do is encourage, help, pray for and support… but we can’t control. Love you bro! Brian

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