Playing Tug-of-War With God


Sometimes I play Tug-of-war with God.

I don’t know why I do it–I mean, I know God’s game plan is much, much wiser than mine. Yet here I go again, pulling the opposite direction with all of my might–

Only to fall flat on my face within a matter of minutes (Okay, let’s be honest. Sometimes it’s a matter of seconds…)

I argue with the referee, complaining how unfair this game is and accusing my opponent of cheating (which is rather dumb of me, considering God is the ref too.) But all in all, this game is downright frustrating.

You see, God and I play a few different variations of tug-of-war. One form can be best summed up with the words of the apostle Paul in Romans 7:15–

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

So often all I want to do is please God–I want to make him proud to call me His daughter.

But then, well, life happens.

I get caught up in my busy schedule and don’t give Him the time He deserves. I doubt His judgement and make His plan my “plan B.” And sometimes I outright disobey Him, even when I know it’s wrong.

For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”

It’s like Paul knew my life! I have the best of intentions, but rarely follow through. And I can have the most steely determination to resist temptations and be more disciplined, but I fail in that as well.

Another way I play this game with God involves me telling Him that I’m not good enough.

I try to convince my Creator that I’m inadequate, that my skills are lacking, that there’s no way He could use me. For a long time I had myself convinced I was nothing more than average (at best) at everything I did.

But then God reminds me of how He called Moses in Exodus 4. Moses was trying the same trick I try–telling God we are inadequate and unable (when really we are just unwilling and suffering from low-self-esteem.) God responded to Moses in verse 11 by saying,

Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the LORD?

Is there really any way Moses can respond to that except to accept God’s calling? Nope. Not one single, reasonable way.

That’s how God dealt with Moses’ resistance. But do you want to know how He deals with mine?

He keeps pulling.

But then I realized something.

God’s not necessarily pulling harder on His end of the rope merely because He has control issues and just wants the satisfaction of knowing He’s stronger than me. No, God’s pulling harder because He’s trying to pull me closer to Him.

How cool is that?

The Creator of the Universe sees my every doubt and flaw, he knows my heart and feels my resistance. He could so easily give up on stubborn little me and find someone more perfect, willing, and confident.

But He doesn’t.

Instead, He chooses to try even harder to draw me to Him, to pull me through the muddy middle so I can find rest and dry ground on His side of life.

And, because of that, I’ll stop pulling back so much and allow myself to be pulled forward. Because I don’t need to be strong on my own–

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”   -2 Corinthians 12:9-10


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