Gettin’ Out of My Own Way
Authenticity has become an idol in modern society. The desire to express oneself, unchecked, is becoming more and more prevalent. The notion of disagreement is eschewed. It’s as if an unwritten social rule exists that requires full, unhindered agreement, consequences notwithstanding.
Incidentally, the social rule that I perceived to be unwritten, finds its expression in quasi-subliminal ways. For example, many lovers of Burger King can quote its long-time slogan, “Have it Your Way”. In the last few years, the fast-food giant has adopted a new slogan, “Be Your Way”. Experts contend that this new slogan is a marketing tactic aimed at millennials, many of whom relish authenticity and the opportunity to subscribe only to worldviews that resonate with what they deem acceptable.
Burger King’s new slogan, “Be Your Way” is a societal concession to go along in order to get along. It is the promulgation of an old guard to a new guard, an aging generation to emerging generations. And while, socially appropriate and fair-minded on one hand, a serious threat to societal stability and wellness loom on the other hand.
Jesus helps to clarify the disposition that the Father wants for all of humanity. In response to the demands of people who both marveled at and lusted for his miraculous exploits, Jesus shared his priority and the alignment of a true child of God.
“For I have come here from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to have my own way.” John 6:38 (TLB)
Jesus’s remark encapsulated what he viewed as essential. It establishes an unblemished benchmark for those of us who are his ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:20). In essence Jesus says, “what I want for my life is not more important than what God wants for my life.” Contemporarily, many in the church convey this sentiment in the phrase, “Lord, have your way!” The reality is that none of us can have it our way, and also truly allow the Lord to have His way in us. Destruction is the destination of any people who insist on “being their way”, to the exclusion and/or detriment of others.
To walk with the Lord and live for Him, we must humble ourselves. Jesus did. In fact, Philippians 2:7-8 states that, “he gave up his divine privileges, and he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God…” (NLT) Jesus showed us that we must give up some things and be willing to come low. Because he went low, Jesus was exalted, elevated to the place of highest honor (Phil. 2:9).
God is God. His law is perfect (Psalms 19:7). He has greater thoughts and unique ways. Since He has the way (Isa. 55:10-11; John 14:6; Ps. 138:5; Mark 1:3, Jeremiah 21:8; Proverbs 10:29), we must follow. We must get out of our own way. How?
- Submit to God (James 4:7)
- Listen (Rev. 3:6; John 5:24)
- Study (Joshua 1:7-8; Prov. 23:12)
- Prayer (Ps. 34:4)