Georges River Congregational Church Devotion from Pastor Haydn Sennitt – Let’s Get in God’s Way
Often when people think of the Christian walk, it’s all about doing the least sin that you can get away with so that when you finally meet God, you’re looking your Sunday best. This is not unlike school kids avoiding the path of the school principal, just in case they get caught doing something untoward.
The problem is that if we don’t get in God’s way, we actually get out of His way, and He cannot work in us. Psalm 119:35 reflects this, in the psalter’s prayer to God; it’s also a risky prayer: “Cause me to walk in the paths of Your commandments for in them I delight”. You might not notice this, but there is a strange paradox in this request. He’s asking God to make Him walk in the way of God’s commandments; but if you notice, he’s asking God to override his will to do it, to make him get in the way of God’s commandments. Why? Because he won’t choose to do it himself.
Then the psalter gives his reason for the request: “for in [Your commandments] I delight”. Here then is the conundrum: why does the psalter want God to make him get in the way of God’s commands if he already delights in them? If he delights in the Law so much, why doesn’t he choose to get in its way? He doesn’t say ‘help me’ but ‘cause me to get in the way’, which is asking for a greater, external force to move him to it.
Here’s why he’s done this: we Christians need the help of God’s Spirit to get in His way, but at the same time the onus is on us to pursue Him of our own volition. The New Testament tells us: Pursue … holiness, without which no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14, NKJV). Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you (James 4:8, ESV). If we don’t get in His way, how can He get in us and work through us? Or is that what we’re really afraid of, because if this happens, then God is in control and not us. Think about it: what a bright, dazzling fire will our church be if we let God be in control and so powerfully work through us? The lost will be desperate to join us – but the choice is ours.
God bless, Pastor Haydn.