Have you ever tried to reach for something at the back of a shelf? It is right there but you just cannot reach it because “stuff” is in the way? Sometimes that is how my relationship with God is. He is right there but I just cannot reach his outstretched hand, no matter how far I stretch because “stuff” is in the way. This situation calls for spiritual surgery in which I cut out the affected areas of my head and heart containing the “stuff” that separates me from God.
A while ago, a guest pastor at my church detailed some points (on a different topic) that fit with the concept of spiritual surgery and inspired this post. These points include: remove what makes God jealous, unconditional trust, duct tape yourself to God, unwavering obedience and rebel against the enemy.
Remove what makes God jealous; that is simple to understand but difficult to execute. I need to excise the things from my life that pull my attention away from God and cause me to deviate from his plan for my life (ultimately it is self sabotage). I think I have been doing well; some things were easy to get rid of. As I have matured mentally and spiritually, there are things that no longer appeal to me nor do I have a taste for them. However, other things seem to linger, are harder to get rid of and cause fractures in my relationship with God but that is what prayer is for (and God knows, I am working on it).
Trust unconditionally. I have never thought of myself as a control freak but my inability to let God take care of things for me proves otherwise. I often want to do what I can to help myself with my own power. The thing is…I have no power (reality check). If “stuff” is like a fracture, trust would be a cast which supports the repairing of the relationship between me and God. Without that trust, it is hard to heal and move forward. God will take care of his own and I believe that so I have to hand over the reins and let God reign in my life.
Duct tape yourself to God. I do not recommend duct tape as a surgical tool but this case is an exception. God is omnipresent; he is everywhere at once and always. Saying that I take God with me everywhere seems redundant if I believe he is omnipresent but I think acknowledging that God is omnipresent and consciously being aware of where I take God during my daily activities is different. If I was somewhere I should not be, I am testing the boundary of God’s protection. It is not that there is a physical limit to the protective coverage extended by God but regardless of whether I am covered or not, it is unreasonable to expect protection in a place that is repulsive to God. I am becoming increasingly aware of what I do and where I go because God is with me and I do not want to offend God. Imagine taking a cow to McDonald’s if you will. The cow (this is an anthropomorphic cow by the way) will probably be more than a little offended that it was brought to a place that sells its butchered, flame-broiled brethren. Duct taping myself to God actually makes it easier to stay out of trouble because I consider whether I would take God to certain places or participate in certain activities with him there beside me.
Unwavering obedience. This is the hardest by far. A lack of unwavering obedience is how we got to be in this sinful state (thanks Adam and Eve). Again, some things are easy while others are hard but it is important to make a sincere effort to obey God. Nothing in God’s word is designed to hurt us and he wants us to have the life that was originally designed for us but in order to receive it we have to get it together and do what he asks of us. I would liken unwavering obedience to gauze. Gauze helps protect wounds and keep the fluids from a wound from sticking to other surfaces just as unwavering obedience shields us from sin and keeps it at bay.
Rebel against the enemy. I am not rebellious (far from it) but if I am going to rebel who better to rebel against than Satan? Sometimes Satan whispers in my ear and provokes me to say, think or do something that I know is wrong but often I get fed up and I have to say “no”. “No, I am not going to say that”; “No, I am not going to entertain those thoughts”, and “No, I am not going to do that”. I do things that are incomprehensible to me sometimes, things that I do not even know why I do. When I step back and evaluate these things, I realize that they do not amount to anything good and all I had to do was say “no”. Satan is the silver-tongued persuader and at times he feeds me rationalizations for my wrongdoings that make me think “yeah, there is nothing wrong with that” but I know better and since I know better, I can do better. Rebelling against the enemy is like rehabilitation after the surgery, if I continue to exercise rebellion against the enemy, my spiritually feeble body will get stronger and be restored.