Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.
Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.
Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
Then you will have healing for your body
and strength for your bones.
Proverbs 3:5-8 NLT
Catherine Marshall says the the hardest thing to relinquish is our will. But I might add that equally hard is yielding our own wisdom, our own understanding, our own abilities, our own "good intentions," to another, even to our Ultimate Other, the Lord Himself.
Lately, God has been personally speaking to me again about this very issue. In fact, the above passage was my morning meditation today. God's truth there has absorbed my current thoughts. So today, let's grapple with what it means to surrender our own understanding to the only One who is Wisdom and Truth Himself.
My friend Tresca helps dispel the deception in which we often find ourselves. If you have been following A Branch in the Vine for this detachment series, you met Tresca in a previous post (see Letting Go: a Healthy Detachment). Tresca takes us back to the Garden as she reminds us that just as there were two trees in the Garden, there is metaphorically a choice between two sources facing us at all times .
There are two trees always standing before us in the center of our souls: the Tree of Life (Christ’s Life and Wisdom) and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil [our own "understanding"]. Our Father forbids His children to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, but we do it anyway and pass the fruit on to our children and loved ones with good Intentions. Eve did not pass the fruit to Adam to eat to kill him, but because she loved him. She had good intentions, right?
And Eve genuinely thought it was just the thing both Adam & she needed.
The other day my husband John and I had an argument...quite a lively and fleshly one (at least from my side, I must confess...and grieve!) I was sure I was right, and he was absolutely wrong. Well, thankfully God grabbed me in my waking thoughts the next morning:
"John is right!"
Short and sweet. John was right, and therefore I was wrong. Right then and there, I got it!
I knew the words were those of my Father God. He was speaking truth to my soul ... truth from the Tree of Life, my Lord Jesus Christ, the Living Word. I humbly went to John and told him that God said that he was right. I think he was shocked!
And so I am continually praying,
Lord, I always want that food for my soul. I only want to fill myself from Your Living Tree and not my own fleshly, dead Tree of Knowledge. Deliver me from the deception of the enemy of my soul who would lure me from You and Your Life. Amen.
What about you, my brothers & sisters, what is your Source? Join me at the Tree of Life, and turn from your own wisdom, knowledge, expertise, and yes, even good intentions. Amen.
For Tresca's blog on Letting Go of good intentions in parenting, click here.
NEXT TIME: Tresca joins us to talk about Letting Go of our children and the difference between helping and enabling. See you then.
In the meantime, you may also like:
Catherine Marshall, The Prayer of Relinquishment
On the importance of a morning prayer & your first thoughts of your day:
Revelation -101: How NOT to Hear God