I can remember praying, “God, God, God, please, God, take away [insert inner demon here], God, now, God, today!”
Knowing that God can do this, but not realizing that in order for God to do this, he must take away my ability to make my own decisions. God doesn’t normally do that. Sometimes, he may have to give me a gentle nudge or a swift kick in the right direction but ultimately I have an opportunity to choose right or to choose wrong.
There are lots of times I choose wrong, but I am learning that, if I admit my wrong, I can learn from it and many right decisions based on what I learned.
There are choices that are huge and those that are trivial. Looking back, I may think I can discern the huge ones but in reality, my calculations are based on a finite life span and not of an eternal God. I may have all that completely backward.
When I make a decision, any decision, I need to consider God and what he means to humongous things in my life and the inconsequential.
Elijah called out to people to decide between God and Baal. I’m sure some people thought this was trivial, since they liked to embrace lots of gods. Angering one god wasn’t a big deal if they got another really bad to the bone god in their corner.
But Elijah wanted to prove the one true God was faithful and constant and all-powerful. More importantly, God wanted to prove this.
1 Kings 18:33 He piled wood on the altar, cut the bull into pieces, and laid the pieces on the wood.
Then he said, “Fill four large jars with water, and pour the water over the offering and the wood.”
34 After they had done this, he said, “Do the same thing again!” And when they were finished, he said, “Now do it a third time!” So they did as he said, 35 and the water ran around the altar and even filled the trench.
Elijah asked for God to come and do what Baal failed to do, send fire from heaven, but not ordinary fire that gallons of water could quench. No, he called for fire that could overcome any obstacle to come down and light the altar.
God asks me to place my life on the altar, my strength, my weakness, my talent, my ineptitude, my love, my hate and every other aspect, good or bad, dripping with doubt and sopping wet from my tears. He waits for me to call out to him to consume it all and bring me back to life as a new man.
It isn’t a one-time commitment though, I must die daily and continue this transformation that has moved me so far from where I once stood, scared, beaten and defeated.
I have to remember there is nothing I can place before him, nothing that I can do with it, that God can’t take and make new. God is and always will meet me there at the altar and there are never any limits.