Religion Magazine

The God Box

By Jenrene

Thinking outside of the box. What a phenomena. Some are not really sure why it's necessary, yet others cannot understand how some can live life without it. God's perspective over situations doesn't always match our own. Sometimes we can become so confused with life and struggle to the point we just can't figure it out.

How do you hear from God unless God clearly unfolds all the information you need in order to walk it out? I used to move and live my life as if it were my own. But the Bible says: For in Him, we live move and have our being." (Acts 17:28) In the past, I would make major decisions like: getting married, what school to attend, what to do with my time, all without God. Now...there are times when I won't move until I hear God's perspective. I call this kind of thinking: "The God Box."

Some people think this is absurd to do. " Surely, God must desire you make some of your own decisions", they say. "He doesn't want you to be TOTALLY dependent upon Him." How do hear from God? Well, it definitely takes time, consideration and contemplation; and, it definitely isn't an easy feat. It took years of mistakes and wrong decisions in order for me to get a sense of how God really speaks; and even longer than that, to learn how to listen. Yet it began with willingness. God can work with your willingness.

A few years ago, I experienced a pretty challenging and emotionally draining challenging and depressing period in my life. I was in deep discussion and reflecting on a few thoughts with a friend and this friend seemed to be observing my life patterns and made a few conclusions and judgments about my life, not really asking me why I had made those decisions. This friend pointed out that for 'most of my adult life'- the past nine or ten years - I had lived in what appeared to be " life in a box' . My response to this friend after much contemplation was: "I had to live out that experience in my life, the best way I knew how - to know what I really didn't want in my life." In many ways I depended upon my own resources, yet the spiritual maturity I gained during this season of my life was absolutely tremendous and prepared me for my future. In other words, although there were many negative situations I experienced, they were not as bad, because they taught me very valuable lessons about how to 'not settle for less' Psalm 199:71 says "My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees."

One thing my friend didn't know was that I was being very contemplative during this time of no action; and observing every detail of my life. It was as if I was in a cocoon, and unaware of the transformation that was going on inside of my soul. As I look back over this period in my life and observe all the details and patterns very closely; I noticed it was during a time I grew immensely with God. One of my biggest mistakes was trying to go ahead of God. I made several decisions without seeking out godly counsel. The Bible says in Proverbs 11:14 "Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety." In another version it says: "Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success." Proverbs 15:22

I began to translate my experience to him - not realizing it would lead to a radical and ground-breaking way of approaching life that was pretty enlightening from that point on. I explained to this friend in defense of my "personal walk with God" that being "in a box" all that time wasn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, tremendously during this time and found it rather satisfying. I found out a lot about myself and literally 'studied' myself - in order that I could fully determine what kind of "emotionally healthy" reality I desired in my life. In essence... my dream began to take shape and was birthed during one of the most entirely difficult times in my life.

This conversation with my friend revealed new knowledge to me. As a result, I begin to pattern my life with great intensity and intention. I recognized my patterns and mistakes, repented of the mistakes in order to begin anew. There were some generational sins I even repented of - (from my family of origin), asking God to remove the patterns that continually caused me to fail.I began to realize that anyone can develop a great propensity for finding courage in life struggle, if they have a dream they keep before them, and I had lost sight of my dreams.

The COURAGE we find to endure in the Lord and persevere is what makes the dream before us finally become a reality. I had to move out of my conformed thoughts about who I THOUGHT God was, and what I believed He was capable of, in order to see a new reality. It wasn't until I took God out of the box, that I began to SOAR.

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