Lately I’ve been reminded that I’m not the best CEO of my life. Seriously, I don’t manage my life very well. If outcomes are up to me, they probably aren’t going to be that positive. That’s not a statement of shame or of low self-esteem; it’s a statement of fact. If I look back on my track record as CEO I have mostly brokenness to show for it:
general disrespect for people
When I deal honestly with myself I can say that I don’t run Jason Martinkus Inc. very well. I am inept. I am incompetent. And that’s exactly why I need a savior.
If my own thinking, wisdom, creativity, craftiness, planning and executing served to bring success, happiness, significane to life and meaningful relationships then I wouldn’t need a savior. There would be no space for God’s sovereignty and power, for his miracles, for his grace and mercy, for his peace, or for the Holy Spirit to intercede. If I did a perfect job of learning from my mistakes then I’d have this life down to a science. I wouldn’t need God’s art.
This is the essence of Step 1 of the 12 Steps. To admit that we are powerless over our sin and that our lives are unmanageable. To surrender the notion that we’ve got it altogether. To remove ourselves from the altar of our lives. But it’s more than just admitting and surrendering, it is also redefining our identity. You see, I am incompetent to run my life well, but that is not my identity. I’m not worthless or less lovable because of my inability to manage things. I’m not a lesser human. It simply means I’m not a savior, and that I need a savior. Our identity is found in the reality of God’s infinite love and acceptance of us. Incompetence and all. It’s in the fact that he knew the depth of our brokenness and chose us anyway.
If you’re running You Inc., I encourage you to fire yourself. Hand over the corporate controls to Jesus. You may not be the best CEO of your life – and that doesn’t define you. It means you need a savior.
If you’re a Christian, it means the Holy Spirit is living in you. Sounds great ‘ but what does it mean? What does the Spirit do within you? Listen to what the Holy Spirit promises to be up to at this moment in your life:
‘Ezekiel 36:26 promises that He’s changing your hearts.
‘John 14:26 promises that He’s reminding you of what the Father has asked you to do.
‘John 16:13 promises that He’s guiding you and teaching you the truth.
‘Romans 8:13 promises the Spirit will turn you away from evil.
‘Romans 8:26 promises that the Holy Spirit will help you in times of distress and intercede with God for you when you’re confused and wearied.
‘ First Corinthians 12:11 promises that the Spirit has given you gifts to use for the glory of God and the good of others.
‘ Galatians 5:16 promises that the Spirit will lead you to victory over the sinful cravings of your heart.
These are precious promises. Claim them by faith’even if you’re not sensing all them in your life. Rejoice in these promises, and ask God to create in you a heart ready to cooperate with the transformation going on in you even as we speak.
Okay, guys, it’s time for a Pop-Quiz. Are you ready? When an e-mail with an obviously suggestive subject appears on your computer screen, what’s your instant reaction?
Do you feel a tug and wonder, ‘Should I open this?’
Or is it a non-event, and with a simple click you delete the message without a hint of struggle?
If you still believe that you have the right to choose your behavior, which means you’re feeling that tug and asking: ‘Should I open this?’ You’re opening yourself to Satan’s influence. And men, he’d absolutely love to influence you and take hold of your heart and mind.
He cajoles and lies. He’ll have you thinking about minimizing the risk and how to hide what you see so you don’t notice your heart slipping ever so subtly down the slope of lust. If you don’t look out, by the time he’s finished with you, you’ll respond with: ‘Yes, I should look at it; I can handle it.’
Therein lies the power of temptation, guys. But temptation loses its power if you don’t give it the chance to even get its foot in the door. Let God’s Holy Spirit into your heart and your mind. Spend time in God’s Word and with other Christian men. If you do, you experience the transforming of your mind, affection and appetites.