Living Receiving Rather Than Resisting

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I don’t want to live my life resisting what offends me or the things I don’t like. Rather I want to live receiving all of life as from God. Not like a bobblehead doll on the dash of an old Chevy Impala, but as a peaceful sheep in the pasture of my Shepherd. God is sovereign, I am His, and I don’t have to save my life through resisting rather than receiving.

Receiving Not Resisting

Receiving Not Resisting
How do I live in this place of nonresistance? I see the destructive nature of a life lived in defense. Crusading against is not the same as living for. If all my life is lived focused on what I resist, I am robbed of the joy of actual living. Do you see how a stiff-armed approach to life is defeatist? It’s playing God rather than enjoying Him as my God.

Now, I am not writing this as if I have somehow mastered the art of sheep-ness. But the Shepherd of my Life is leading me through my life in the acceptance of His sovereign touch. This is the difference between living in the pleasure of God or living as an outcast in rebellion. To live in resistance is to live in the chaotic mind of rebellion.

Example of Resistance

Example of Resistance
I want to share an example of resistance. We have a friend who has 4 grown children who actively hate us. I mean HATE! Even though their vitriol feels deeply personal, I know specifically that their hatred is more about hating God than us. Now I’m not trying to pass this off in a spiritual sleight of hand. It’s not as if when they were little I secretly pinched them and now have no idea why they hate me. They genuinely hate God and everything He stands for. They live in a continual resistance to the life He gave them and now they blame anyone who bears God’s name for His supposed abuse of them.

Well, this morning I have had to again forgive them because they simply infuriate me. But instead of talking smack about them and hating them as a response to their hatred, can I see the whole situation through God-eyes? Instead of resisting, can I live in His mystery?

Martha talked about the mystery just the other day. There’s a mysterious quality of Life that goes beyond our reason and logic. It happens because God is God, I am not, and it just is. The reality is Life is to be lived in a mystery—His Mystery. This is the wonder and magic of Life. No, it isn’t like a fairyland of mystery; it is the mystery of God, His Ways, and His Life.

Open to Receive Rather Than Resisting

Open to Receive Rather Than Resisting
We all know life isn’t sugar plum fairies and gingerbread houses. We couldn’t stand it if it were. Think about every story we listen to, read, or watch. It isn’t one good right after another, there has to be a struggle. Without the difficulty there’s no story. No one wants a tale of all good; we want the adventure of overcoming and this is what all of Life is. This is how God designed it. To resist is to miss Life.

If I resist these hateful children, I am looking to lord over and orchestrate rather than focus on God. It is only God who knows and I can either focus on Him or on what I don’t like about how He runs His show. No, this doesn’t mean I am passive about these wayward souls, but only in looking at Jesus will I have His heart about them. It will never come through resisting or hating, only by focusing and receiving HIM.

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Molly

I have read this over and over. It’s so rich in reality and love, Great blessings on you for sharing.

Thank you for saying so Molly, God bless you!

Ulrike

Hi John, thank you for your post, which I want to illustrate, how it works for me. Today an accident in the kitchen happened, and instead of complaining and being angry because of this wasted time, I decided to : receiving rather than resisting (I was reminded of your good advice). So, in the midst of this confusion I felt Jesus with me and giving me His grace, calmness and peace, telling me: nothing is wasted, when it is done in Me, receive my very life just now! And He was smiling, sending me His life like rays of warm… Read more »

Funny, your story reminds me of a story Martha told about turmeric mayonnaise. It was on an old podcast. You can watch or listen to it anymore, but the transcript is available. I really think you will get a kick out of it!

He is just so practical and kind. I love that He fellowships with me in all of life not just the life I call spiritual life. 😉👍🏼 Bless you Ulrike, always a joy to hear from you and read your reflections.

Hi there! I’m a new subscriber and blogger, and so far am enjoying what I’ve in my inbox from you all here. 🙂 Just a note on this article, as I get your concern about this matter too, and have thought on it some. It reminds me that the bible tells us “God IS love.” It doesn’t say He is hate. Of course this doesn’t mean that He doesn’t hate things – or isn’t grieved by the attitude of these 4 children – but His nature isn’t defined by hate. And as partakers of this same nature… well… you know… Read more »

Thank you for making me clarify. You are so right God is Love. This post is about non-resistance to His sovereignty and certainly not about celebration of their hateful attitude. I think one of the hardest things is to follow Christ into Matthew 5:39. Surely it is only He who can perform it. “But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.” I guess we just always have to be look to His Life and follow the Spirit’s direction in everything. Thank you for your comment Pamela.… Read more »

Oh I didn’t think your article needed clarification at all…it was great! Blessings. I’ll be watching for more as the Spirit leads.

Perfect, looking forward to hearing from you in the future!

arleen robbins

I had to re-read the first 2 paragraphs .
I have know people whose life is supported by resistance- and some claim they are Christians!- – thank you for posting this insight and for reminding me of the remedy-

I am so pleased this post touched you Arleen! I also needed it. Big hugs and love to you! Thanks for commenting, I love hearing from you and it is always appreciated.

tammy

Good stuff John! ❤️

I have learned that if His peace is missing – I am in resistance somewhere, somehow, to His Sovereign will. And! He will reveal that place of resistance to me if I am ready to hear and willing to surrender in repentance. There is no greater Love.

The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
Grace be with you.
Amen.
(2 Timothy 4:22)

Such an important point. I love it. Yes, it does seem that peace and resistance can’t co-habitate. It is a good signpost to let me know that I am off somewhere when I am no longer in peace. Praise God He is a perfect Father. Love you Tammy!