1: the condition of having a right to have, do, or get something
2: the feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something (such as special privileges)**
Don’t you love it when a book you’re reading convicts the crap out of you? Anything by Jennie Allen is destroying my life in such the best way. The little blurb (what’s that actually called…..?) from the back of the book basically summarizes that Jennie and her husband prayed “God, we will do anything.” It’s a crazy prayer. Abandoning somethings that you are holding on to on this earth, the confusion from others on why you’re living a certain way now, and saying yes to things that don’t make sense. Leaving comfort, safety.
The first section of the book contains chapters that explains what is keeping us from praying “anything.” Things like fear, shame, approval of others, etc. One of the chapters is called “Normal Drug: Abandoning Entitlement”, and it hit me like a wrecking ball. Basically what I got out of it is that we hold this entitlement about our future, what we want, and what we think what is best for us.
Marriage. A beautiful home. 5 kids. A couple dogs. Comfortable finances. The best job. Maybe driving a Jeep (one can dream).
We see these things in the future (you might have different ones than me), and think “Wow, my future is going to be so great. I think this is the best way to live.” Or even as Christians, we can have the excuse, “I think because I will have this awesome job that is so comfortable for me. My ministry at work will be amazing. I will effect so many lives because of this perfect job that seems soooo perfect for me.” While all these things can be good things, and it’s great to dream, I think God works in a different way. He doesn’t promise all these things for us. He promises us an eternal life. He promises us love. He promises peace. And so much more!! But even I doubt. It’s hard to believe sometimes that God has better plans for us on this earth than what we think.
I thought of a weird example of this.
So let’s say you created a book. Maybe like a “how to do something” book. This book is created for one purpose: to be read by someone who wants to learn this something. This book is very good. You’re very excited about this creation and the purpose it’s going to serve. But let’s say this book thinks to itself, “I think it would be great if I were a book-end. I would hold other books up on the book shelf, and it’ll be great.” While that would be a good purpose for the book, it is not the purpose you created it for. It’s like the book has this sense of entitlement of being a book-end.
This is what it’s like for us. We try to make a purpose for ourselves, instead of trusting God’s purpose for us. Like being married for example. Marriage can be a beautiful thing. It can be something we desire but what if our purpose is to be single and that is the best way we thrive and to serve our purpose from God? If we know and believe that God wants nothing but good for us, and that His purpose is greater, why wouldn’t we trust Him with everything?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not learn on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
– Proverbs 3:5-6.
“But doesn’t God want what’s best for me? What if I really desire marriage/kids/etc.? Why wouldn’t He give this to me?”
It doesn’t make sense. But He will make your paths straight. He will reveal the things that don’t make sense. The less we think we are entitled to something about our future, the MORE we can trust God in revealing His purpose for us. The less we think about living in that perfect house in the perfect town you want to live in, the more we trust God in a bigger purpose of being somewhere else!!!
There is a greater purpose. I can’t explain it. But I trust God. I don’t want to feel entitled to something in the future if it’s only to my benefit and not God’s.
It could be holding me back from so much more than I’d realize.
http://www.jennieallen.com/books/anything/ (<<<<—–SO GOOD!!!!)