Spiritual Squirming

When I’m uncomfortable with what the Lord is asking me to do, I sometimes engage in behavior that I call spiritual squirming, when I try to convince the Lord that “I can’t” do whatever He has asked me to do.

It’s the wrestling between…

trusting/not trusting
God in control/self in control

Spiritual squirming. Sound familiar?

Challenges will find their way into our lives, it’s guaranteed. Job loss, relationship crisis, financial crash, health scare, death in the family. These struggles are challenging enough on their own, but our attempting to deal with them in our own strength—our spiritual squirming—often makes them harder.

So what causes this behavior? Some combination of the following: pride, fear, ego, insecurity, self-contempt, impression management…and more.

Our Lord Jesus did some squirming of his own…but not of the spiritual kind. He squirmed as a baby in a cattle trough, but he never squirmed or tried to change His Father’s mind when He left the glorious kingdom of heaven to be incarnated as a newborn human child, born in an animal pen. The King of Kings came not to be served, but to serve.

Because Jesus wore the skin of humanity while maintaining his sovereignty, I can find hope in the middle of life’s challenges. In His sovereignty, God is never surprised, even though we may be. Each challenge, then, becomes an opportunity to believe that He has only good in mind for those who love Him.

I have learned what a treasure it is to trust in Jesus when life unravels. As Jesus faced many criticisms, threats, humbling situations, and even death, He never lost focus of who sent Him and why He was sent. He was living to bring joy to His father and nothing would deter Him from fulfilling His Father’s desire.

I am challenged by Jesus to live as He lived. The Lord is giving me an opportunity during this season to trust Him more no matter the challenges before me. Trusting the Lord more, and squirming less, results in increased peace—of mind, soul, and heart.

Dear Lord,

Thank you so much for humbling yourself to be born in a manger, enduring shame, and dying on a cross for me. You modeled for me a life of servanthood even though you were a king.

I need your help, Lord, to live my life as a reflection of you. My heart and mind quickly search for ways I can control and build myself up. Too often, and too quickly, I lose focus on You and focus instead on myself.

Please forgive me and grant me the strength to keep my eyes fixed on you, the author and perfecter of my faith, my savior, my Lord, and my friend. 


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