The now rejected forty-year old Burger King theme song still echoes a desire most of us hold dear: “Have it your way…” We like to choose our way—and usually think others ought to see our superior wisdom and choose our way too! Proverbs 16:25 warns us about the results of that sort of living:
There is a way that seems right to man but the ends thereof are the ways of death.
Insisting on having our own way demonstrates immature self-centeredness that leads to death—for others and us. God has another way; Jesus came to show it to us. In fact, John 10:9 Jesus tells us that He IS the Doorway to abundant life!
No one wants to labeled self-centered, but the truth is we are… and becoming increasingly so. The trend of ‘selfies’ —taking a photo of yourself and posting it to social media—broadcasts evidence of self-absorption. Taking selfies mushroomed 17,000% from 2012 to 2014. Millions of such photos lurch into cyberspace daily. In fact, one-third of all pictures taken by folks between 18 and 24 are selfies. Please do not misunderstand. Having pictures of oneself is not wrong or even necessarily prideful…pictures are a treasure to be shared. The best pictures, though, are those that come as life is lived with others! As trite as it sounds, the acronym for J.O.Y. (Jesus, Others, Yourself) is a rather apt plan for avoiding self-centered living. Setting priorities as Jesus first, Others second and Yourself last creates abundant life!
Another avenue is taking time to look at Jesus as the Door to abundance; that fills our hearts with hope. In John chapter 10, Jesus tells us He is both the gate and the way to finding our place of provision and peace. Sometimes we so insist on having our own way, we only find doors to death. We chase deceitful promises of happiness in money, homes, jobs or romance. Often, it is not until difficult times come that we consider checking out the Way God desires. In Hosea, God promises to exchange the Valley of Trouble for a Door of Hope to all who turn to Him. Paul tells us in the New Testament that faith in Jesus places us in a place of Grace…we enter the Door into the very riches of God when we trust in Jesus.
Dying to self is the way to life, but it is not a path naturally desired. We begin our journey to abundance by surrendering to our need for a Savior. Filled with the Holy Spirit of God, we enter super-natural living! He empowers us to do good works He has planned for us…things He desires to have done. We grow in abundant living as we consider the needs of others and work for their good.
Let us choose to lay down having things our way and follow the example of Jesus in Gethsemane and say together, “Not my will but thine, Father.”