Q. Is the determination to follow a certain path given to us as a gift, or is it the result of our own choice?
"A blend of both" doesn't do it for me. (That's always my husband's answer--a blend of every factor.) One friend said the bottom line of my lack of determination is that I fear my own unwillingness to change. At the time it sounded reasonable. Not anymore.
As I look back, healthy changes in my behavior have resulted from a profound revelation that rocked me to my deeps. The resulting change or adjustment in belief was catalyst for behavior change. We do what we believe, and believe me, that speaks way louder than just saying what we believe.
Since God is ultimate guardian of my circumstances, He has allowed and disallowed in accordance with His plan for my life. I can rearrange the deck chairs all I want, but this ship is on a course set by the Captain. (Most days I’m glad of that.) The experiences that moved me toward healthy change were His arrangement, brought about for His glory to be seen through my life. I am compelled by His love. The joy and fulfillment that arise from these epic moments aren’t something I choose—they just come. If I want to want a totally surrendered life, I need motivation and vision, the kind that come from a deeps-rocking epiphany. I believe that God gifted William Wallace with a deeps-rooted determination to do what was right. Along with that gift came a Niagara of courage, strength, and heart—enough to change mere men into warriors and free an entire country.
I want the country of my own soul freed, and I cannot make myself decide to be free. I need help. I need the gift of a revelation, the kind that can only come from the One whose other worldly Love transcends my humanness, surpasses the strength of my flesh, and empowers my soul to live life as He meant me to—free, unself-conscious, with joy spilling up and over into other needy lives.
That’s the way it seems to me today. If my friend who has the tendency to overinfluence me has another go at it, I could be writing an addendum later.
Maybe I might pray as well for a spiritual spine of steel instead of the aluminum foil I have now...