Following Jesus Can Be Counter-Intuitive

Feb 6, 2012, Written by Sue Miley

We are raised in today’s society to be independent.  We feel pressured to make a name for ourselves.  Not necessarily fame, but attention and positive feedback in our own little world.

Think about how early it starts…..

…my daughter walked at 9 months.

…my son was reading at 4 years old.

….he is an All –American track star….a symphony pianist….a straight A student.

We start on the performance track young.

Then it moves to our adult lives….

… you need a job where you can support yourself.

….with so much divorce in the world you must make sure you are independent.

…people complain if their spouse or significant other is too clingy or needy.

Yet, when we shift to a God View, it is the exact opposite.

He wants us to cling to Him for everything and anything.

He promises that His yoke is light and wants to help us carry our burdens.

Our independence is like an invisible wall that goes up between us and God.

Have you ever tried to get your head around this?  The world is difficult.  We have to work really hard to learn the ways of the world just to survive.  Yet the more we set our minds to figuring out life, and this world, we are moving away from God.  This seems to be on my mind a lot as I recently wrote two other posts from slightly different vantage points:

Who Are We Fighting For Control

Choosing to Follow God

When I ponder the concept, over and over and over again, a few perspectives start to emerge:

The Truth is the Truth

Proverbs 23:23
Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.

The first is that God is Truth.  If Jesus says that we should depend on Him….if the bible has many, many verses claiming His promises to guide us through the spirit…if we believe God is the Creator of the Universe….then what He says has to be our primary concern!

He wants us to go to Him first:

Matthew 11:28
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:27-29


5“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.  John 15:5-8

He is giving us an easier way and we don’t trust Him enough to take it.

The Spirit Makes Your Path Straight

Even if we don’t understand it, if we go to God first, He will send the Holy Spirit to guide us.  Right?  We don’t have to worry that we are going to navigate correctly.  We have the most experienced guide ever.  So, I go to God first as a dependent idiot.  Then the likelihood of Him guiding me through this crazy world, better than I will, is pretty high.

The Holy Spirit Doesn’t Need a Backseat Driver

My kid’s freak out when they are trying to drive with me.  I take being a backseat driver to the next level.  I scream everything three times.  It just comes out in threes.  My attempt to guide them and help them is ten times likely to cause a wreck.  I freak them out!

I either have to let the Holy Spirit drive or risk bastardizing the journey.

Why do I sub-consciously think my way is better?  It just comes down to the fact that to me, giving up control is counter-intuitive.

I Still Believe It Is Human Nature

In the end, I don’t think it is major pride or arrogance that always has us striving for control.  I think I just want Him to be proud of me?  Impressed that I can do it myself?  Letting Him know He created a capable and responsible being.

I think it is in my nature, but the reality is, as I work to focus more on God and His solutions and path, things always work out for the better.

Every time.

When I took tennis lessons a few years ago, the tennis instructor had me hold the racket in a completely different way.  It was counter-intuitive.  He told me he had to break me of my bad habits.  He said this correct way would one day feel natural.

That is what I am thinking about following Jesus.  His ways are counter-intuitive.  But the more I focus on His ways, study His word, and work toward obedience, the more natural it becomes.

Thank God I have eternity to get it right!

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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