Dear HTC family and friends,
For my blog today, I want to chat about two of the aspects of our relationship with the Lord: the ‘Godward side’ and the ‘manward’/’womanward’ side. These two sides of the relationship we often get wrong, and the result is that we get really frustrated and disappointed. Let me explain.
By ‘Godward’ side I am referring to the aspects of the relationship that are in the Lord’s hands, and that are reserved for His being and doing. In other words, it is the aspects of the relationship that are for Him to control and decide. By ‘manward’ and ‘womanward’ side, I am referring to the aspects of the relationship that the Lord has left in our hands. In other words, it is the aspects of the relationship that He has left to our choice and decision. Simply put, it is the controllable part of the relationship from our side.
So often we blur these lines and try to manipulate or control the Godward side. When we do this, we always end up frustrated and disappointed. The best decision for us is to control the controllable — control what the Lord has left in our hands to control, and then choose to leave the rest to the Lord. Someone put it this way: stay in your lane and avoid straying into the Lord’s lane. Let God be God, and you be who He created you to be.
The Lord created us to need Him and to depend on Him. His design is that we should honour Him in the things He has left for us to do and that He has placed in our hands, and then to trust Him for the rest. Let me illustrate this with a couple of well-known verses from the Bible.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33). Here Jesus is reminding us that our side is to put the Lord first and to seek to give Him glory. His side is to provide for our needs. As we do our side in honouring and obeying, the Lord does His side in providing for our needs.
“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4). Our side is to choose to find pleasure in doing the works the Lord has asked us to do and to find our pleasure in bringing Him glory. His side is to give us the desires of our heart, for He knows the deep yearnings of our hearts.
“Honour your father and mother” — which is the first commandment with a promise — “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:2). Our side is to honour and obey our parents. The Lord’s side is to enable us to do well and to lead a fulfilled life.
There are many other examples. Sadly, we are so preoccupied with controlling the Godward side, that we neglect our side of the relationship. We wonder why we are not blessed and living a fulfilled life, and yet we have not forgiven our brother and sister, and we are not giving to the Lord’s House the first tenth of all we earn and have… the very things He has asked us to do.
The Lord will always deliver on His part, in His good time, and according to His perfect plan for our lives. Stop worrying about the Godward side and leave that to Him. Let us get on with obeying Him and then leaving the rest to Him. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Bless you all,