UCAN sharing: Shoes too tight
Scripture: Jer. 29:11
19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matt. 4:19
Many people live in compromise with what they wanted to get out of life. They end up in jobs and
relationships that don’t satisfy. Somewhere along life’s journey the decisions made just didn’t add up right.
We end up in jobs that are OK but not perfect and we think it is acceptable because we can pay our bills.
Our relationships are passable but when alone we fantasize about what might have been. All these
thoughts make us unhappy and discontent. Some will be reckless and just abandon their old life in search
of a better one; only to find that this doesn’t work either. Most just keep on living a life that never
completely fulfills only finding satisfaction in momentary thrills. They have accept this life as who they. It is
like buying a pair of shoes on sale but that don’t fit quite right but you wear them anyway.
The problem lies in that we don’t really know what we are doing and can’t figure it out. It is like a lump of
clay telling itself what it wants to be, a cup or plate. We pick up ideas from those around us forgetting that
each person is unique and has a unique life experience so that we can’t copy others life choices with any
real success. We become more entangled and settled in the bland life that we no longer believe that there
is more for us. Dreams and goals are often lost or drop for the more practical and secure. It is better to
have a well-paying job than to risk all in what we are called to. This mentality is fear based and keeps us
from hearing the voice of God. When God called Abram he told to go and didn’t say where. For most of us
this would not do. We would question and want confirmation. We’d talk to our leaders and so on till we
convince ourselves not to listen.
A man’s steps are of the LORD;
How then can a man understand his own way? Prov. 20:24
The Jews found themselves in Babylon as slaves now. This after Jerusalem was destroyed because God
allowed it to happen due to Israel’s disobedience. Far from their home with little hope for the future we
can see what happens when man takes control over his own life. God tells them that they will be in
Babylon for seventy years. This word was not what they wanted to hear but it was a result of their own
willfulness in not yielding to God. We too if we fail to allow God to lead may find ourselves in a place of
discontent and emptiness even if we have great worldly success. On the outside we may appear to be
totally successful Christians but what really counts is the depth of our relationship with God. Solomon had
tremendous success by the world’s standard yet at his old age he realized his mistake in forsaking God. He
sees how all he had was nothing and he wasted those days. He let himself be led by the many foreign wives
he had who the Lord had said Solomon was not to marry. Solomon must have made those decisions to
marry for political reasons as well as to make himself look good to other royalty of the time. Like the Jews
Solomon learned late that living by one’s own direction brings us less than fulfilling results that often can’t
Many Christians will end their life failing to give their whole life to God because of the fear of failing in this
life. We believe that it is better to be sure here and now than to risk it all for God. Oddly we fail to see all
the effort God demonstrates to get us to have faith that he has got it all covered. We keep going living half-
lives that lack passion and power because we are doubled minded (James 1:5-8). God has so much more
but it remains untapped because we can’t see it to get it. Like the want to be actor who ends up selling
vacuum cleaners we sell ourselves out cheap.
24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. Lk 9:24
God told the Jews in exile that they had to stay in Babylon for seventy years as slaves V10. This seems
harsh but it wasn’t at all considering how sinful they had been and the fact that God was also promising
that if they prayed for Babylon it would rise and them with it. God certainly does work in strange ways but
it is so that he can do all things right. When we allow Him to rule over our lives what we are saying is that
no matter what you say or do Lord it will be OK with me because I have faith in you. Faith is the foundation
of our relationship with God. True faith is not impacted by circumstances because God has already shown
through Jesus that he is above all things and that he loves us very much. Who else do you know that can
raise the dead? Who do you know that can speak of things that are not as if they are (Rom 4:17)? It is up to
us to love and trust God enough to allow him to have all parts of our lives.
God goes on to promise the exiled Jews something fantastic. He tells them that after their time in exile He
will come for them and return them to Jerusalem. This would require God to dramatically change their
circumstances so that after a generation those children could go back to Jerusalem. This is exactly what he
did and what happened but the Jews had to release faith in to God’s word.
The same word that he gave those exiled Jews he sends to us, believers today, that whoever believes in
Him and follows him with all their heart will receive plans that come from God not from the mind of man
who is weak and small but God is mighty and all knowing. God has given us his unfailing word that if we
trust in Him he will fill our lives with His Spirit and power and most of all his love so that we will be led to
the plans he made for us before time.
God is so in to us that he repeats this message throughout the bible reminding man that He is a great
Father who does not give bad things but gives great things (Matt 7:8-11). It is his desire that we walk in the
fullness of His presence which is life itself. This is why Jesus came to give us eternal life which is that we
know God the Father and the one whom he sent (Jesus) Jn 17:3. This is the true adventure of life in coming
to know God and choosing to receive from Him what he has made for each individual. God doesn’t make
poor fitting lives instead he designs each life perfectly and gives it all it needs for the person to find total
fulfilment. Consider the first disciples who were nobodies but God called them from their occupation and
walked with them so they could change the world. Imagine if Peter had doubted and had remained a poor
fisherman. What would have become of his life? Little.
You too may be living a life that is not truly filled like God wants to fill it. If so why not turn to God this day
and ask your Father in heaven to take what remains and use it for his glory. God can do wonders with a
surrendered life. He knows the plans he has for you do you know them? You need to.
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that
we should walk in them. Eph. 2:10