When I realized God was for MY good
I stood staring up at the screen in college singing along to this new song, "Your Love Never Fails" by some band called JesusCulture. The chorus was well enough then it transitioned into the bridge:
Wait, MY good? That's not true. That's not how the scripture goes. Romans 8:28 says that He works all things together for good, not MY good. We can't just take scripture and bend it to please us. God is more concerned about the greater good than just me. It's not about me.
As I debated the theological accuracy of the bridge, everyone else kept singing it. As I thought, it clicked that God's good is ultimately my good too. So, I figured I could sing it. That was the beginning of a few year journey of working that through my system. I also realized that while I oh so want people to see and want Jesus more than ever, Jesus see and wants me.
"It's not about me" was my response then. It's still not about me now. But then, I wanted to be completely out of the picture or thought. I just wanted it to be about Jesus, but Jesus wanted it to be for me.
You see, what I didn't know then, is in a relationship, you give to the other person. A wife gives of herself to meet her husband's needs and dreams. A husband gives of himself to meet his wife's needs and dreams. That's a healthy and beautiful relationship. The unhealthy version is when the wife gives sacrificially to her husband, and the husband spends his attention and strength on Himself too.
That's kind of how I viewed my relationship with God: Because of what Jesus had did, I gave all I am for Him. All He had was also for Him and His glory...or the unsaved. Apparently, once you get saved, then you're just for Him, His glory, the other unsaved and He moves on.
Now I can see that all of me is for Him, and all of Him is for me. I was actually preventing Him from loving me and championing me. God doesn't have a scarcity of glory, nor is He afraid for His bride to shine. In fact, the more a wife flourishes, the more of a testament it is to her husband for how he treats her. Same with God. When His Bride and children flourish, it shows He's a really good Husband and Dad.
What's this mean in normal life?
I know He wants my wife to be beautiful. He wants my job to flourish. He wants my children to be healthy and happy. He wants me to be successful, healthy, and whole. (Sometimes we need to redefine success from everyone's a billionaire with houses and cars to thriving, growing, living and loving well.) Now, I can look back at different seasons of my life and see how He's worked to love me, protect me, mold me, make me, prepare me, grow me. It's been for my good. My good just gives Him more glory. My good is so over the top that there's no way I could do it myself.
My heart is more His than it ever was before - not because I have a bunch of things or all my dreams come true - but because I know He cares about them and is working in my life. It's not so He looks better, but because in a relationship, Love gives to better the other person. I am all in for His good and He is all in for my good. You could argue, but the cross and the Spirit's work say otherwise.