By Bill Collier- There are many things and people that impact your life, often by way of not fulfilling their role or promise in anything approaching an ideal manner. Parents, governments, spouses, children, and friends can and will fail us or even violate us, they will not be consistent, always keep their word, or even respect our welfare or dignity as human beings. Indeed, if we consider our own lives from this perspective, our own inconsistencies and flaws and how they affect other people in our lives and relationships will drive us into self-condemnatiin, unless of course we are totally lacking in self-awareness.
Faith in God is a very useful antidote to the failures of society, our institutions, people we are connected to us, and ourselves. But sometimes faith in God is harder to realize and other times it becomes a wilful closing of our eyes to reality and an unwillingness to own responsibility for our lives and actions. Faith in God transcends all these things, but it doesn’t replace or negate them: indeed true faith in God should nurture self-awareness and personal moral and material responsibility with an eye toward the truth God can and will enable us to transcend this earthly and temporal life and build the foundation for an eternal existence as kings and priests in His Kingdom.
Passive acceptance of life’s circumstances without taking personal responsibility and owning our own spiritual sovereignty is not faith in God. In this case it is surrender to the temporal using God as an excuse. This is approaching taking the Name of God in vain!
We are destined for an eternal life in the Kingdom of God as members of some form of a nation, there are many nations in the New Creation to come, and as kings and priests who are joint-heirs with Yeshua. If we understand this we realize that the time to begin learning and practicing our spiritual sovereignty as kings and priests unto the Lord, is right now and that part of that is taking personal ownership over our own lives.
Your life has a narrative. This is a storyline that essentially defines the possibilities and limits of your life. If your narrative is that you are a spiritually sovereign king and priest as a joint-heir with Yeshua it presents different possibilities than if your narrative is that people and institutions have abused you and are keeping things from you that they owe you.
It may be, it probably is, that people and institutions owe you something. Perhaps your parents never honored their obligations and abandoned you. Perhaps the justice system failed to punish a criminal who did you wrong or punished you for a mistake in disproportionate to your crime while others far worse got off scott-free.
It takes emotional energy to dwell on these things and every time you do there is pain and suffering added to your heart and soul. Thinking on these things, complaining about them, beyond just getting things off your chest (which you should do), doesn’t bring healing, doesn’t change anything, and leads to more pain. Focusing on these things can become an impediment in your mind to owning your own life, in stewardship to God, and can stop you from taking material control over your situation.
You may feel God let you down, after all doesn’t He control everything? But if you feel this way, and that is perfectly understandable, then you may not be seeing Creation in the proper light or the process of Creation in the proper light. A life free of suffering and full of purpose is the destination of Creation but the process, especially in this temporal life, involves trial and sorting. We don’t like or understand it, but many human beings will reject the path of destiny and life and embark on a road of eternal destruction.
Regardless of your understanding or acceptance of whatever you think God owes you or humanity or whatever you think anyone or any institution owes you, the plain and inescapable fact is two-fold: your fate in this life is largely up to you and your eternal status and standing is your responsibility. If you live your life focused on what God or anyone else owes you, you will always be unhappy and you won’t reach your potential.
You have to live or die. You can choose to die, but your soul will not cease to exist, therefore your ownership over what happens to your soul is yours alone and you do yourself no good debating why the rules and laws of Creation are what they are or why you don’t like them. It is useless energy wasted on useless things that brings no benefit to anyone. The determination to own your life, both in this world and the world to come, and to understand how you should conduct YOURSELF in light of the laws of Creation, whether you like them or not, is the ONLY path to true and eternal success and happiness.
Let’s be clear: inquiring as to why God allows this or that or why certain laws and rules exist in Creation is an intellectual exercise, but if the goal isn’t to understand the truth and apply it usefully, then it is a sad waste of time and energy that will sap us and decrease our chances of happiness and success.
One chief objection is this idea that God creates us, we don’t ask to be born, and that He then demands we love Him or face eternal domination. It’s not that simple, but even if this were true, and trying to convince people it isn’t is hard to impossible, what of it? God actually owns a right no human owns, the right to demand absolute loyalty and obedience. As it says, “will be pot say to the potter, why have you made me?” It is a question we are not ALLOWED to ask and God owes us no reply to.
We cannot judge the Creator by human standards, He lives outside time and space and He literally OWNS US. This is something people struggle with and we recoil at God owning us and having a right to dictate to us just as we might do so for another human being. But it isn’t so, we don’t have a right to demand that God be reduced to a human status and “respect” our equality with Him. We are not equal to God and do now own the same rights He alone owns, including the right of ownership over ourselves.
Even if we own our own life, we own this only in relation to nature and man, not in relation to God. In relation to God, we are owned by Him, we are His Creation, and we have no right to question why He made us or why He governs His Creation as He does.
It is a hard thing to accept but those who desire eternal happiness must come to terms with the nature of God and His Creation. Every ideology and idea that recoils at the absolute and unquestionable sovereignty of God also recoils at the spiritual sovereignty of each individual in relation to nature and man.
Owning your life in relation to man and nature, while acknowledging and accepting God’s ownership over your life as His Creation, despite the fact you did not choose to be born, balancing what you cannot choose with what you must choose, is essential to success and happiness.
God created you and He didn’t need your permission. Your parents likely chose you to be born, again, there was no way to choose your existence. God meets His obligations to you based on the rules HE created, because He is God and not a person. Your parents owe obligations to you based on God’s laws which they cannot alter or defy without denying God, and yet they will and they do fail these laws even if they want to follow them because, as Paul the Apostle said, “the good that I would do, I do not do and the bad I don’t want to do, I do!” Only someone who has raised children understands how deeply and truly we struggle to meet our God-given obligations to our children or how imperfect our attempt is!
What others owe you may be real. You deserve to be treated with equal love and supported by your parents, you deserve to have the same system and standards of justice as everyone else, you deserve to be respected and honored by every institution, you deserve to be given the same chances for success as everyone else.
Often you hear, “people don’t owe you anything”, and we all have said it, but people do owe things to each other, according to the laws of the Universe and common sense! This is not the issue. The issue is that imperfect and flawed human beings won’t perfectly live up to these moral obligations to each other, neither will you! The second issue is: what are you going to do with that information, spend your time angry and upset about what is owed you or focusing on owning your life in relation to your fellow man and nature while accepting God’s ownership over your life as His right?
In relation to God, you are owned by Him. In relation to your fellow man and nature, you are a spiritually sovereign person made in God’s very likeness.
Owning your life means you accept that all or most of your reality moving forward will be determined by you, that you will give yourself what others who owe you don’t, that you will ruthlessly choose your companions based on their fidelity to mutual and positive obligations to each other, and that you will not be focused on what others have or haven’t done to make life harder for yourself. If you don’t do this you will be very unlikely to experience a lot of success or happiness.
Whatever you think God should be or do, whatever others should be or do, you must choose to be and do for yourself and seek arrangements that enable you to begin to claw back control over your circumstances and your choices. It is far more frutiful to be the ideal you desire in others than to feel powerless unless and until they do what you know or think they should do.