The biggest problem in my life is that I have been living by the kevinocentric model of the universe. I have found that I need a daily realignment of my perspective. Copernicus is credited with the radical paradigm shift which proclaimed that the earth is not the center of the universe. As it turns out, neither am I.
The words of Andrew Murray have helped me in this respect:
“Let your first act in your devotion be a setting yourself still before God. In prayer, or worship, everything depends upon God taking the chief place. I must bow quietly before Him in humble faith and adoration, . . . When you have given God His place of honor, glory, and power, take your place of deepest lowliness, and seek to be filled with the Spirit of humility. As a creature it is your blessedness to be nothing, that God may be all in you. As a sinner you are not worthy to look up to God; bow in self abasement. As a saint, let God’s love overwhelm you, and bow you still lower down. Sink down before Him in humility, meekness, patience, and surrender to His goodness and mercy. . . . Oh! take time, to get very low before God.”
-The Deeper Christian Life
I remember reading a parenting book years ago that articulated a simple guideline: “Children should be made to feel that they are abundantly welcome in your family, but that they are not the center of your family.” I still consider that to be profound advice. And as I reflect upon it, I realize that this is precisely how the Lord is raising me. He loves nothing in the universe more than me (the Cross teaches me that). But I am decidedly not the center of His universe (the Cross teaches me that as well).
Which all goes to explain why I have come to believe that the famous adage “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life” is misguided (and misleading). It would be more accurate to say that “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for His Kingdom — and He would be delighted to include you in His plans!” OK, so it doesn’t roll off the tongue with the same flair, but I believe it more accurately describes the true state of affairs. The entire Bible has one dominant plot line: God is establishing His Kingdom here on earth. THAT’s it. THAT’s the story. (Everything else is just “character development”.) If you doubt the preeminence of that statement, read the Gospels again and notice that whenever Jesus is speaking about the “Good News”, he was teaching about the Kingdom. The “Good News” is that we have been invited to join His work in building the Kingdom. (That’s why the Bible never speaks about “inviting Jesus into your heart” — it is Jesus who is inviting you into His Kingdom!) And when you accept His invitation, you will be abundantly welcome — but you will never be the center. That Position has already been spoken for.
If you only skimmed lightly over the Murray quote above (come on — admit it; you know you did), go back right now and really let his revolutionary words sink in. Copernicus’ Revolution was profoundly disorienting to the scientists and theologians of his day, but it was also eminently liberating. Andrew Murray’s revolution is no different. It reminds me that God doesn’t lay awake at night dreaming about my success. No, this entire universe is designed around the story of the success of His Kingdom. Disorienting to my ego, perhaps. But the liberation comes as I realize the incredible privilege of being invited to play an integral part in that Kingdom-building plan.
Now that’s the universe I want to be a part of!