THE CONFUSED BUTTERFLY
By Judy L. Poe
I thought I was an ugly worm,
For I was taught this was the case;
And I always felt defeated,
But just assumed this was my place.
I used to watch the butterfly,
As she soared among the trees;
Her brilliant colors flashing bright,
As she floated about with ease.
But a worm, alas, was I it seemed,
That crawled upon the ground;
And there appeared no hope for me,
Till new life in Heaven I found.
But in the meantime, here on earth,
I was told to do the best I could;
And not to do the things I shouldn't,
And try to do the things I should.
So for many years I worked real hard,
To be the best worm I could be;
I worked and planned and served and studied,
To "help" God work His plan for me.
But my load became too heavy,
And failure darkened every door;
I said, "God, I just can't do it",
He said, "That's what I've waited for."
An then, through the Holy Spirit,
And His precious truths confirmed;
He said, "My child, you are a butterfly,
Stop acting like a worm.
When you trusted Christ as Savior,
You were changed and made brand new;
And those years you've acted like a worm,
Christ has longed to live through you."
So my "place" I found at last was grace,
And I thanked God for what I'd learned;
For when I surrendered all to Him,
I knew, at last, the worm had turned.
A lot of misunderstanding surrounds the concept of Total Commitment. If one desires the best that God offers then Total Commitment is required. The more one gives and surrenders in Total Commitment the more one will understand and know of God.
Understanding Christ's Life in you (The Exchanged Life) is understanding and experiencing what Christ can do in you and through you. It is what He can do in you and through you that He desires, not what you can do, accomplish or achieve.
Another name for Total Commitment is Total Surrender or a personal Gethsemane expressed this way, "I want what You want more than anything else in life. Work on my case, and I will accept whatever You do." Many times we can give Him permission to do anything He wants to do in us, to us, with us and through us, but then complain because He doesn't do what we want Him to do and then we become angry.
Total Commitment involves the surrender and release of that which I believe to be rightfully mine. But I really do not have that right. These are not rights. These are things I have been made to believe are mine, and that God owes me this. God does not owe me anything. He gave me His own Son. There is a large difference between what God chooses to give and what He owes.
We tend to cling to or hang on to each of the following as rights in an effort to meet our own felt needs:
MIND, EMOTION, WILL: I want to function from my soul. My mind and emotions are programmed with a world system philosophy and this get in the way of my relationship with God. The enemy wants me to function from my feelings and thoughts with no guidelines or limitations.
HEALTHY BODY: People will like me better if I have an attractive body. I could have done a better job on me than God did. But God does not demonstrate His power in creating attractive bodies. He is more interested in re-creating Himself within us. Jesus "had no form or comeliness in His looks." There was nothing outstanding in His looks.
FUTURE PLANS: My Heavenly Father does not owe me anything. He is working to form desires within my heart. Scripture says my first desire should be to know Him in His fullness.
GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION: My attitude should be a willingness to live where He directs. I desire the best, and the best is to be where He wants me to be at any time (state, city, street, block, house on the block).
MARRIAGE: The tendency is to demand of God a spouse. If I believe God owes me a mate and I do not have one, I can become bitter and angry toward God. I will want to know when He is going to finish the job of completing me with a mate. My identity is not wrapped up in whether I am married or not. My identity in God is who I am individually. But I tend to see my identity in another form because this is the way society sees it.
RECREATION: I have no right to choose an activity that would not be honoring to God. My tendency is to function as if this is MY LIFE! But Scripture says that I have been bought with a price. I am not my own.
SUCCESS: I feel that I belong on top, because I am His child and God desires that I prosper. But the Lord Jesus stressed the spiritual, not the physical. I want to take all those things and put them in a physical realm saying that this is what God wants for me. But I cannot measure in a physical way that which God desires for my life. By all earthly standards Christ's ministry was a flop! But it accomplished all that God intended. The prospering that God wants for me is that I mature and grow spiritually not that I measure up to some earthly standard that says that I acquired all this because I am His.
CLING TO THE PAST: I like to remember what he, she or they did to me. It gives me reason to complain. But this becomes a cop-out for my present attitude. I want to be angry and I want others to know all about what happened to me.
HABITS: I buy into a belief system which says that I am only human and that no one is perfect and that a man has to have one vice. But the Scripture says that I am indwelt by the Spirit of the Living God, therefore I am not just human. The Spirit of God lives in Me. That makes me more than just human.
POSSESSIONS: Everything I perceive to be a possession will ultimately begin to possess me. It is easy to say, "Heavenly Father, I give you my car," but what if He tells me to give it away tomorrow? I am a steward. God has given me possessions as a trust. I am to take care of God's trust they are not really mine. But I will cling to anything I think I own, and if someone violates MY STUFF, I will react in anger. "How dare they do this to my house, to me, to my car, etc.!!!?"
TIME: I do need to get away from things occasionally, however my attitude should never be one of demanding MY time. The Lord Jesus took ten specific breaks from His ministry in three years.
REPUTATION: I want people to think well of me. But what did people think and say about the Lord Jesus? What kind of reputation did He have?
DEFY AUTHORITY: This covers every area of life - parent/child, law, boss, head, God.
ACCEPTANCE: inside of me I tend to say, “Don't I have a right to get my acceptance needs met in others?” I have spent much of my life trying to milk acceptance from others. "Oh! PLEASE accept me!" But I am not to look to the world or to others for my acceptance. There is a big difference between WANTING other's acceptance and NEEDING it. I am accepted by God totally and completely in the Lord Jesus. If I spend my time trying to get my acceptance needs met in others, I will not look to God as my need-meeter.
WILL OF GOD: At times I tend to believe that God has shown me His will, and I come to believe I know exactly what God wants, but it all falls apart. I have presumed to know precisely what God wants. Often the enemy will give a stone and will try to convince me that it is bread and I conclude, "Look what God has given me!" But God did not give it. It came from the enemy. It is not the real thing. When I find out it is a stone and not bread, I become angry with God, but God did not do it.
HAPPY HOME: I NEED a neat, clean orderly home to be happy. Therefore, kids make your beds, clean your rooms, put your toys away.
PROBLEMS, DIFFICULTIES: I tend to think bad things happen to others. I believe good things mean God is blessing me, and bad things mean He is angry with me. As long as I am in this world I am potentially subject to every tragedy and difficulty that could happen. The difference is how I respond. Sometimes that is the only witness I will have to the world.
TAKING OFFENSE: I cannot offend a humble person. If I am humble I cannot be offended. A humble person can never be told anything about himself that he does not already know. When offenses come I need to keep short accounts by forgiving.
REAPING WHAT I SOW: I will reap what I sow. I want to do what I want to do, but I do not want to reap what I have sown. I may even confess my actions as sin. Many times God has kept me from reaping what I have sown, but He does not have to do so.
BE RIGHT: I must have the last word to verify my position. I need to admit that I do and can make wrong decisions, instead of functioning as if everything I do is right.
BE LOVED: Do I want love? Yes! Do I have a right to be loved? No! However, God does love me.
VISIBLE SECURITY: Land, possessions, money, stocks, bonds. It may be necessary for God to withhold any visible security so I will have to trust Him totally. It is too easy to trust what He has given instead of Him.
USED OF GOD: I want to be used of God, but I do not see Him using me. Why He does not use me is not the real issue, which is why should He use me? Who am I that He should use me? God does not have to use anybody. If I did not praise Him, the rocks would! I may not be ready for His use.
SEE RESULTS: God may lead me to do something and I want to see the results of my labors. The Word says that some plant the seed, some water, but the harvest is the Lord's. But I want to be in on the harvest.
DEMAND FROM GOD: The only right I have is the right to the Lord Jesus and all that He is. This has been given to me. It is not a right I earned. It is not a right I deserve. It is a right that was given to me through the act of salvation, through receiving the Lord Jesus as my Lord. And in that salvation I got Him and all that He is. Therefore, I function in the strength of Christ - - all that He is in me.