We’re so glad that Joseph’s brothers came to the point of repentance and surrender. Being in prison had quite an impact on them.
What we may not realize is that God puts each of us in a kind of “prison” so that we also can come to the point of repentance and surrender. One way to become aware whether we’re in that kind of prison is through a concept that’s called “sit in it.” When we “sit in” a situation, we’re asking God to reveal the motive of our hearts.
For instance, I was consistently very friendly toward service providers, such as a waitress. I sensed that my reaction was extreme but I felt nervous thinking of changing my reaction. So I incorporated “sitting in it.” The next time I was in a restaurant, I still reacted the same way, but I asked the Holy Spirit to make me aware of what was going on inside me. Why did I feel compelled to make sure I was extremely friendly toward the waitress?
The Holy Spirit opened my understanding to recognize I felt responsible for the waitress’s happiness. Something inside me reasoned that if I wasn’t extremely friendly and encouraging, the waitress would think I didn’t like the food and then feel bad. It boiled down to believing I had power over her emotions and if she felt bad, then I wasn’t a very nice person.
This may not seem like a big deal, but I fight within me the idol of being a People Pleaser. And that may not seem like a big deal except that being a People Pleaser means I believe God can’t be powerful enough to provide what another person needs. I believe I have to be the provider. Playing God is sin. And it resulted in something as seemingly innocuous as being over-nice to a waitress.
Because of “sitting in” that understanding and repenting from my sin, I surrendered saying, “God, even if this waitress feels bad, I surrender feeling responsible for her.”
But there’s another way to “sit in it.” And that is choosing to respond the opposite of my usual reaction and allowing the Spirit to reveal the motive of my heart. Instead of responding the same way to the waitress, I could ignore her and ask myself, “How does this make me feel? What’s going on inside of me?”
I used both facets of this “sitting in it” to deal with my idol of People Pleasing. God used it to wrestle with my sin and give me opportunities to release the sinful need of being God for others.
When I did release that need to feel responsible for someone‘s happiness, I experienced such joy and freedom in the Lord. A burden was taken off my shoulders. I could let God be God in that person’s life. Why did I think I could handle someone else’s life when I could barely handle my own–in my own power? I praised God.
Can you think of some way God would want to invite you to evaluate your motives? Maybe “sitting in it” will reveal a lack of trust in God. Just think of the freedom of trusting God more after you repent and surrender!
(Graphic design by Pilatesball at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Work_man-sitting.jpg)