From Addiction to Joy
Do you struggle with my addiction? In the language of addiction groups, hear my confession: “Hi. My name is Jack Selcher, and I know what’s best for me.” But not so much anymore. Let me explain.
God says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8–9 NIV). James 1:5 invites us to ask God for His wisdom and promises He will deliver it.
Thinking we know what’s best is settling for our half-baked foolishness when we can have ultimate wisdom. God is in control whether we want Him to be or not. He doesn’t play by our rules. There’s too much at stake.
He has this thing with doors. Sometimes, He waits for us to open doors (Revelation 3:20). Often, He controls them. He slams them in our faces to move us in more strategic kingdom-building directions if necessary. It’s usually painful because it directs us somewhere other than in the way we think is best for us.
“To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open” (Revelation 3:7 NIV). Have you ever had a door unexpectedly slammed in your face that you couldn’t open no matter what?
I have. Perhaps it was a job interview, a relationship breakdown, or something else. A particular person’s hand seemed to slam the door, but I assure you that God is the unseen force behind the hand. The slammers usually don’t know God is working through them. The same could be said of those who open doors of opportunity to us.
When God slams a door, He inevitably opens a series of other doors to direct us toward the good works He prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). Each open door further prepares us to bear much fruit (John 15:8).
The slammed doors frustrate us. They make us angry. They wound our pride. Nevertheless, God uses them to shape us into the image of His Son (Romans 8:29) while He directs us in paths we wouldn’t have otherwise chosen.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5–6 NIV). It doesn’t sound like we’re very wise when we insist on the “I know what’s best for me” path, does it?
For me, the trail from addiction to joy wound from being an aquatic biologist between 1972 and 1976 to ministries through Facebook, a book, and a website. It was a 40-plus-year journey with frequently closed and open doors. God’s open and shut doors moved me from my chosen career which would have been spent touching thousands of fish to a ministry touching millions of people. If I had stubbornly clung to my “I know what’s best for me” addiction, I would have missed the joy and fulfillment of helping further God’s kingdom on earth. The same is true for you.
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