What if God wants us IN the way? 

Charles Kiser —  May 12, 2016 — 4 Comments

You’ve probably heard or used, like I have, the popular phrase “I’ve just got to get out of the way” and let God work.

The sentiment of this statement, I think, is that in any given situation we are prone to be self-absorbed, self-centered, self-focused. Our selfishness keeps us from being available to opportunities God gives us to grow or help others. 

To the extent that this is true, we definitely need to get out of the way. 

But I sense this phrase is also used in a different way: as a subtle shirk of responsibility; as a form of disengagement. “I don’t know how it’s going to happen so I’ll just get out of the way.” “If anything is going to happen it will have to be God.” And so what sounds like humble self-awareness might actually be another form of selfishness masquerading. 

The flip side of this idea is that God most certainly wants us IN the way. God wants to form us, to shape us, and to use us. Isn’t that the whole point of this cosmic project? The early church missionary Paul said that we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works. We are designed to be instruments of blessing in the hand of the Almighty. We are designed to be in the way of what God is doing; not as an obstacle, but as a conduit. 

So get in God’s way today. 

What are your reflections about this oft-used Christian phrase? 

Charles Kiser


I’m a pastor, missionary, and contextual theologian in Dallas, Texas. I’m committed to equipping and coaching Christians to start fresh expressions of Christian community in Dallas County — communities of hospitality, inclusion, justice, and healing.

4 responses to What if God wants us IN the way? 

    John S Oliver May 12, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    Selfishness is the default setting on humans. I heard a pastor say that his members cared mostly about self, family and the mortgage. Beyond that they had very little time, attention or concern.

    The 3 invisible enemies of the world, the flesh and the devil conspire continually to distract us from following Jesus by faith one day at a time.

    Yet inside of each believer dwells the Holy Spirit that has a higher agenda from God to communicate the truth in love to family, friends and strangers.

    Loving one another is easier said than done. There is a way that the compassion of Christ needs to be allowed to trump the frantic agendas of duties, entertainment and other activities so that agape love may be expressed.

    Biblical discipleship involves discipline to do the right things, at the right time, and in the right ways. And that is not the same as mindlessly continuing on the treadmill of the Rat Race sometimes having religious thoughts.

    Self is not always the enemy nor always the ally. Self is far more complex than that tiny word suggests.


      Seems like the way of Jesus includes both loving self (loving neighbor as oneself) and loving neighbor/other. Self care is important but when functioning properly it empowers rather than stifles an orientation toward helping others. As you say, self is not always the enemy or the ally exclusively.

      I believe the best inspiration for others to break out of the default of self-absorption is a life well lived for the good of others; a life full of joy and peace and generosity. When you see it in living color it’s almost irresistible. You want more of it and hopefully to be more like it.


    Helpful reflections, my friend. Thanks!

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