I’m an achiever. I like to get things done. I’m also a planner and organizer so I can make sure they get done.
There have been situations in my life in the past where I have struggled and worked and persevered to make something happen only to discover that it wasn’t the right thing. It didn’t work out.
So disappointing. Have you been there?
As my faith in God has grown, I have realized that I want God’s plans for my life to become reality, not my own plans. The truth is he knows everything, he has the power to do anything and his plans are perfect.
So now I talk to God about what he wants, watch to see where he is moving and then join him in what he is doing. Does it surprise you that great things happen when I do this?
I’m not surprised.
Does it surprise you that sometimes I forget to do this?
I’m not surprised.
As I’m reading King Jeroboam’s story in 1 Kings, I am reminded of some of the disappointments I had when I was trying to do things my own way. Jeroboam was setting up his own kingdom in Israel without asking God what he wanted and Jeroboam was making a lot of bad decisions. But he persevered and made everything happen just like he wanted it.
Then, one day, the king stretched out his hand to command to his men to seize the prophet of God (another bad decision) and his hand shriveled up.
Wow! That got Jeroboam’s attention!
Jeroboam knew exactly who shriveled up his hand so he said to the prophet of God , “Intercede with the LORD our God and pray for me that my hand may be restored.” 1 Kings 13: 6. This was a good decision – God instantly restored the king’s hand.
God doesn’t usually make hands shrivel up today but he is constantly trying to guide us down the right paths so we make good decisions. Since I’m a planner and organizer and doer, I have to be careful to listen to God and not just use my own skills to make stuff happen. Even when I’m sure I’m on the path where God wants me, if things just aren’t working, I’ve learned to stop and look to God – is he trying to redirect me? Did I misunderstand? – before I just push through to make it happen.
Years ago I decided that, before putting a big effort into climbing a wall, I’m going to make sure it’s the right wall.
When I am keeping my eyes on God, studying his Word and spending time with him, he shows me when I’m getting off track. I ask him to open doors or close doors – somehow show me if I’m going down the right path or not.
And he does. There are times when he opens my eyes to a different next step than I was planning. In other situations, he encourages me and I know I’m supposed to keep moving forward even when the going gets tough.
By focusing on what God wants – not what I want – God doesn’t have to try hard to get my attention. It’s a great way to avoid climbing the wrong wall and experiencing nasty consequences.
No shriveled hands here.
Thank you for your truth and guidance, Abba Father.