A couple weeks ago, Jason and I were having a discussion in the car. (We have some of our best talks in transit.) There was a small matter that we had both been a little concerned about. I asked him if he had taken care of it yet, and he said no. Hastily, I said I would just take care of it myself. It was nothing huge, but did require some delicasy. I knew I could handle the situation. Thus, it would be resolved. He then shared with me that he had been praying about it and was waiting for God to speak to the other party. (Praise God for a godly husband!) Reluctantly, and with conviction, I agreed he was right and apologized. Just a week ago, the Lord did, in fact, address the concern in His own way and time without any help from me or Jason. This strikes me right at my core. I am a “fix it” person. I find that most women are. I too often want to take matters into my own hands rather than seeking the Lord and waiting for Him. Does this sound familiar?
Scripture is filled with people who seemed to have the same problem I do. One woman who comes to mind is Sarah. The Lord promised her a child, but it took longer than she wanted. She, then, “created” a son for herself. God, however, did not honor this child because it was not His plan. It was Sarah’s plan. I think also of Peter. Sometimes, I love Peter for all the wrong reasons. I am greatful for him because of his faults instead of his obediance. In the garden, when Christ is with the disciples, the soliders come to arrest Him. Peter reacts by chopping off one of the guard’s ears. John 18:10-11 says, “Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. (The slave’s name was Malchus.) At that, Jesus said to Peter, ‘Sheathe your sword! Am I not to drink the cup the Father has given Me?'” This wasn’t Peter’s first objection to Christ’s eventual crucifixion. Matthew 16:21-23 says, “From then on Jesus began to point out to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, ‘Oh no, Lord! This will never happen to you!’ But He turned and told Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me because you’re not thinking about God’s concerns, but man’s.'” At the reading of that, my heart breaks. We do not realize that we are taking Jesus aside to tell Him how His plans are wrong and ours are right. Wow. In response to our plans, Christ says we are Satan. The matter is more grievious than we know. When have you heard someone say (or said yourself), “Don’t go on a mission trip to that country! You could be hurt or die! Think of your family!” Are we focusing on God’s concerns or man’s?
In my own life, I find I am too quick to draw my sword. I need to spend more time in prayer; waiting for God’s plans to unfold instead of forcing mine to become a reality. I do not want to be an offense to the Lord. I do not want to think more highly of my ways than His ways. It is crazy to the rest of the world when we live for Christ. Even in mine and Jason’s short adventure, I have heard so many negative comments about our trips over seas and even moving to Texas. Why? To the world, Christians included, it is often deemed unnessary to do radical things for Christ. Now, I am not saying Jason and I are amazing Christians who do radical things for Jesus. I am simply pointing out that, when we strive to follow God where ever He leads, it is perceived as a great feat. It should not be. We are to live for Him every day and in every way. Paul says it is our reasonable service, or spiritual worship, when we do so (Romans 12:1).
God has His own plans. I am simply to seek Him and let Him lead me. I am not to run ahead or behind. I am not to draw my sword or bring my own desires into existence. It is a daily crucifying of my own flesh; a dieing to myself (Luke 9:23). It is letting myself go and letting Him reign (John 3:30). I pray that in my own life, I have His perfect will and not His permissive will. I am striving to get out of the way. May God have all the glory when I do!