If we can't make the connection between what God asks us to do and the why behind it, we will usually say, "Forget about it!" Just like a toddler doesn't understand why a parent would say, "Don't touch the hot stove," you and I struggle to understand why God says many of the things he says. Or why God nudges us to do something. It might seem unrealistic. It might not fit within our culture or context. It might seem to go against our lifestyle. Consequently, when this happens, we tend to say, "Nope. I'm not going to do it."
But more than that, when God nudges us, sometimes we have the audacity to tell him, "I've got a better idea!" Somehow you and I have become experts at giving suggestions to God—as if he's open to our suggestions or better ideas. When we don't understand the why behind what God's asking, we have this tendency to take matters into our own hands. For example, God might ask you to tithe, to which you might respond, "I'd rather not. How about I just serve?" When we do this, it demonstrates a confusion in the relationship.
We're confused because we evaluate the circumstances of our lives and what's around us and then make decisions based on the value of what's in front of us, rather than on the promises of God. If what's in our hands means a lot to us, we have a hard time letting go of it. And if we think the value of what's in front of us is more important than, or better than the promise of God, it demonstrates that we are confused.
For example, if God asked you to take the step of being a volunteer in our Kid's Ministry, you and I will often look at how valuable our time and energy are first, and then make a decision. We do this without even thinking about the promises of God—the promise to always be with us, to never leave us or forsake us. Or the promise that God will give us the words to say and the power to say them. Or the promise that God will not give us anything more than what his strength can handle. You see, we struggle to start with the promises, rather than the value of what's right in front of us.
Now, let me just ask this question: How smart is it to argue or debate with God? How wise is it to argue with God over things like your morality? Or who you should date? Or how you should treat your spouse? Or how you should conduct your affairs? How wise is it, really?
The sad truth is, we do it all the time and take matters into our own hands. We hold on to what we think is valuable and refuse to trust the God who is faithful and keeps his promises.
You see, there are two ways to discover why God says what he says. One way is to submit and apply. The other is to take matters into your own hands. Either way, one day you and I will discover why God asks us to do whatever he's asked us to do. One day all of us will go, "Oh! Now I get it! I finally understand!" The former will lead to a sigh of relief. The latter will result in a sigh of regret. But let me warn you, taking matters into your own hands will have devastating consequences. When Gehazi took matters into his own hands, he quickly discovered there are always consequences—consequences that are tragic and far reaching. (2 Kings 5:19-27)
So let me ask you—where is God nudging you? What has he been asking you to do lately or even for the past few years? What do you really have to lose by trusting him? Why not give it a try?
Have a blessed week!
Notes from the Staff @The Woods