It’s great to do things for God. But it MUST be according to His will, His Spirit, His leading, and His timing. I have learned that if I run ahead and do things on my own, I just make a big mess. A really big mess.
Not only do I not bless anyone, I can even cause harm when I try to do things in my strength, my effort, and my wisdom.
It’s hard for me to be still and wait. I don’t want to waste time. Life is short! Running ahead with my own plans is easy. My normal tendency is to want to just take off and go about 100 miles per hour feeling like I am DOING something important for God. Whether He has called me to that thing or not. Whether it is by His Spirit and assignment or not.
But God has been calling me to a MUCH slower pace. And a LOT of waiting, at times.
Because… He is good.
There’s nothing wrong with making plans in advance, necessarily. We need to make some plans. We do need to think about the future, at times, and pray about possible options. But sometimes I end up expending a lot of energy over potential decisions that may happen way down the road that we may not even need to ever make.
It’s critical that I remember that the Lord is in control, not me. I must be ready to set aside my plans every second for God’s plans.
Turns out, I don’t have to have everything figured out in advance.
A Pillar of Cloud and Fire
God has also been showing me recently that following Him is a lot like the picture of Israel following the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.
Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out—until the day it lifted. So the cloud of the LORD was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the Israelites during all their travels. Exodus 40:34-38
The Israelites had no idea when God would move them or how long they might stay. God didn’t tell them His plan in advance. Sometimes, they stayed in a place only one night and the cloud moved the next day so they broke camp and followed. Other times, the cloud stayed in one place for a month or longer.
They were a lot like sheep, following their Good Shepherd.
It makes me think of how God leads me. I don’t know His plan any more than these adorable little lambs know their shepherd’s plan. I don’t know what He will do even 5 minutes from now. And yet, He is with me. He does lead me.
Through His Word. Through prayer. Through godly counsel. Through circumstances. Through His “still, small voice.” Through people in positions of leadership in my life.
He is great at leading me through my wonderful husband who thinks so very differently from me. And He leads in other ways, too.
I have learned that human plans can change very quickly. I don’t want to put much weight on them.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. James 4:13-17
In one heartbeat, our entire reality can suddenly change.
Only God really knows what will happen. And only God can truly know what will be best in any given situation.
All I really need to do is seek God’s beautiful face. Meaning, all I need to do is worship, thank, praise, and trust Him. As I keep my spiritual eyes focused on Him, He will direct my steps and give us the prompting, the open doors, the provision, the opportunities, the desires, the calling, the vision, the assignments, the wisdom, and the direction that I need.
This takes a whole lot of strain off of me. I don’t need to know the plan. And you know what else? Huge light bulb moment…
My husband doesn’t even need to know God’s plan in advance, either!
I just need to love and trust that God has the plan and He will reveal it to both of us one step at a time – at just the right time. I have found that He absolutely will as I devote myself fully to following and trusting Him.
When I say,
Do ALL that You want with me and in me and with my family. Lead my career and ministry in Your narrow path that leads to Life. I want to experience as much of You as possible. I want to yield to Your Lordship completely. I want to get to see everything You want to provide and know and experience all of Your Spirit that I can possibly receive.
I leave everything open. I give you total access to every door in my life. Every possibility in the future. Every talent and gift I have. Everyone in my family. Every trial. Every blessing. It’s all completely Yours.
Let Your will be done 100% in my life. I don’t want to miss out on one good thing You have for me. I want to experience every bit of Your unfathomable love. I want You do to whatever will bring You the greatest glory in my life. Amen…
It is amazing what He will do.
“Ah, stubborn children,” declares the Lord,
“who carry out a plan, but not mine,
and who make an alliance, but not of my Spirit,
that they may add sin to sin;
who set out to go down to Egypt,
without asking for my direction,
to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh
and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!
Therefore shall the protection of Pharaoh turn to your shame,
and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt to your humiliation.
For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel,
“In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
ISAIAH 30:21 (God’s plan for His people with the New Covenant in Christ)
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
I want to be more like that little lamb who just seeks to be close to her shepherd and is ready to follow wherever he may go in a moment’s notice. It’s not about me, my plans, my opinions, my wisdom, or my thoughts about what would be best. It is all about Him!
It is a lot more simple than I ever realized.
Have you learned something about resting in Christ, waiting on God, and following Him that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear the godly wisdom you have gleaned in your walk with the Lord.
What Did the Pillar of Cloud by Day and the Pillar of Fire by Night Signify? by www.gotquestions.org