Ripe or Rotten

June 29, 2018

“You don’t have to be afraid of the unknown. It is unknown only to you. God is well aware of where you are and every step He is asking you to take.” –unknown

God has a plan – He always has a plan. He works all things for good. I believe it.

There is no love without freedom so He gives me free will.

I get to choose – right or left.

My way or God’s.

I wonder if my choices have the ability to alter God’s plan – many say God is bigger than my impulses and wrong turns.

God is bigger.

When I choose my way over His, He pulls me back.

He graciously forgives and encourages me to try again.

But there are consequences for my choices and disobedience.

Sometimes the consequences mean a change in God’s plan.

The test is mine.

Take Saul for example.

Saul was God’s anointed king. He had it all – position, wealth, power and God was with him. Then one day it was over. God stripped him of everything and put David in his place.

So, what happened to Saul?

He waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from him. So Saul said, “Bring the burnt offering here to me, and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering. 1 Samuel 13:8

A battle with the Philistines was eminent – Saul didn’t know God already had victory for him.

An offering was to be given by Samuel after seven days for the approaching war. When Samuel didn’t show, Saul grew impatient and instead of waiting, took matters into his own hands – knowing he was disobeying God.

Often I pray for guidance and when I don’t get the answers I need in the time frame I want, I make a decision based on what I think is best instead of waiting, trusting God will answer and provide.

God’s obviously busy.

He must not be in an answering frame of mind.

As soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came. And Saul went out to meet him and greet him. Samuel said, “What have you done?”

And Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines had mustered at Michmash, I said, ’Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the favor of the Lord.’ So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering.” 1 Samuel 113:10-12

Paraphrased “Saul…what have you done? Are you crazy for disobeying the Lord?”

“It’s not my fault….you were late and the Philistines were coming….the men were leaving – I had to seek favor with the Lord….I did what I had to do….this is your fault!”

I go my own way, do what’s right in my own eyes, then whine when it doesn’t go well.

I blame God.

“I had to make a decision…You didn’t answer me, Lord….I told you to close the door if it wasn’t right….you left me on my own.”

It's always a choice - my way or God's. Usually, I know what's right. Click To Tweet

Often I’m praying, hoping there’s an easier way.

A loophole.

An exception.

“God please open the door/bless me in this situation that isn’t of you. I really want that car I can’t afford, ungodly relationship, easy way out.”

The path not taken isn’t taken because it’s difficult.

It’s thorny and uncomfortable.

Left turn appeal is often something I want to fill a space designed for God.

An ache only He can soothe.

I get impatient, anxious or want what I want and grab control.

Instant gratification – an empty, sugary treat.

It goes down sweet, then sours.

And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For then the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.

But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.” 1 Samuel 13:13 – 14

God already gift wrapped everything Saul asked for.

It was a timing thing.

If he waited, Saul’s kingdom was established forever.

Victory over the Philistines.

Position, power and respect.

Everything Saul hoped for.

His impatience and disobedience cost him everything.

Other examples might be:

• I meet someone and instead of waiting, I indulge and the cost is the person God had for me – I was unavailable. I chose a different person and God honored that choice.

• I need a job and instead of waiting, I pour my remaining resources into a get quick rich scheme. Now I’m distracted, focused on saving a sinking ship and in even worse circumstances.

• I have no vehicle and instead of trusting for the Lord’s provision, I buy a car with payments I can’t afford.

• Instead of allowing natural consequences for another’s irresponsibility and unacceptable behavior, I continue to rescue and enable. I don’t trust God to care for them and become as sick and unhealthy as the person I’m trying to help.

My need to control and grasp the reins changes the direction and way I travel.

Waiting is a point of choice – do I want my way or His?

Do I trust Him to provide or must I captain the ship?

He never forces, I must yield.

Here is the saddest part of the story:

“I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from Me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the Lord all that night. 1 Samuel 15:11

God regretted making Saul king.

His anointed one lost it all – his throne, his favor with the Lord because he chose to ignore God and go his own way.

It was a turning point.

A turning away.

I see Saul in me.

I get sick of waiting and do what I think is right.

I don’t trust God to show up.

I make excuses and blame my circumstances.

I don’t think it’s a big deal.

A single decision can change my life forever.

Saul’s impatience and disobedience cost Him the good things God planned for him.

What have I lost because I couldn’t wait?

The good news is because of Jesus, God doesn’t wash His hands of me.

In Christ, there’s grace, forgiveness and another chance.

My sin is washed away – yet there are consequences.

I don’t want to miss the good things God has for me because I can’t stand the tension and unknown of the wait.

Instead, I trust His promises.

He promises His plan is good.

He promises hope and a future.

He promises when I fail and fall, His mercy and grace holds.

He weaves my failings and wrong turns into the beautiful tapestry of His will, plan and purpose.

He restores what locusts ate away and upholds me with His righteous, right hand.

He gives me a new song.

More about Liz

I'm a free spirit. I hate rules and legalism. I love art and nature, music, the beach and dogs. I like to garden, take pictures and read. I tend to speak my mind and have a rip-the-band-aid -off approach to life. (Brace yourself, this might hurt.)

    1. This is such a beautiful post! I too, get sick of waiting, but I’m so thankful that Jesus never gets tired of waiting on us.

      1. Hi Heather! Thank you for reading and commenting…I know what you mean, waiting is seriously the hardest thing for me. I’ve learned God uses waiting for His purposes and although it feels like nothing is happening I think lots of things are. Thank you for a great comment!

      1. Hi Heather! I agree…so thankful for His unconditional love and grace. ❤️

    1. Liz, this is spot on. And it’s full of fresh insight that’s vulnerable and the kind of stuff we all relate to. This particularly resonated with me, “Left turn appeal is often something I want to fill a space designed for God.” So true. Thanks for sharing your heart.

      1. Hi Karen! Thanks so much! Waiting is such a hard thing for me…I want God to give me what I want now! I’m like a bratty kid….I’m learning (often the hard way) waiting works better than that left turn. Thank you for reading and commenting ❤️

    1. Wow, hit close to home for me. I want to control things and make them happen in my time frame. Thanks

      1. Hi Yvonne! You and me girl! I can make it happen…but I’m learning…slowly. Thanks for your comment ❤️

    1. This is well said, Liz! We all see ourselves in the failures of the biblical examples. We are just like them! I’m so glad that God recorded their failures, so we could learn from their mistakes and also understand his mercy toward us as sinners. Then “He weaves my failings and wrong turns into the beautiful tapestry of His will, plan and purpose.” You said that so well! Isn’t our God merciful, kind, and good!

      1. Hi Melinda! He is so good…I feel the same – so grateful God revealed the flaws and failures of the Bible hero’s. He uses imperfect, flawed people because that’s all He’s got! So happy we connected – I am a supa fan of your writing. ❤️ Thank you for a great comment!

    1. Wonderful words of wisdom here, Liz…thanks for sharing your Truth with us all! This one hit home for me as well… I’ve been headstrong and made those wrong turns, made the bad decisions too and had to deal with the remorse and consequences. Thank God for His Lovingkindness and Mercy! Where would we be without Our God? I wrote a song about this same topic called “Things You Lost Along the Way”. On iTunes from my CD To Be Understood, the title song of which is also a retrospective song about life’s choices. You’ve shared a vulnerable part of your story that many can relate to. 🌹💙🙏

      1. Hi Kathleen…thank you for reading and commenting – your love support and friendship mean so much. You are always fearlessly real…I’m excited to go to I-tunes and listen to your song. You have such a beautiful talent and heart for the Lord. ❤️

    1. Great post! I love the reminder that there is no love without freedom! God wants us to remain close to Him, not to put us in a box, but so we can avoid the bondage of sin. It’s not about legalism. He has called us to freedom. Thanks for this!

      1. Hi Elizabeth! Thank you for a great comment! I love how you say God wants us to remain close to Him, not to put us in s box but for freedom. Great stuff! Thank you again for taking the time to read and comment.

    1. “He restores what locusts ate away and upholds me with His righteous, right hand.”
      Yes, he does! He holds us accountable for our decisions. He loves us and guides us.
      Great post.

      1. Thanks Nancy! He is so faithful…a good Father lovingly corrects. I wish I didn’t always have to learn the hard way!

      1. Hi Melissa…yes! I agree…I wish I always did things His way….unfortunately, I’m a wayward sheep but His love and grace are bigger. So thankful for it. Thank you for reading and commenting! I appreciate you. ❤️

    1. A beautiful post reminding God’s children that He is our Hope and will always be with us! Thank you!

      1. Hi Sydell…yes! God is so faithful. Always great to have your presence and comments. Love you sister friend! ❤️

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