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