His Way is Always Best
My people did not listen to my voice….so I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels. (Psalm 81:11-12)
To live a God-centered life, you must focus on God’s purposes, not your own plans. Try to see things from God’s perspective rather than from your distorted human view. When God starts to do something in the world, He takes the initiative to tell someone what He is doing. Out of His grace, God involves His people in accomplishing His purposes.
In the Bible, God rebukes those who propose their own best thinking over His commands. Those in the Bible who received praise from God were not brilliant planners. They were humble “heroes of faith” (Hebrews 11). God commended them for their compliance, not for their performance.
Why don’t we realize that doing things God’s way is always best? We cause a great deal of pain in our relationships and division in our churches because we decide what we think is best for our family or business or church. We develop our plans. We implement our strategies, at times imposing them on others and then experiencing the meager- or even destructive- results of our limited knowledge, reasoning, and power. Oh, that we would discover the difference when we acknowledge Christ as the Head of His body, the church. He will accomplish more in six months through a people yielded to Him than we could in sixty years in our own strength and wisdom.
God wants us to align our lives with Him so He will accomplish His divine purposes in and through us. God is not our servant to bless our plans and desires. He is our Lord, and we must adjust our lives to what He is doing and to the ways He chooses to accomplish His work. If we will not submit to God and to His ways, He will allow us to follow our own devices. But be sure of this, we will miss Gods activity, and we will not experience what God wants to do through us to bless others.
Henry and Richard Blackaby
Have you ever just ignored wise counsel and did what you wanted to do anyway? I’m sure most of us have. As children, particularly teens, we were pretty sure our parents were of all parents the dumbest people on the planet. We came to them with our plans and wishes only to have our parents to refuse their permission or support. If you’re an adult now, especially if you have children, you’ve discovered that your parents were really pretty smart.
It constantly amazes me that we even as the children of God still believe that we know better than the Creator of the universe. It’s almost the repeat of being the know-it-all child who is sure they’re smarter than their parents. Like that child we keep creating disasters in our lives that our Heavenly Father through His love and grace rescues us over and over.
When I think of all the confusion in the world and the church concerning conduct, standards and parameters and the fact that in our childish humanity we have decided that God is not in touch with reality, I’m not surprised that we are in such a mess morally and spiritually. Far too often we are like children who believe its ok to still ride our bikes in the busy street because we’re invincible.
Even still more amazing is that as the church we keep developing our programs and plans without consulting the Head of the Church, Christ Jesus. We set aside what He put into place. Three simple things He gave us to do: wait in prayer for the power of the Holy Spirit, go tell the gospel to everyone everywhere beginning with the community around us, and to love one another in the same way Christ loves us. Since none of these seem exciting or glamorous in our microwave world, we substitute our plans and programs that use our resources and time with little or no effective results of bringing people to Christ.
What if we grew up and accepted the idea that God is wisdom and all knowledge. What if we decided starting now to cease our continuous planning without consulting God and started by asking the Creator and sustainer of the universe to provide us His plans for our lives and His church. What if we, like the 120 in the upper room who waited for God, waited to be empowered by His Spirit.
I close with this. Now that my children are grown and have children of their own, I listen to them now finally acknowledging that the old guy might have known a few things about life. I wonder on that day when we stand before God if those tears He wipes from our eyes will be those of regret that we didn’t listen to Father’s instructions better and the sadness of missed opportunities that could have accomplished so much more for the kingdom of God.
Dr. John Thompson