Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Living with no excuses”
Our Bible verse for today: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Pray hard, make your best decision, and get moving.”
In yesterday’s devotional I explained the importance of action. Just wishing things were different is a meaningless waste of time if you don’t actually do something about it. However one of the most common excuses Christians use for not taking action is “I don’t have clear direction from God.” Or, “I’m waiting for a word from the Lord.” By that they usually mean they’re waiting for God to remove all doubt and indecision by providing them with a crystal clear path forward.
But as it turns out, God doesn’t usually do that. Oh, sometimes He does. Sometimes He provides overwhelming clarity and clear direction, but usually not. Instead He has given us clear instruction regarding His general will, as explained in the Bible. We are to stay within those boundaries but beyond that, he wants us to figure it out for ourselves. He wants us to use our brains and our good spiritual judgment to make smart choices. That’s why He gave us brains and it’s why He has worked to help us develop good judgment – so we can use it.
Although it might not appear so at first, this is exactly what Proverbs 3:5-6 teaches. Bear with me a moment and you will see that.
As a parent you want to teach your child how to think things through for themselves and to make smart choices without always having everything spelled out for them in explicit detail. In your training of them you make sure they know, in advance, what your general expectations are and what the boundaries are, but beyond that you want them to learn how to think for themselves and to make good decisions. Additionally, as they do, you will continue to coach them and offer guidance along the way as necessary in order to keep them on the right track. But you don’t want to have to continually dictate every decision and every step for them.
God is no different with us. He gave you a brain, he developed your unique personality, He allowed you to determine your own interests in life, and He has guided your spiritual development. All of that is an important part of who you are as a unique individual. You’re not a robot with your every function pre-determined for you. God wants you to think, figure things out, made decisions, try stuff, learn from your mistakes, and then try more stuff. That’s how you learn and develop and grow.
But we’re not entirely on our own. Proverbs 3:5-6 is just one piece in a body of Biblical literature which assures us that if our heart is right, and if we are truly seeking to honor God in the choices we make and the actions we take, He will provide sufficient guidance to at least keep you in the ballpark.
As we approach the New Year and we’re each considering goals we will set and actions we will take, prayerfully lay it out before the Lord, ask Him to give you wisdom and insight, make the best decision you can, and then get moving. God gave you a mind, and He doesn’t mind if you use it.