The Holy Spirit is the voice of God, and as Believers, we are filled with His presence. He speaks to us, guiding and directing our path. He may steer us towards a certain course of action, create a situation which is far more than coincidental, or strategically insert someone into our lives. There are instances when we KNOW God is speaking to us. Absolutely, positively just know.
And there are many times when we KNOW He isn’t.
How many times are you unsure what God is saying, yet you make the call on His behalf? Are there decisions which you credit to God, all the while knowing in your heart He’s not behind the urging?
There’s a fine line between serving God’s purpose in your life and using God to serve yours!
In Declutter Now!, I speak about a time when I began dating my ex-husband. Okay, so many of you can already see the caution flags waving wildly with this behavior, but sadly, I did not. Discretion was not on my radar! I just KNEW the life lessons God had just walked me through were for this man and I KNEW I was the one who was chosen to make him happy. I was going to make it work, no matter what the cost, and I had it all figured out.
Did you notice how many ‘I’s’ I just used?
The truth is, however, when I actually listened for God’s word on the matter, I was way off base. It wasn’t what God had in mind at all, but in my brokenness, it was all too easy to use God to serve MY purpose.
Our choices are often buried in a mire of confusion. Even when we might legitimately attempt to listen, we can still get it wrong. But think about it. Have there also been situations when you knew better? When you hid behind the façade of what ‘God wants’ and used him to serve your purpose instead? This is the dangerous, dangerous territory.
God takes His responsibility to us very seriously. He follows through on every promise and never falls short. We can depend on Him to guide us, provide the tools we need for success, love us unconditionally, and keep His word forever and always. If this is the case, then why would we circumvent His desire? Unfortunately, our humanness can get in the way. Can you relate to any of the following?
- Impatience – You want what you want…in your time, not His.
- Selfishness – You want it your way and only your way.
- Pride – You think you know better than God. If something’s going to get done right, you’d better do it yourself.
- Rationalizing – It’s going to happen anyway, so why not help it along and just get it going quicker.
- Control – Hanging on to the reins tightly gives you a feeling of greater security and having more control.
- Waiting it Out – If I can just get past this point in my life, I’ll start making right decisions and it will all be okay.
These are all very common emotions which trip us up from time to time. The bigger problem, however, lies with attributing YOUR decisions to God’s will, That’s a far more serious slippery slope.
Navigating on our own, apart from the will of God, will lead to disaster. Intentionally stepping outside of God’s protective covering leaves us exposed and vulnerable, frighteningly susceptible to the ways of the world and the full consequences of our actions. The temporary ‘feel good’ from a selfish decision is not worth a lifetime of repercussions.
When we walk in obedience, keeping God’s will at the forefront of our thoughts and decisions, we fall under the protection of His grace and mercy. God will never set us up to fail, and while we might face challenges along a difficult journey, we can take each step knowing with faith and assurance that we’re ultimately heading in the right direction. It’s incredibly freeing is it to know that even in difficult circumstances, God is protecting and blessing us. The rewards of heaven are ours, and God wants nothing more than to spoil us forevermore.
Ephesians 5:17 is very clear on the matter, “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
If you are going to credit God’s will with the decisions you’re making, be extremely careful that you’ve genuinely sought out HIS will and followed it to the best of your ability.
But what if you’ve listened? You’ve got God front and center and have made every effort to seek His advice and counsel. Are there going to be times that, try as hard as you might, you’re going to get it wrong? Sure. But God reads and knows our hearts. An honest heart motive is a far cry from a blatant disregard for God’s will, and even in times of error and miscalculation, God blesses a sincere and repentant heart.
Anyone brave enough to share a story about a time when you overrode God’s direction and took it upon yourself to carve an alternate path while justifying it as God’s desire? Did you learn from the error of your ways? Bless others with your truth, love, and hope.
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