“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
On paper, everything seemed to make perfect sense. There was an opportunity I’d wanted for a long time. In my best estimation, this seemed to line up perfectly with my ministry, my calling and my desires.
The only problem was the deep-down knowing it wasn’t my assignment.
I’d asked God for this opportunity, but then I had worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure I’d get it. This opportunity was the product of my trying really hard, not truly trusting God. And I felt the weight of all my hustle. I was anxious, exhausted and weighed down by an emotion I couldn’t quite understand — dread.
It felt so right. It seemed like such a good fit. It made perfect sense when I’d said yes. But the closer the due date came for this opportunity, the more regret I felt. Instead of running in the freedom of being assured God had called me to this, so He’d definitely lead me through it, I felt like I was pushing a boulder uphill.
There is a weight to our every want.
And when God says no or not yet, it’s often because He can see what the weight of this want will do. Make no mistake, we will eventually realize what our choices outside of God’s will cost us.
The truth is, God has expectations for how humanity, whom He created in His image, is to live and act. Yet, sadly, humanity is prone to wander, and this is the repetitive story we see throughout Scripture. Yes, God is in control. But He doesn’t control our choices. God has given responsibility and freedom to humans to choose Him, His way and His best.
As I said before, we will eventually realize what our choices outside of God’s will cost us. And that moment of realization leads us right back to what God tried to tell us before we ever made those choices. There isn’t ever a time when God has been wrong.
Not ever. And how gracious of God to be patient with us as we learn that lesson over and over. God is trustworthy. Our obedience to God is an indication of whether or not we trust Him.
We see this tension between obedience and trust played out with God’s people and the first king who ruled them — Saul.
Saul certainly looked the part of a king. Scripture describes him as both taller and more handsome than any of the other Israelite men. (1 Samuel 9:2)
The prophet Samuel tried to warn the people of Israel about what they were losing by establishing a human king instead of following God as their one true King. They were displacing God’s best for the weight of their own choice. (1 Samuel 10:17-19; 1 Samuel 12:14-19) They would be held accountable for the choice of a king they would not be able to control. When this king went astray, the people would suffer.
And not only would the people suffer, but God would also eventually have to tear the kingdom from Saul’s hands. This king who looked the part would end up letting fear and distrust lead him to walk in disobedience to God. (1 Samuel 15) Because of Saul’s disobedience, God would find another king who was more suited than Saul to lead His people — David. This king was a man after God’s own heart, and his throne would be established forever.
How much suffering would the Israelites have avoided if only they had trusted and waited on God? Where are we signing up for suffering, all because we are too often “wise in our own eyes”? (Proverbs 3:7)
Oh, sweet friend. I know what it’s like to want something so badly that you feel you would do just about anything to have it. But I also know that sometimes, God lets us push past His better plan to experience the consequences of our headstrong attitude. I have lived with the burden of extreme stress, fear, anxiety and an overwhelming sense of regret … all because I refused to trust God’s timing and His ways.
I don’t want that for you.
Let’s trust that God’s plans truly are best. Let’s remember there is a weight to our every want. And let’s choose to live out the easy-to-quote-but-sometimes-hard-to-live reminder of Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Dear Lord, I am so grateful for Your everlasting love and vision for my life. Help me embrace the fact that Your plans are so much greater than mine. Humble my heart in the moments when I try to maintain control so I can fully serve You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
Psalm 18:30, “As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.” (NIV)
Are you struggling to trust God in the midst of a difficult season of waiting? Discover how to overcome your trust issues by unpacking pivotal, relevant life lessons from the kings of the Old Testament in Lysa TerKeurst’s new Bible study, Trustworthy. Order your copy here today.
Find out if Lysa TerKeurst is speaking soon in a town near you, here.
REFLECT AND RESPOND
Have you ever walked through the difficult consequences of choosing your own way instead of God’s? How has that encouraged you to trust Him and wait on Him instead? Join in the conversation.
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