“Drawing Deeper” is a series I have been writing which candidly details the progression, triumphs, and (very hard) lessons I have been learning as I draw deeper into a more personal, more intimate relationship-based walk with God. It is meant to provide inspiration, encouragement, and accountability to both myself and to whoever finds these helpful. Below is the eighth entry in the series. God bless you, and thank you for reading!
John Eldredge’s chapter in Walking with God, titled “Seeking Guidance,” really got to me tonight.
How many times have I made a mess of things thinking that I knew what to do and what to expect?
Too often, in fact. And I do it all the time. We do it all the time.
But recently I’ve realized the pattern I go into when I find myself overwhelmed with the mess I’ve made — (1) I apologize to God and I ask him for forgiveness for doing things my way, and then (2) I ask him what I should do or how I should fix it. (3) If he gives me an answer or a prompting, immediately I take his idea and roll with it unguided… that is, until I mess it up again and ruin the beauty of his solution he had planned.
Sometimes I pride myself in filling in other people’s blanks. Given enough context, I like to guess where the other person is going, and I’m pretty good at it. The problem with that, though, is that I can’t do that with God. I don’t know everything like he does, and my thoughts are not his thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). And usually, I get so excited when God speaks to me that I take the little promptings he gives me and, without thinking, proceed to fill in the blanks of God’s plan. God puts the ball in my court, and before he can explain the rules, I take off and start rolling with it, thinking I knew what game we were playing.. and this is the fallacy that appears: I proceed with the intent that I am doing God’s will when in fact I am actually following mine, and it becomes a misguided solution that brings an unintended outcome done in God’s name.
I have to stop doing that. I need to be disciplined, hold my tongue, submit this tendency of mine, and wait for God to finish. So far I’ve learned that God almost never reveals the totality of his plan to us, but only tells us a little what we should be doing a little bit at a time. I hate that. I need to know. But that’s how he rolls. And that’s the only way we learn how to listen to him consistently.. by only feeding us enough of what we need to know in order to produce righteous fruits of faith.
After all, Jesus was a carpenter. He will gladly repair our broken furniture that we unwisely decided to try and build ourselves. Although, it would have been a lot better for us if we just asked God the furniture he intended to make us in the first place. And that’s another thing I’m learning: to seek God’s counsel first, before I do anything to mess it up. That’s another area that requires immediate submission. God’s been working on my heart in that area.
Don’t you love a God like that? One who is so involved and present with our lives? One who never condemns us but gladly fixes all the messups we’ve made? That’s the wonder of who he is. And we can remain confident in that.
We just need to be careful with ourselves when we are postured to receive God’s advice. Every step of the way in the process of anything, whether it be in healing, in finding a home, in choosing classes, God wants to be involved, and he wants you toask him what to do next. In fact, to live a life rooted in the will of God, we really have no choice but to ask.
The above paragraph is especially important to someone like me, one who relies heavily on the wisdom I have gained to help direct my decisions. Biblically, we are to navigate life with the spirit of wisdom and revelation (Ephesians 1:17), and for me I am lacking in the discipline of consulting God. Perhaps if you are one to already be directly consulting God, see if you have enough wisdom and inner morality to balance it.
So Lord, thank you for bringing all these areas to my attention, and thank you for guiding me in dealing with them. Forgive me for doing things my way, and for running your ideas into the ground on my account. I bring the full and complete work of Christ into my life, and I submit to you the pride that gets in the way of seeking your guidance from the very beginning and into the process. I allow your spirit of wisdom and revelation to guide my life as I learn to fixate my life around hearing your voice. Thank you for the wonder that you are. I love you. Amen.
Previous entries in the series:
7: God Will Disrupt Your Schedule
6: Lord of the Little Things
5: Submitting the Imagination
4: No, I Don’t Want To
3: Dealing With Our Love Story
2: What Should I Read?
1: The Choice