Do you ever feel like God isn’t taking care of things according to your schedule? Could your frustration and stress stem from a common problem? Do you struggle with disorder, over-commitment, and self-sufficiency?
Numbers 1 & 2
Disorder, Self-Sufficiency & Over-Commitment
Make no decision without prayer!
Well, we’re into a new month and a new book.
As I read these two chapters I couldn’t help thinking that God is a God of order. He specified who was to lead each tribe, where each tribe was to camp and even the order in which they were to break camp when they moved. He gave “the who, the where, and the how” of it all. And we know from other passages that He also told them “when.”
In Mark 6 when Jesus fed the 5,000, He had them sit down in an orderly way, “… He commanded them to make them all sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in ranks, in hundreds and in fifties” (Mk. 6.39-40).
Like most of you, I never seem to have enough time to do everything I want or think I should be doing. That can easily lead to disorder in my life. It’s easy to forget that God has ordered our lives, as well, and that He doesn’t give us responsibilities and then make it impossible for us to accomplish them.
Often the problems come as a result of our failure to seek God’s plan. We take on things He hasn’t called us to do and end up over-committed and trying to do them in our own strength and self-sufficiency.
In Elizabeth George’s book A Woman’s Call to Prayer there is an excellent section on this subject. One statement has always stuck with me. It’s so simple, but so profound, “No decision made without prayer.” I would add, once you have made the decision, continue to seek God for the “the who, the where, the how, and the when” of it all.
More than Disorder
As if disorder and over-commitment aren’t enough, other issues arise from our lack of prayer.
I hope I’m not alone, but when I don’t pray I too often try to solve problems the way that seems right to me. I would never say, “Lord, I don’t need Your help and wisdom.” The Martha in me just seems to ooze out. And it’s only when things get worse that I stop and realize just how much pride and self-sufficiency still resides in my heart.
When I don’t pray, I easily become critical, impatient, and judgmental. I start to wonder why God isn’t working according to my agenda (ever been there?). I can spend so much time thinking about a problem that I actually feel like I’ve prayed about it!
Let’s make a decision to be more faithful to God in prayer. He’s the only One who can change those things that need changing. He’s the only One who perfectly knows each one of our hearts.
He alone is the all-knowing, all-powerful, all-sufficient, ever-present God of the universe. Will you join me in that commitment: “no decision made without prayer” and to pray faithfully about the who, where, how, and when?
Today’s Other Readings:
His Promise of Peace
“The LORD will give strength to His people; the LORD will bless His people with peace” (v. 11).
What a great promise, but as with many of the promises of God, it’s conditional on our seeking His wisdom and obeying His counsel.
Grace When We Fail
“The way of the LORD is strength for the upright, but destruction will come to the workers of iniquity” (v. 29).
When we do things His way we will find strength. The upright are not those who are perfect, but those who are walking in “grace obedience”—obeying to the best of our understanding, relying on Him, and turning to God for His forgiveness and grace when we fail.
Your thoughts run your life!
What we put into our hearts, what we meditate on, and what we allow to come out of our hearts through our words and actions determine the course of our lives (vv. 14-16, 20-23).
In the Bible the heart and mind are synonymous. I think Proverbs 4.23 in the New Century Version says it well:
“Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.”
Wow! Chew on that for a while!
What decisions do you need to take to the Lord? What are you putting into your heart and what do you spend your time thinking about? Are you allowing sufficient time in your life to meditate on God’s truths? What do you need to take to Him in prayer instead of trying to handle it yourself? Are there people or circumstances that you need to commit to Him?
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