Monday, May 3, 2010

How To Follow

This post is kind of a natural flow, at least in my brain, out of Following Distance. Sometimes we really want to follow where we feel like God is leading, but life keeps getting in the way. It's like trying to run a sprint, but hurdles keep popping up where you didn't expect them. You start to think that maybe you misunderstood what God really wanted in the first place.

A few years ago at the Women's Retreat with Renee Swope, I came home with a burden to follow God, like I wouldn't be able to breathe if I didn't get moving in the direction He was calling me to go. Except, I didn't know what direction that actually was. I prayed and read, read and prayed. I kept coming back to verses about waiting. Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Psalm 37:7. So, I would sit really still (for like 5 or 10 minutes) and wait. Nothing. No flashes of lightning, no God-given insight. Probably because I was asking the wrong question...I was thinking too far ahead.

I wanted the five year plan, and God wanted me to learn a few things before we took another step. I confused the learning a few things part with thinking that God forgot He had a plan for me. Do you ever find yourself in a situation, thinking you have veered off course, and then find out it is exactly where you were supposed to be? Like I mentioned in Following Distance, sometimes going in a circle is part of the journey. You can walk past the same scenery, metaphorically speaking, and not see things the same way. That happens to me all the time, especially in regards to how I view my relationship with my husband. God has definitely taken me on a journey there.

Sometimes I feel like God's plan and purpose for me will be affected by the behavior of others. If Rob doesn't act in a certain way, I am afraid he is slowing me down or getting in the way of something that God might have for me. Sick, I's all about me. That should be a flag any time I start to think like that. I am praying to see every situation in my life as a chance to glorify God through compassion, gentle wisdom, and obedience to the life He has called me to live. If opportunities change or disappear because the time isn't right but I acted in a godly way, not bitter, judgmental, or resentful, then God will bring something even better my way.

My need to have others act in a certain way reflects and insecurity/doubt in God's ultimate power. He is not "sovereign when..." or "sovereign if...". He is sovereign and in charge, period. His plan for us will come to fruition through His power. Only we can stop it through our own self-centeredness, pride, insecurity,and sin. I don't want to get to the other side and see the video of what could've been. I get so mad sometimes because I feel like I could be so godly and worthy if only other people would...fill in the blank on any given day. That sort of thinking is totally contrary to how God wants us to be.

Next time you are trying to follow but feel like you are going nowhere, check out the scenery. Does it look familiar? Is there something you were supposed to see or learn here the last time you passed this way? Are you thoughts, attitudes, and actions lining up with God's Word?

I can promise that God has not forgotten about you. Isaiah 55:11 says "so shall the word that goes out of my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but shall accomplish that which I purpose and succeed in the thing for which I sent it." If you have had a word from God, He will not forget about it or change His mind. I know God has big plans for you, my friend. Trust Him with the life He has given you.

1 comment:

  1. Seriously? You had to post this today, didn't ya:) *grin*'ve been reading my mind and living in my house. I'm certain of it! It is so easy to "go there" with the thoughts you described.

    Ok, I'm going to go now and go look again at the same scenery I thought I already knew, and ask God what I should be seeing. Thanks for posting this. Very timely!!! Love ya, Heav