James 4:13-15 (The Message)And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, “Today—at the latest, tomorrow—we’re off to such and such a city for the year…….You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, “If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.”
“Be still, and know that I am God!”
Yesterday at Church of the Highlands, Pastor Chris shared with the congregation some profound thoughts to wrap up the four-week series, “What’s God’s Will?” I wanted to touch on some of his words in this series and combine it with an edited version of an archive verse and message that I wrote in May of 2005 that came to mind while pondering this message.
When we are trying to decipher what the will of God entails, it’s crucial that we understand if what we are praying about is OUR WILL or GOD’s WILL. I recently was wavering on whether I should participate in a mission trip this summer to. I took the immediate necessary steps to move forward beginning with placing a deposit on April 18 to secure my position. I then followed the process of applying for my passport. God favors our faith to take the first step, but He will also allow disruption of a decision if the timing is wrong. My heart became restless as I seemed to run head-on into what I considered an unnatural amount of roadblocks. I could not for the life of me be at peace with my decision. I learned from my pastor’s message last week, that when trying to discern the will of God, it is true that there will be “certain uncertainty” that will occur when proceeding in the direction that you feel that God has brought you to. In addition, there will also be a portion of “predictable resistance” that the enemy will provide in order to create distractions or detours to follow God’s plan. We can’t always think that when resistance is present, that we are making a mistake. But, that’s when it’s necessary to listen to His Spirit and measure the peace monitor within.
I dismissed my plans for the upcoming Israel mission opportunity because of unresolved lack of peace — I determined that it was MY WILL to go toNOW (as in eight weeks away) — not HIS WILL. If it had been His will, regardless of the resistance, I would have had complete peace, and the decision would have been easier to confirm. There is no doubt in my mind, heart, soul, or spirit that I am supposed to go to in the near future. However, I have learned in the midst of this process that I must WAIT until the timing is right–God’s timing is always perfect!.
In reference to my archive message, I always seem to get caught when the light is changing at intersections while driving or even cycling. I am forced to make the quick decision to drive or ride through the intersection while the light is YELLOW and hope that I am not square under the light when it turns RED. Sometimes when I know I have made the wrong decision to cross at the final moment of the YELLOW, I find the nature of my reflexes to look immediately into the rear-view mirror to check for the BLUE LIGHT special. My heart is beating fast, and there is not an ounce of peace.
So many times we run the YELLOW LIGHTS in life. The Lord prefers that we wait for the GREEN LIGHT before we move forward. Sometimes when we run the YELLOW, we find ourselves suffering the consequences of the RED LIGHT. If only we had been obedient to WAIT for HIM, we wouldn’t have to deal with the BLUE LIGHT special of a corrupted plan.
We are anxious to move forward for what may be God’s will eventually, but we may not have reached the intersection of God’s perfect timing. If we select the option to SLOW DOWN, BE STILL, and WAIT for HIS GREEN LIGHT, we protect ourselves from any unforeseen collisions and/or undesired discipline. When we give Him the wheel, put our trust in Him, and wait for His best designed plan for our lives, He will not only prepare us for His perfect timing, He will work in and through us so that His power of that beautiful plan will be revealed and recognized. While we are waiting at the intersections of life, our Lord is working to prepare hearts and orchestrate situations to accomplish His best for us. Waiting for the GREEN LIGHT strengthens our character and moves us to a posture of complete dependence on the Traffic Engineer so that we may avoid destruction and be blessed with His best, therefore, resulting in a smooth ride through the traffic lights of life.
In conclusion, it’s fine to make plans, but when we obsess over our own agenda, we won’t receive His BLESSED BEST, and we will be STRESSED from forcing our own agenda to rush ahead. In order to stay on the right track, we have to ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS, we have to give our WHOLE HEART TO GOD, we have to TRUST HIM even when things don’t make sense, and most importantly….we must FOLLOW PEACE. If we are in correct alignment with His perfect will, then PEACE WILL PREVAIL. We must deny our will to control events, circumstances, people, or even our futile efforts to control God. A novel idea would be to relinquish control, hand Him the keys, and let Him drive.
He won’t get lost!
WAIT FOR THE GREEN LIGHT OF GOD’S PERFECT WILL!
DEVELOP A POSTURE TO PERSEVERE–
POUR YOURSELF INTO HIS PERFECT PLAN–PEACE WILL PREVAIL!!
STOP-LOOK-LISTEN–FOR HIS VOICE!!!