Do you like people telling you what to do? Not asking, telling. And sometimes, not even telling, but ordering. Do you like it? Me neither. I would do anything for anybody, all they have to do is ask and if it is within my power, I will do it. But telling? Ordering? Here comes that rebellious streak again…..
I had an epiphany of sorts about that very thing today. My life has been full of bullies, from childhood through marriage, and I rail against anything that even smells like bully. So having someone tell (order) me to do something brings out the worst in my spiritual nature. It creates such emotional turmoil and upheaval that it is impossible for me to focus on anything else until the issue is resolved.
Earlier this week I was actually impressed in my spirit that Lord was NOT going to tell me to do something. That gave me such relief because the ‘something’ was not something I wanted to do. So I was happy go lucky and headed down my little trail without a care in the world. That, of course, changed today.
There I was, minding my own business, reading the Scripture and BOOM! Out of the blue it hit me. Maybe I should do what the Lord was saying He wouldn’t tell me to do. Lord? No response.
For me, there is nothing so telling about my spiritual temperature than ‘no response’ from Lord. It is sort of like the calm before the storm. You know, all’s quiet on the western front – but not for long! So, I approached the situation with fear and trepidation because I was beginning to think I might be in trouble. Entering my prayer closet (which is to say, quieting my spirit and focusing on Lord), I laid before Him the three options I saw for the situation and asked Him which one I should do. This time, the response was, “You choose.”
Once again I felt like maybe I was in big trouble here. I approached the throne again, this time with explanation that I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what the truth of the situation was and I surely didn’t want to make a misstep. Silence.
Finally, after quite a long time (several hours, in fact) I was greeted with a revelation of sorts. Lord wasn’t making this choice for me. He wasn’t going to allow me to lay the responsibility on Him and then run the risk of my turning on Him some time in the future and blaming Him for the way things turned out. In essence, He was saying to me, “Put on your big girl panties and make a choice. Whatever your choice, I am with you.”
I felt abandoned. Do you see the paradox here? I don’t like to be told what to do but when He wouldn’t tell me what to do, I didn’t like that either! Talk about a lose-lose situation for the Lord!
And as I sat there in my car in the local shopping center parking lot, I meditated on what I had just learned about myself. I want to do everything myself up to a point – no interference, no bosses. Then, when the choices get more difficult, I want someone else to make the decision so I don’t have to shoulder the responsibility for that decision. Hmmmm. Talk about wanting to have your cake and eat it too!
I learned something else. Lord loves us. He wants what is best for us and His advice about what is best for us in order to live happy and healthy lives is clearly spelled out in His Holy Scriptures. But He isn’t about to force us and He isn’t going to abandon us when we make dumb choices or walk a rocky path as opposed to a smooth trail. God loves us.
It gets better than that. God loves ME! ME! Just as I am. So, having learned everything I did today, I am going back to the drawing board on this big decision. I will be studying Scripture that pertains to like circumstances and hopefully I will be strong enough to make the decision that Lord believes is the one that will give me the happiest and healthiest life.
What a mighty God we serve!
Proverbs 1:20-33 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
20 Wisdom shouts in the street,
She lifts her voice in the square;
21 At the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings:
22 “How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded?
And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing
And fools hate knowledge?
23 “Turn to my reproof,
Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.
24 “Because I called and you refused,
I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention;
25 And you neglected all my counsel
And did not want my reproof;
26 I will also laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your dread comes,
27 When your dread comes like a storm
And your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently but they will not find me,
29 Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord.
30 “They would not accept my counsel,
They spurned all my reproof.
31 “So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way
And be satiated with their own devices.
32 “For the waywardness of the naive will kill them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them.
33 “But he who listens to me shall live securely
And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”