So how do we deal with having the almighty, perfect God as our best friend? It’s amazing, isn’t it? He always is working in our lives for his good, which is our good. He’s totally faithful and true to us…
and always right.
If God was physically standing right here with me, interacting like a regular human person, how would I respond to him? In so many ways, it would be great! So God, what kind of jacket should I wear today? He answers, I’d go with a light jacket and hat. Or, hey God, here’s my parenting dilemma, what would you do? God answers, ground him two weeks with no electronics. OK! Great!
But then there are the answers I don’t want to hear. How would I deal with those? Probably not so well. Hey God, I got this job transfer and I can’t wait! It’s perfect! God says, no, you should keep the job you have. Silence. I say, huh, well I’ve thought about it and taking it really seems better to me, more money, some traveling – just what I wanted. God persists, it sounds good but it’s not the job for you. You need to say no. I like God’s answers when it’s about little things, or when he agrees with me. But, when he wants to trump my decisions, I can regret even asking him!
There’s that feeling… that ruffled, stepped-on, indignant feeling.
Isn’t this my choice?
It’s my life, right?! The fact that God always knows best fades and the thought that he now is stifling my freedom, not understanding me, keeping me from what I want takes over. In an instant, my happy, loving, and obedient attitude turns into resentment and bitterness. Can you relate?
I notice three choices I have in this situation:
I respond to God with, “I don’t understand and I still think my way is best, but I’m going to trust you, God. You are perfect and good. I have no reason to doubt you or think this is your first mistake.
Or Choice 2
I heed God’s warning, and follow it but I’m filled with bitterness and resentment. I distance myself and start hanging out less with God to avoid this situation ever happening again.
Or Choice 3
I flat out ignore God and do what I want. I take the job and find out ….yep, God was right. It’s a fun job but it requires too much time away from home and leads to years of family problems and pain.
We have these choices all of the time with God’s leading. And though he is not physically standing here, he truly is our best friend, a best friend who is absolutely perfect and right.
Can we be humble with God all of the time?
Because, let’s face it, we need to be! Can we not only enjoy the wonderful times, the intimacy he offers, the joy, but also fully embrace his lordship over our lives? Can we believe he never leads us away from something out of a selfish or bad motive, but only out of love and righteousness?
Instead of spending so much of my time and energy trying to prove I am right, or that my ideas are just as good (or better!), or that I have rights that are getting stepped on, I can decide
God knows me best and gets the final say in everything.
I come to him humbly and say, here’s what I want to do, what do you think? Is this a good idea? Or do you have a better one? That would be a switch! Or what if God gives me a “no” and I allow my human feelings to be expressed to him – he knows them anyway. And I say, yes, Lord. You’re right and you know me best. I don’t understand right now. I don’t even like it, but I’ll trust you. Help me like this plan, keep my heart from bitterness. You deserve all my praise and all my obedience. Then, I stretch my hand out to hold his, and we continue walking together.
If we think through these scenarios ahead of time, the next time we disagree with God, perhaps we can choose the better way? We can think twice and learn to submit to him more and more quickly. Our obedience says a lot about whom we serve. It also makes it clear whom we do not serve. Where is God in that spectrum, and where would we like him to be?