Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Irresistible Guidance...

...by Chris Tiegreen...

Boasting About Tomorrow...

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

[James 4:13-17]

Balaam wanted to accept Balak's payment for cursing the Israelites, so he went when called. But an angel stood in the way of his donkey and would not let him pass. [--> Balaam and his Donkey]

Jonah wanted to get as far from Nineveh as he could when God called him there, but a storm and a fish dictated otherwise. He became a very reluctant but very effective evangelist. [--> The Story of Jonah]

Paul wanted to travel through Asia Minor preaching the gospel, but the Holy Spirit would not let him. There was a better plan. A vision directed his party to Europe, and a new frontier for the church was born. [--> A Glimpse into Paul's Work]

Those examples vary in their godliness, but not in the means to their direction. Each had plans that didn't fit with God's greater agenda. God got them where He wanted them to go, either with or against their will. His agenda prevailed.

So it is with our plans. We determine the direction we want to take, and God intervenes. Sometimes it is even a godly direction, as in Paul's attempts to evangelize Asia Minor. But if God really wants to accomplish something, and our plans do not fit His purposes, His purposes win. He will intervene. Human will cannot thwart His overarching plan.

We can never take that principle as an excuse to pursue our selfish interests. God wants us always seeking His will and obediently following it. But as much as we try to perfect that process, there is usually an element of insecurity in it. We are rarely absolutely sure of His directions. Even so, He determines our steps. We are not puppets, but His will cannot be usurped. The only question is whether we will be flexible and seek to fulfill it or stubborn and seek to defy it. Either way, whether in rebellion or compliance, God will accomplish His purposes in this world when He sets His mind to it.

Trust God's guidance, even when you're unsure of it. He will fulfill His plan. Open your heart to go wherever He takes you, and let Him lead. If a sheep strays from his fellows, the shepherd sets his dog after it... to bring it in again; even so our heavenly Shepherd

~ Daniel Cawdray ~

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