As we go through life, we need to be sure faith touches us where and when it’s most needed—in our grief, battles, and disappointments. If it’s not proved steadfast there, it’s of no value to us.
Faith must apply in any circumstances, both big and small. Not just when we’re facing gigantic mountains but also the tiny mounds—the very mundane, disturbing, and frustrating irritations or needs. You know, those things that seem inconsequential or frivolous to others but are seemingly insurmountable for us. For example, the exorbitant purchase you have to make, the annoying co-worker, the new job, the dictatorial boss, the manipulative friend, the slanderer, the search for a great hairdresser (God cares about everything you care about), and you can fill in your challenge of the moment.
When in the throes of such a dilemma, it is vital to remember that if something’s important to us, it’s important to God. We don’t need someone else to tell us whether or not it’s too great or too small to bother God with. Highly religious people who thought this surrounded Jesus. He quickly points out that God valued everything that he made and encourages us not to worry (Matthew 6:25-34).
So the first point to bear in mind is that we can’t reduce the eternal God, the Creator of all things, to some basic principles! If we could reduce all decision-making and divine guidance to some basic, sure-fire principles, we’d have a legalistic book on principles, not on God or faith in him. God avoids and evades our attempts to turn his will into a practical system or a handy self-help book.
Second, anything that draws our attention away from the majesty, sovereignty, and glory—not to mention the creativity—of our personal God to some mechanical system about him is suspect. God does act in very orderly, but not necessarily predictable, ways. Sometimes we may surmise what he might or might not do based on how he’s worked in our lives before, but God always reserves the right to do whatever he chooses at any given moment. On one day, he may do A, but the next may choose to do B, or C, D, and even Q!
So pray for God’s perfect will, then actively wait until he brings it about. If it’s searching for a new job, car, home, or a way out of a dilemma, scan through possibilities and pray, “What do you have in mind, Lord?” If you have something here for us, let us know somehow.” “Is this the exit, Lord? If not, let it fall through. Close the wrong doors and open the right one if you have something specific for us.”
And a closed door is just as good as an open one when looking for God’s will and direction. A brick wall in your path is better than a two-way swinging door. Moving boldly ahead in this way, we avoid the anxiety, frustration, and disappointment if things don’t turn out the way we planned.
If you dare to trust God with all your heart and wait for his provisions, he will do exactly what he wants for you. It may or may not be exactly like what you desired or expected, but it will be what you need and what he knows is good for you and will delight you. Prepare to be surprised by the infinite creativity of our God, rather than expecting the predictable.
Every provision for each believer is intentionally tailor-made. God uses this deliberately to develop our relationship with him, prove only he knows such intimate specifics about us, and move us toward a more vital personal trust and faith in him. God won’t be our Genie in the bottle—your wish is my command. He chooses to be the Guide, not the road map. He teaches us to be dependent upon him and lovingly reveals his kindness and the perfect purpose he has planned for our lives from the beginning of time.
At the end of the day, if you’re the type of person who needs rules, here they are:
Rule number one: Trust God.
Rule number two: Never forget rule number one.
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