There are times that I wish I can do more to get people, including myself, to trust God more. Psalms 48:14(b) says that God will be our guide until we die. I therefore have a guide…why don’t I ask Him for help? Direction? Guidance? Why do I continue to struggle with decisions and situations and not pray more? Seek more? Trust more? Live more? Worry less? When all I have to do is seek, and I will find. (Matt 7:7)
How I need both guidance and a guide – a map that gives me landmarks and directions and a constant companion who has an intimate knowledge of the way and who will be sure I interpret the map correctly. The more I spend quality time with the Lord and read His word, the more I realise that the Bible is such a map and God the constant companion and guide. Why do I then not lean more upon the Map and the Guide? Let me share with you and example of what happened this past week.
Over the years my friend Gerrit and I have always tried to spend at least once a year some time together ‘bonding’ as Anita (my wife) would say. We were always amazed at how the Lord met with us during these times. We usually spend the mornings in prayer, read the Bible and our daily devotional books and rest and relax the rest of the day. We both felt a bit ‘off’ and discouraged this week as we prayed together next to a dam in the bush. In fact I felt overstressed and did not even feel like praying, yes, not even confirming Gerrit’s prayers for me and our time together. I had too many things on my mind as the cares and the worries of this life and all ‘my’ projects weighed heavily on my shoulders.
After our time of prayer I just opened the Bible and my eyes fell on Acts 6:2+3 “So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. We should spend our time preaching, not administering a feeding programme, they said. Now look around among your selves, dear brothers, and select seven men, wise and full of the Holy Spirit, who are well thought of by everyone; and we will put them in charge of the business. Then we can spend our time in prayer, preaching and teaching”.
We immediately felt that this was an answer to our prayers and concerns. The message for both of us were not to get side tracked with ‘related issues’ instead of ‘core issues’ and for me to trust the people God has given me … to stop wanting to control every little detail of the host of projects I am busy with. To ask myself on a more regular basis “is this a good thing, or a God thing?” How many ‘good things’ I am busy with … but are they all ‘God things?’
The next morning while having his quiet time, Gerrit was nearly blown out of his bed when the reading in his daily devotional book was on Acts 6:1-4. (The writer said “Create new structures / put new services in place / investigate new possibilities – just do something!”) Gerrit could not wait to share the devotional with me and we both knew that the Holy Spirit wanted us to really take Acts 6:1-4 to hart. The word was given from the map (Bible) and the guide (Holy Spirit) confirmed it. What remains now is my obedience. Will I actually release what I am busy with into God’s care and ask myself whether I am busy with ‘good things’ or ‘God things?’ Will I start concentrating on the important things, those things that the Lord has called me to do, rather than the host of related and often ‘urgent’ issues? Those issues which keep me so busy and I want to control up to the finest detail… resulting in fatigue and eventually burn me out? Will I start trusting the people God has in turn entrusted to me like the Twelve had to do – delegate and be busy with the core things?
Only time will tell whether I have the guts to release what I am busy with into God’s care. I have taken the decision to lean on the Map and trust the Guide – why don’t you do the same? Os Hillman says that God often requires simple obedience to an act that seems ridiculous to the logical mind. It is this faith mixed with the practical that God honours.