This Sunday, we sang a song that contains the lyrics, “We won’t move without You.” It is a reference to when Moses refused to proceed if God was not going with them, because he knew that God’s presence with them is what mattered most.
And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?” Exodus 33:14-16
Following after Jesus seems to be a simple concept until you try to do it. We make hundreds of decisions every day; most of which seem inconsequential, mundane, obvious even. But there are times in our lives where we stand at a cross road not knowing which way to turn. God’s word tells us that it is a light for our path. His Holy Spirit prompts us to take action in certain situations. Our obedience to God’s Word and His Holy Spirit help guide our steps and our decisions. When these things are in agreement, the decision making is a bit easier – sometimes out of our comfort zone – but we can at least detect that God’s hand is in it and we step in faith trusting His guidance.
But what about those cross roads where God seems to be indifferent? How do you differentiate between “what I want” and “what God wants from me”? Is this God’s will, or my own?
This is where I stick a marker in the ground and say, “I won’t move without You Lord.” I pray for guidance and wisdom, and I wait for the answer to be clear. I wait until my heart attitude is one of indifference to where God sends me – it matters not to me if the answer is A or B. I’ll gladly go to either if God is with me. This is when I can say with certainty that my will has been surrendered to Him.
Maybe you’ve heard someone say that God answers prayers in three ways – Yes, No, and Not Now.
That is an obvious simplification, but it does let us know that there are times in life where God is preparing our hearts and our circumstances to work things out for our own good in which we must wait upon the Lord. These periods of waiting are a wonderful growth opportunity for us to learn to trust God, even when we don’t see Him at work. Sitting in restraint, and not rushing ahead to make things work out the way that you believe they should, is a measure of maturity in the faith that comes with practice. I think of Sarah taking matters into her own hands to have a child, Jonah taking matters into his own hands and trying to flee from God’s call, Peter taking matters into his own hands and chopping off the ear of one of the soldiers that came to arrest Jesus.
Learn to take all of your decisions to Jesus for guidance and wisdom. Learn to listen to His Holy Spirit within you. Study and learn who God is in His Holy Word. Seek Godly counsel. Choose to stay put until you are certain He will be with you, because it is His presence in our lives that makes all the difference.
God loves you and He is worthy of all our praise. Let us not be a stiff-necked people. Walk humbly with the Lord.
Be encouraged. Press on with Him!