Often, we go through life making choices that ‘feel’ or seem ‘good’ to us at the time, even though there is something gnawing at us on the inside to hesitate and go the opposite direction of the decision in front of us.
In retrospect, we learn that the inner tugging was the voice of the Holy Spirit leading, guiding, warning us to trust Him instead of yielding to our carnal appetites and desires. So, we persist in doing ‘it’ our way.
Afterwards, when things fall apart, and they always do by the grace of God for His true children, we then have that moment where we smack our forehead and wonder, “What was I thinking?!!”
By then, the damage of our selfish, willful decision is already done or is still in painful motion. God lovingly and sovereignly allows these self-inflicted messes to serve as faith-testers in our life to see if we will now truly repent and trust Him as Lord of all in our life to help us weather the storms that come as a result of our disobedience to the leading of His Holy Spirit.
Hebrews 12:7-11 reminds us that God’s discipline hurts while it is unfolding, which for us hardheads (me) means that the discipline sometimes feels like a two-by-four experience smack dab in the face. Ugh! And, sometimes, God’s discipline must continue for an unpleasant length of time and circumstances (like 40 years of wandering in the wilderness) in order to get His holy, thinned-out, chosen remnant to the Promised Land.
Will we remain FAITHful to God in the midst of His holy, loving discipline? Will we run toward Him in FAITH, fully trusting Him and His heart of pure love for us, even though we are wandering in the wilderness of consequences we invited into our life?
We read in Jeremiah 29 that while God had His chosen people enslaved in captivity to an enemy nation, God also set a time limit (70 years!) for that captivity to end at His sovereignly appointed time.
We see in Judges 3:1-4 that God will allow His dearly loved, new (young in faith) followers to experience hardships in order to give them the sacred opportunity of growing in their faith in God. This growth produces spiritual maturity, as taught in James 1:2-4. These trials of our faith spur us to become more and more like Jesus Christ in His character, according to Romans 8:28-29.
Peter captures the mindset we must embrace in 1 Peter 2:9-10, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him Who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”
Ladies, now that we have smacked our forehead in disbelief, remorse and a fresh reminder of God’s truth, let’s be faithful and fruitful in true, humble repentance before Holy God and give Him the opportunity to grow us up in Christlikeness through all the consequences He lovingly keeps in place to teach and train us in His way of wisdom.
This is not feel-good advice. But, it is good advice for me and for you to stop taking the lead in our life and to allow God to lead us by His Spirit and His word.
May we each take a holy pause to reflect meaningfully on what the Lord is saying to us through this above exhortation so that we will guard our heart to never disobey God’s advice, wisdom and direction again. Amen.