Believing in God and His power has gotten me into trouble a time or two.
Now before you grab your torch and pitchfork, hear me out.
Believing in God and knowing of His power doesn’t require much of me. It doesn’t rub against my flesh in a way that makes me uncomfortable. I have believed in God all my life and experienced His love and power countless times.
But there’s more to it than that, isn’t there?
The way in which the power of God plays into our everyday lives goes deeper than the simple act of believing in Him that began our Christian walk. The abundant life Jesus promised in John 10:10 requires more.
We are also to hear and obey His voice. That’s where our flesh can get rebellious.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:21 (NLT), “Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to Me as ‘Lord,’ but they still won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey My Father in heaven.”
Obedience. That’s a whole other animal.
Jesus continued His thought in verse 24: “Anyone who listens to My teaching and obeys Me is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.” In contrast, verse 26 says, “But anyone who hears My teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand.”
On what does a life of rock-solid stability hinge?
Obedience to His voice. Trusting in His plan. We must fully believe in the goodness of God toward us. He knows what we need when we need it.
I’ve heard it said that God is not a fry cook in the back, banging out orders. Think about that for a moment.
You may place your order for a burger and fries, and God may present you with a healthy salad. If He has His way, He’ll provide a meal that meets the nutritional needs of your body – a body He designed and knows well.
Now if you march yourself into the kitchen and insist on preparing and consuming your own meal, He may whisper a word of caution in your ear, but He won’t — no matter how unhealthy — slap the fork out of your hand.
It works much the same in life.
I have gotten into trouble by disregarding the voice of God and walking into situations contrary to His plan for me, all the while thinking, “If things go awry, God can fix it.”
I have made believing in His power more important than obeying His voice.
Inevitably, the results of such an action are a consistent state of stress and emotional upheaval. New decisions that come my way aren’t met with a spirit of power, love and a sound mind, but rather with fear and panic. And in my fear and panic, I make another bad decision, and then another, and another.
Do you see the spiraling effects of my choices when I don’t hear and obey God’s voice?
The house that I have built on sand begins to have its foundation washed away. It sinks further and further from everything that masquerades as solid ground.
Is it in God’s power to fix a situation I’ve gotten myself into? Absolutely. Will He always do so? Not necessarily.
Yes, God does rescue us, but He will not always save me from the consequences of my choices. My will is my own. I either submit it to God, or I manage my life myself and live with the consequences.
But fear not; all is not lost! The good news is no matter the choices of my past, the next decision I make can be the right one!
Put aside the junk – the stress, the fear, the panic — and take time to sit with God. Hear His voice. He will draw near to you right now and direct you. His heart is for you. His plans for us are always so much better than what we think we want in the moment.
Jesus said in Matthew 11:19 (NLT), “Wisdom is shown to be right by what results from it.” The result of hearing and obeying God is always peace, love and goodness.
Believe in the power of God, yes, and beyond that, hear and obey His voice. He only has good for those who follow Him. Desire Him more than you desire anything else in this life. Begin to live your life according to His purpose, and He’ll work everything — even wrong decisions — together for your good!