Focus: Asking God’s opinion
Psalm 89:14-15 (NASB) Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Lovingkindness and truth go before You. How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!
I never used to ask God to show me His will. I have to confess—I didn’t really want to find out He wanted something different for me than I wanted. I prayed a lot that He would let certain things come to pass and I asked Him to bless my plans—I just didn’t ask Him to help me make my choices.
So much has changed since then. Oh, it’s not that I don’t still have my own hopes and desires—it’s just that I had to learn the hard way, how complicated life gets when I am in charge.
In the Bible, we are compared to sheep…as in “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way…” Obviously, one of the lessons in this verse is that sheep make wrong choices. They need a shepherd to guide them, or they just go in any direction they want and soon become lost.
Not many people automatically know how important ‘righteousness and justice’ are. Those words sound anything but ‘fun’. So, how could asking God—who sits on a throne whose foundation is ‘righteousness and justice’—ever lead us to do anything ‘fun’? And…if ‘fun’ is what we want to have—then it seems the last thing we would care about doing is asking God for His opinion.
Well, Psalm 89:14-15 indicates otherwise. God’s righteousness and justice are the equivalent of lovingkindness and truth–which lead to joy.
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Lovingkindness and truth sound good. We all want love and kindness and we also want to be told the truth—nobody likes to be lied to. So, if God is love, kindness, and truth—would He guide us toward something that was not in agreement with those aspects of His character and nature? If, every time we were at a place of indecision or even if we thought we were on the right track—we stopped and asked God to guide us by His love and kindness to the truth—would He point us in a wrong direction? No! He would show us the best way to go and lead us to the thing that would bring us blessing–not sorrow.
The rest of the passage says, “How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!” What that sentence means to me is—when we have the sense to consult God for His will and ask for His guidance, our life will be like a party. There will be no consequences to suffer—no pain from wrong decisions. No looking back at a trail of disaster and destruction. We will go forward with God’s blessing because He is leading the way through green pastures and paths of righteousness. Sounds like a walk in the park.
A lot of my life was not like a walk in the park because I wasn’t following my Shepherd. I was looking here and there for whatever grass looked green to me.
Now I have a whole different philosophy. When I am offered an opportunity I might like, I thank God for the enjoyment of contemplating the possibility, but I leap at the chance to say to Him, “If this is not Your will for me then slam the door shut”. And I mean it. I confess sometimes I want certain things to happen and I’m hoping the door will stay ‘open’—but I have learned not to worry when a door closes. God knows much better than I do what is best for me. When I tell Him to slam a door shut and He does—I have to believe He rescued me from the pain of having to struggle with the awkward and complicated aftermath of an incorrect decision. Having our way is not always a party.
Depression and dependency isn’t a direct result of following God and seeking His will, is it? If we had the willingness to want His way instead of ours—we would be living in love and kindness and truth…not dealing with the effects of depression and dependency. We would be enjoying more blessings and hearing sounds of joy around us. Making the choice to walk in God’s ‘right and just ways’ on a daily basis would save us a lot of grief.
Declaration: As I go forward, I will find new strength by putting my trust in the ‘right and just ways’ God has planned for me. I will put my faith in His lovingkindness and truth—with the understanding that if He goes before me, I won’t go the wrong way and I will be blessed with the sound of joy all around me.
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