We’ve all had it happen. We’ve taken a path that God never intended for us to take, and we’ve deceived ourselves into believing it was OK … or that we could handle it … or even that it was God’s will for us to do it. And then we’ve gotten slammed – whether by the enemy’s accusations or the Holy Spirit’s conviction – and we’ve awakened to the realization that we have gotten WAY off course. Now what?
I’ve experienced this dynamic more times than I can count. I’ve wanted something so badly, gotten tired of waiting on God to provide it, and defiantly decided to take it for myself. Big mistake – I don’t recommend doing this. That was one of the most miserable years of my life as God allowed me to endure the consequences of my choices and remained silent, no matter how frequently I cried out to Him. In fairness to God, at no point during this year did I REPENT. I wanted Him to heal the pain without changing my behavior, and He loved me enough to say no and allow me to endure great physical and emotional pain until I said, “Uncle,” and made the life decision to do things God’s way no matter what hence forward.
I’ve done the opposite extreme and found myself unintentionally walking out of God’s will. I prayed whether to continue with another season of serving Him in a way He had blessed for several years and mistook his lack of a “No” for a “Yes” when it was really a “Wait.” By the time I realized the “Wait” turned into a “No,” I had already committed, and the new season was just about to start. In that situation, God made it clear that it wasn’t sin for me to proceed, but I would be proceeding without Him, and what had previously been energizing suddenly became draining, and I plodded through, eagerly awaiting the end of that season.
I’ve been in situations in which I believed the enemy’s lies that I could handle something that I really couldn’t. I’ve replaced God with an idol, which gradually took more and more from me while providing me with less and less comfort over time. And I’ve been in other situations where I have compromised my values so as to not hurt someone else’s feelings or to fit in. What all of these situations have in common is that I wandered away from God’s will. In this blog series, we’ll talk about how to get back on track when you find yourself in this situation.
To be continued…
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace shrugging her shoulders. Courtesy Bitmoji.]