(Note: I delayed writing this yesterday until after church – then never wrote it. That’s why the date seems wrong. I will write today’s thoughts later today.)
Acts 11:1-18; Joshua 11-12; Job 26
Have you ever had someone tell you what God wants you to do or not do? Usually when someone does that, especially when the advice is unsolicited, it’s a backhanded way of insulting you. They want to let you know that what you are doing now isn’t working and you need to stop and do something different; but it sounds so much more authoritative if the direction comes from God. As Job dealt with his friends, they continued to tell Job what God wanted him to do. In response, Job listed a number of things that God does. Any one of those things would show greatness far beyond human ability. All of them together are a breathtaking description of the majesty of God. Then Job tells his friends that this is just the beginning of our understanding of God. “And these are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power?” (Job 26:14) How can we understand the depth of who God is? How arrogant we are when we claim to speak for God when our finite minds can’t even begin to imagine the vastness of His nature. We get hints of God’s will through His word. Perhaps we have an understanding of what He wants for us but then we make a lesson we have learned become a universal truth. Or perhaps we take the other side of the coin and depend on others to tell us about God and what He wants. I share here how God speaks to me, but I always expect you to examine the Scriptures and to seek God’s guidance on your own. As amazing and powerful as God is, as vast as the universe is that God created and controls, I continue to be overwhelmed by the fact that He knows me and loves me. I cannot comprehend why He cares about me. At the same time, I realize that He deals with each person in His own way and for me to do anything other than to share how He speaks to me would be arrogance. For me to depend on someone else to tell me what God desires would be spiritual laziness and an abdication of my responsibility before God.
Lord, I listen to others who proclaim Your word and recognize that they help me. Still, You call me to seek You and Your will through study and prayer. Never let me be so lazy as to trust what others say without seeking You myself. At the same time, never let me be so arrogant as to tell others Your plans without causing them to seek Your guidance on their own.