Today is the seventh and final day of the prayer and fasting activity at the church in Greenhills for whom I work. Over the course of the past few days, I have consciously spent more time with God, wrestling with Him and talking to Him about my plans for 2011 and beyond. Two days ago, I received a word from Him, a gentle reminder, if you will, that really spoke to me and characterized how I felt about my relationship with Him thus far.
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a go-getter of the first order. When given a task, I plunge straight into it. Sure, I do a little bit of planning – something I learned from my meticulous Type-A wife Catherine – but for the most part, I can’t wait to get started so I can move onto the next task. Admittedly, this drive to get things done has put me in several pickles throughout the course of my career, usually because I tend to “power through.”
On Day 5, I got a word, it was so quiet, almost inaudible, really, and I was in the throes of a more obvious word (a Bible verse) that I was jotting down in my notebook, that I missed it. I was reminded about it this morning, and the simplicity with which it came took me completely by surprise, and I think it characterizes the way a lot of us, especially those of us workaholic Christian types – live out our faith lives.
This is my fasting revelation: “You see me as your last resort and your last option. I should be your first resort and your first option.”
Nothing mind-blowing there, eh? But the deceptive simplicity of it was what got my head spinning. You see, many Christians live out their lives separating their faith walk from their career walk, their God-walk from their family walk. We go to church on Sundays, we try to apply our Christian values in how we live out our lives, but when push comes to shove, how often do we consult God in the little things as much as we do the big things?
Me, not very often. And I work in full-time ministry.
If a worship volunteer calls in on Friday and says he will be unable to play on Sunday, what is my first option? Open the Excel file and start calling people. If I need a song for use at a worship service, what is my first option? Open iTunes and select from the ‘Gospel & Religious’ genre. If my wife calls me and asks for my advice on an issue she or the kids are facing, what is my first option? Make a list of pro’s and con’s and decide from there.
I don’t consult God first. And that is a critical mistake that I’ve made over the course of much of my life, and something I think many of us make. We have so many options, too many options, that God becomes “just another option.” But God isn’t “just another option.”
God can provide the people who can help us accomplish a task. God can give us insight into an issue that can often be the one insight that can help us resolve that issue. We often pray “for wisdom,” for “provision,” praying in desperation only in the times when desperation sets in, when everything else no longer seems to work. And that has to stop.
How much easier and smoother would our lives be if we consulted God before making most decisions? God told me clearly that He wants greater involvement in my life, and I would be crazy if I said no to that, wouldn’t I? This is arguably one of the simplest yet most important revelations I’ve had this year. I’m looking forward to more.