"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil."
I came across a wonderful quote by Oswald Chambers that says, “Faith never knows where it is being led, but loves and knows the One who is leading.” This reminded me of a wise question that was asked to my husband once when he was struggling with a tough decision. The friend asked, “So who is writing your script, you or the Lord?” As believers, our desire is to say that Christ is writing our script, and in reality, no matter what we think or do, He is. The better question to ask would be, are we trying to pull the script and pen out of His hands?
Visualizing that makes me cringe to think of my audacity/pride in believing that I could possibly control my life better than the creator of the universe! The scary part is that this process can be very subtle and insidious in our hearts. But we do this, sometimes on a daily basis. We say that God is in control, and sometimes we actually live that out. Then a tough decision comes, or a trial hits, we allow fear to take over, and we begin reaching out for those reins once again. We can be easily deceived into thinking that God is taking a nap, and that we can do this “re-write” better on our own.
In our case, when faced with a tough decision, we had to stop and take inventory of how we were arriving at a decision. Were we in constant prayer? Was the decision motivated by pride or fear? Were we manipulating the circumstances to try to achieve the outcome we wanted without allowing God to work out His outcome? As the verses above state, God will work out His purposes with or without us. But when we are with Him, we grow spiritually and get a privileged glimpse into His heart.
Most of us know the story of Joseph in Genesis. This is such a wonderful example for us of how to trust the Lord and submit to His outcome, without push for ours. Many times throughout Joseph’s story, he could have strived and manipulated to try to achieve the outcome he wanted. Instead he trusted that God’s ways were above His ways, and that what he knew about God trumped how he felt at the time. Genesis 50:19-20 says, “...but Joseph said to them, ‘Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.’” There are several examples of this kind of faith in scripture because God knows that on our own we are weak little control freaks! But praise God that He gives us the Holy Spirit to guide and convict us when we are trying to write our own script.
Next time something tough hits, ask the Lord, “Am I trying to write my own script?” The Holy Spirit will let you know if you need to drop your pen, and look to Him.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the patient way you lead me into your will for my life. Through your Spirit, enable me to recognize those moments when I am trying to snatch the pen from your hand and to submit to all that you have written in my “script.”
Suggested Reading: Genesis 37 & 39-45