"My preferences in a lot of areas have to do with comfort. Things that make me feel better.
But I can't claim to rely on the God of Israel and do things my way.
Either I trust Him or I don't, there really isn't another option."
On the post-it I summarized the meme that shows up on facebook traditionally around Mother's Day. You know, the one that says, "If at first you don't succeed, do it the way your mother told you to the first time." The verse that popped into my head was from Psalm 40 which says, "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire." They sound pretty similar to me. We wouldn't have to worry so much about sacrifice and offering if we just did things God's way in the first place.
Turns out the joke is on me.
I was reading in Isaiah 48 this morning and found this (17-19a):
This is what the Lord says - your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
"I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you,
who directs you in the way you should go.
IF ONLY you had paid attention to my commands,
your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.
Your descendents would have been like the sand,
your children like its numberless grains"
Not surprising is that Isaiah 48 is titled Stubborn Israel. Go figure. It could be subtitled Stubborn Jenn or Stubborn (insert your name here). The best part of this chapter is that it starts out in verse 2 by saying, "you who call yourselves citizens of the holy city and CLAIM to rely on the God of Israel." Just keeps getting better!
And as if all that wasn't enough to catch MY attention, yesterday at church, Pastor Emmanuel asked us to think about what drives our decisions. That was fun because we've been talking about the fact that we often choose our preferences over God's ways. And to put the icing on the cake, one of my dreams had to do with wanting to delegate something away from me because I don't like it, and then my devotional app was Galatians 6:9 about not giving up when we become weary. #Seriously!
My preferences in a lot of areas have to do with comfort. Things that make me feel better. But I can't claim to rely on the God of Israel and do things my way. Either I trust Him or I don't, there really isn't another option. But sometimes it's just hard because I am so limited in what I see as viable solutions. But since He has made each of us unique, why do I constantly limit Him to what I can imagine?
I realize this might all seem a bit depressing and probably overwhelming. I get that. That's how I felt at first, too. But God never leaves us empty handed because He's always got a hand on us. (Isaiah 41:10) And He doesn't condemn us either (Romans 8:1) because He wants none of us to perish. (2 Peter 3:9) So we are left with a choice of doing things the hard way, or letting Jesus give us the Biblical version of I told you so. And I don't know about you, but I'd rather join the winning team than continue to fight a losing battle.
Lord, I don't have words to say other than I'm sorry. I know I do things the hard way and I know that doesn't make me more lovable or better, it just makes me stubborn. I pray that you would help me to submit to what You say sooner because doing things Your way not only makes sense, but it brings You the most glory. Thank you for not only making your case, but also proving your point, and giving me the gentlest of I told you so's. Amen.