Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Mother May I

Do you remember in the book of Daniel when Darius was 'trapped' into condemning Daniel? To recap, the administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers, and governors went to the king to suggest that no one be allowed to petition any god or man except the king, and that if he does, the offender would be thrown into the lion's den. They knew Daniel would still pray to God and therefore they would have him dead to rights and he would surely die.

Sometimes I think God, in His perfect wisdom, sets us up much the same way.

I read Personally, I find it easiest to determine if the Spirit is leading me by reflecting on how I am thinking, acting, and feeling. If my thoughts, behavior, and feelings line up with the Word of God, I know the born-again part of me is responding to God's Spirit. (Nourish, p. 84)

I wrote the Spirit of God gives us strength to make right decisions so we learn to rely on the Spirit not on our own strength. (summary from Nourish, p. 84)

I prayed God, help me make the decisions you want me to make.

I opened my Devotions for a Healthier You to Day 37 (yes, we are 37 days in to 2018) and saw Proverbs 3:7-8 at the top of the page.

I realized I have a decision making flaw. I wonder if we all do.

* We can not determine or decide things with an unbiased heart.

* We can not (or at the very least should not) make today's best choice on yesterday's answer or wisdom

* Daily surrender, daily submission, and being led by the Spirit are choices continually made because our flesh will always find a way to influence us.

* If we don't consistently engage our heart and mind and make sure they line up with the Word of God, we will act and run on well-worn neurological pathways....aka bad habits

The problem for me, and maybe for you, is that we often try to be wise in our own eyes. Yes, it is possible, maybe even likely, that God has given us some instructions that aren't going to vary much from day to day. But, if we don't check in with Him just to make sure, we could end up off course pretty easily. And while it's tempting to think He spoke and therefore I know, do we really want to chance that something in our hearts hasn't shifted and He's got more for us today than He did yesterday? Call me crazy, but that sounds like an ordained FOMO.

When the instructions were given to Moses on what to do with Aaron to dress him for the priesthood, he was to have a breastpiece that would contain the Urim and Thummim for decisions so that they would be over Aaron's heart whenever he came before the Lord. (Exodus 28:30) We don't have that. We were given the Spirit of God instead to lead us into all truth. (John 16:13) But here's the catch: the Spirit can't lead very well if we don't ask and then follow. 

As kids, many of us played Mother May I. Before each and every step, before we even thought about taking an action and getting caught and having to go back to start, we asked if we were allowed to do what we wanted to do. Maybe, just maybe, if we saw the gift of the Holy Spirit as our perfect advisor in that way, we just might stop being wise in our own eyes. And maybe, just maybe, we might get the health and nourishment we are desperately seeking.

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