I don’t know about you, but I sometimes find myself apologizing because I have “assumed” something to be accurate, when in fact it is not. That word–assumption–should be considered a 4-letter word. Maybe that would help to remind me to avoid it at all costs.
Whether it is husband-wife, parent-child, boss-employee, family member-family member, co-worker-co-worker, friend-friend…and even God-to His children… “assumptions” can be life-altering and sometimes even deadly!
I was reminded of this last Sunday during Bible study (Joshua 6 -7). We were studying about the Israelites and how they planned how best to attack their next foe. God had been very precise in His battle instructions previously, which granted His people an easy victory, however this time the Israelites assumed they knew how best to attack. It was a more logical plan of attack, instead of a God-led by-faith one. In this instance, their “assumption/pride” was cause for 36 Israelites being killed and God’s name being used in vain.
I have to wonder how many times I have decided by “assumption/pride” to do something on my own instead of asking God how He wants me to do it…or IF He wants me to do it at all? Were my decisions/assumptions ones I consciously made without any regard to what God might think, or were they simply thoughts that I acted on without it even occurring to me that I should ask my heavenly Father IF this was…HIS PLAN or NOT? Either way, it is wrong!
I have known for years, the many consequences the Israelites endured because of their lack of seeking God’s plan or their unwillingness to follow His plan when He revealed it. The scriptures are clear in exposing them. As I look back, over my own life (even this week), I wonder what I have needlessly endured or completely missed because I chose my way instead of His?
Why is it we categorize some things as being prayer-worthy and others as not?
Wednesday, this week, Charles and I had agreed to go “car-shopping”. I was elated…NOT! I had asked him to take care of this while I was in Africa, but he did not. Of course he would not do this without me being present. The reason for our car-shopping? My current car was nearing 100,000 miles, needed new tires and possibly brakes/pads and our monthly payment was too high. That morning, I had shared with Rachel how much I was not looking forward to the day. I had asked her to pray for my attitude as I just wanted the best deal and really didn’t care about which car. Rachel then texted her dad to let him know of my dread and to remind him we didn’t need to buy anything elaborate. This was not news to him.
As we were driving to our first car lot, there were three on the list, I asked Charles to pray for our day. He said he already had, but I asked him to do it again…together. He complied with a very specific prayer. “God, we want you to guide us today. Help us to find the best possible deal, lower our monthly payment and pay no out of pocket expenses.” Short and sweet, but to the point. This was our plan….period! Of course, we were not convinced this was even possible. But, hopefully, this was His plan, too!
Apparently, it was God’s plan too! Our first stop ended up being our last! Yes, it took over 4 hours (not as bad as it sounds), but we drove a 2012 car off the lot (higher quality than what I was currently driving) without paying a single penny for anything! And we lowered our monthly payment by $100! Thank you, LORD!
What would our “car-shopping” day have looked like IF we had not prayed?
Now, IF I will completely surrender to Him the responsibility of leading me how to raise the funds needed for Signs for Hope, what will He do? Please, pray that I can surrender this category to Him so specifically, as well. I do not want to assume this person will give or this organization will not. I so want this to be a God-led by-faith plan and not one of logic! I want Him to receive all the glory…for every penny of it!
Many scriptures come to mind surrounding this particular topic. A few are below.
Romans 12:1-2Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.
2 Corinthians 10:5
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
1 Thessalonians 5:17
Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.