Helping God out?


My grandson, who will be 6 years of age next month, is visiting this week. Yesterday when I was mowing the lawn he approached me. “Pop, I want to help you.” He joined me on the riding mower and then asked, “Can I drive it?”  I gave him the steering wheel but kept one hand on the lower portion. He felt in control, but in reality, Pop was still guiding.

With his ‘help’ the work took longer to complete, but the company was sweet! He loves to work, to contribute to an effort, but he had no skills that were of much assistance to me yesterday. Did I mind? Not at all. It was a deep Grandfatherly joy that filled me up while we ‘worked’ together.

In my morning prayer for the ‘work’ of the church where I serve, the Spirit whispered a quietly assuring word to me, using my lawn work as a parable of His provision. He has things under control, His Hand is on the steering wheel, and while I may feel as though I must ‘do something,’ in reality, He is at work.

Are you trying to ‘help God out’ in some situation? Are you stressing or frustrated that your plans are just not forming the way you believe they should?  I know the feeling; ‘been there, done that, got the T-shirt,’ as they say.

Solomon left us a short Psalm, one that is included with the ‘songs of ascent’ which were sung by pilgrims on their way up to Jerusalem for holy festivals.
“A song for the ascent to Jerusalem. A psalm of Solomon.
Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is useless.
Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.
It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night,
anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.
” (Psalm 127:1-2, NLT)

Abraham, the father of the faithful, decided that the Lord was taking too long to fulfill the promise of an heir. As old age crept up on Sarah and himself, he took her servant, an Egyptian woman named Hagar, as a surrogate mother, fathering Ishmael. In trying to help God, he created family strife and great difficulties for the son of promise, Isaac, who was born miraculously in God’s time more than a decade later. Abraham’s intent was not evil, but it revealed a gap in his faith.

Saul’s story is less known but even more instructive for us. He was an inexperienced, young king going out to war. The man of God, Samuel, told him that he would come and offer sacrifices and prayer for the army. Seven days went by, the men of Israel growing restless, fearful; some even deserting their posts. Finally Saul decided he needed to help God and ordered preparations for the sacrifice to be made. He offering the sacrifice before the army, doing what he was not authorized to do. Just as he was finishing the rituals, Samuel showed up.

What resulted from Saul’s ‘efficiency?’ “You acted foolishly,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the LORD’s command.” (1 Samuel 13:13-14, NIV)  Saul revealed that his heart was not fully aligned with the will of God and his fatal flaws of character, his pride and insecurity, that would be his undoing.

Jesus’ words invite us to trust, rest, and let God lead. “Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” (Matthew 6:33-34, The Message)  They are great words, inspiring words, AND quite difficult to truly live, at least for me.  The conceit of self-sufficiency insists that something must be done now, that God is late to the party.

Let’s rest on God’s promise, willing to wait on Him. That does not mean we are passive or apathetic. We are ready to move at His direction, humble enough to wait for His time, to live in His plan.

Here is a word from the Word for this day. Oh Lord, teach us to wait on You.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.
Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.
Instead, fear the Lord and turn your back on evil.

Then you will gain renewed health and vitality.” (Proverbs 3:5-8, NLT)

___________

This song is a source of great assurance in these chaotic times.
Spend a few moments focused on the One who is the Way Maker, our Promise Keeper!

Way Maker

You are here moving in our midst
I worship You I worship You
You are here working in this place
I worship You I worship You

Way Maker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper,
Light in the darkness, my God that is who You are
You are here touching ev’ry heart
I worship You I worship You

You are here healing ev’ry heart
I worship You I worship You
You are here turning lives around
I worship You I worship You

You are here mending ev’ry heart
I worship You yeah I worship You Lord
That is who You are
That is who You are
That is who You are

That is who You are
Even when I don’t see it You’re working
Even when I don’t feel it You’re working
You never stop You never stop working
You never stop You never stop working

Osinachi Kalu Okoro Egbu

© 2016 Integrity Music Europe (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing (Integrity Music [DC Cook])

CCLI License # 810055

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