Giving God the Stiff Arm
I was out on a run recently using the time to think and pray. I was reflecting on some choices I made recently that didn’t turn out so great. My thoughts were part lament and part confession when God got my attention. He took me back to a time not too long ago when I felt some promptings around a particular subject that I didn’t give much attention to at the time. Yes, there were some stirrings in my spirit but I didn’t press into them and they were easily dismissed. It didn’t seem like much at the time so I ignored them and went my own way. The eventual outcome was disappointing. I begrudgingly agreed with the Spirit on that run that day and then asked if there was anything else that I was treating like that in my life right now.
I put the ball on the tee for the Spirit and He didn’t swing and miss. Immediately something came into my mind which was accompanied by a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach because I knew I was giving God the stiff arm on that one too. Wow! I got more than I bargained for on that run!
The good thing about it was that I immediately confessed (in the Greek the word means to agree with God concerning His opinion of a matter) that I was in fact attempting to dodge an action item by playing dumb. But now there was no hiding and no excuses. I owned the call to action and over the course of the rest of the run formed an action plan to obey. I think I actually picked up the pace of the run too!
When I cooperated with God’s desire over the next three weeks there were divine doors that opened, new relationships that formed and more guidance came my way. Things started moving in a divine way that reinforced that this was in fact God’s plan. I had my own plan and it didn’t include this road trip. But God was demonstrating His plan was better and He backed it up with things I couldn’t accomplish on my own. I wish I had asked the question earlier.
I wonder, are you giving God the stiff arm? Is there some truth or calling you are holding at arm’s length, you don’t really want it to get too close to your heart? Are there warnings or stop signs you are blowing through? Is there a person or a problem you are ignoring when God is saying help? If you are not sure begin asking God to break your heart with the things that break His heart.
I’m an activist by nature but in order to be proactive in hearing from God, instead of reactive, I’m learning to discipline myself to listen daily through prayer and scripture study. Jeremiah 33:3 says, Call unto me and I will show you great and mighty things that you don’t know. Journaling helps me untangle my thoughts. It is god to record what I think I’m hearing and then give time for confirmation before I put a plan in place. I’m learning that one God thought is better than a hundred Gary thoughts. Instead of giving God the stiff arm I’m inviting the conversation.
There is a power and fruitfulness that only comes when you get on God’s agenda. He isn’t obligated to bless your agenda despite your prayers and efforts. But when you do whatever it takes to join Him on the mission He has for you, forsaking whatever it takes; you are in for the run of your life!