Sometimes it would be great if you could just stop everything in your life, especially your mind from thinking. I have a good friend who has told me on occasion that I just need to stop thinking! Oh how I wish it was that easy. Right now I wish I could sleep with no dreams for at least a week in the hopes I’d wake up with a new mind that didn’t need answers or have any decisions to make. I know that does not sound to spiritual or probably even too sane!
I’m this person who talks about being a prisoner of hope and having faith and hope and trust but you know sometimes I’m just too human for my own good. I have all this information in my head and I know the right thing to do and where God has me but as Graham Cooke says in one of his really good short studies, Training for a Life of Favor:
“It’s the process that makes us rich, not the outcome.
Process is the story of how we become like Jesus and the journey that He takes us on into Fullness and Abundance. The journey is more than reaching a destination. It’s about how we travel and who/what we become on the way.
Without an experience with the always brilliant Holy Spirit, we will not understand how essential process is in our development. That almost guarantees that we will return to our default position in our circumstances.
There is no breakthrough without follow-through.”
And I fell right into that default position today despite all I know that should keep me from that. I have been fighting a decision in front of me for two weeks. I was back and forth, reading my Bible, praying, re-studying my words of wisdom. Then I get one day away from the big decision, do I or don’t I and I get prophetic words and words from everywhere that all say don’t do it and I am content with that decision and so I finally say OK, I’m not going to move in that direction.
Then today comes and it is the last day I can change my mind as the deadline is approaching at 5pm. And all my “for sure stuff” from yesterday starts to fade because I let my mind start thinking about it again. Then I talk to one person who I respect who says, “Sometimes we have to take that first step of faith and trust the Lord and if it is not His will the door will close tight. My advice is go for it, having gotten so far in the preparation.”
And just like that I was pushing the button on my computer and sending my application in and thinking, yes, that is the way I’ve always made my decisions, leaving them up to God … ah what? And then as the reality of what I had just said hit home, I began a slow spiraling spin-out into a meltdown where everything fell apart in a heap. The reality I’d slipped right back into default without knowing it was more than I could take.
I fell completely past logic or thought where my mind just went into hyper drive and crashed. After an hour or so of crying and kicking myself I thought, well I don’t have to take the job, I don’t even have to do the interview, I can send them a note and say forget it I’ve changed my mind.
And all of that is true and will work but the point is that I had totally forgotten all the months of things I’ve been learning from God and all the strength I’ve gained and the trust and faith and hope. It wasn’t a matter of taking a step of faith. God had already closed the door and I knew that until I started “thinking about it” again. I felt physically sick. I was back at square 1 and the words that had made me so strong echoed in my ears:
You can’t go forward any faster than God will let you, and yet, you sure don’t want to return to where you once were before you were overshadowed and given a “life vision” with a promise from God!
And fear flew right in the door and I thought what if I’ve mucked it up so bad that I lose the promise and my entire life drops into some ditch? Of course that isn’t going to happen but for another hour I couldn’t stop thinking it. And my other friend says “push into the one who loves you and guides you every step you take” which is true but she didn’t know what I’d done. I couldn’t even think of one word to say in prayer. All I could think was, “I’m so sorry Lord, I lost it”.
And then that scripture we hear over and over came to my head but I thought I’m going to look it up and get it right because I think the Holy Spirit put that in my head to look into it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
It doesn’t say we won’t have trials and fail at times but we will get through it as it is not by my strength that I will pick myself up and get on the right track, but the grace of God that is with me. In other words, I will survive the failed spot in the test and accomplish what God has for me through grace but it is God’s grace not me on my own strength. God will never give his people trials in which he will not sustain them and bring them through to everlasting glory. We will be enabled to do all we must do to get there.
So I must ask God to forgive me for getting off track and forgive myself for yielding to the temptation of trying to do things my old way. My fortress is trusting in a loving God. I have to go back to trusting Him in spite of all the reasoning of my mind . . . in spite of the circumstances that surround me. So, I return to my fortress, and remain a prisoner until He is done with me – until He decides that I am ready for all that He has for me.