After I drive somewhere once, I am usually able to get there again without a map. I hop in the car and start off in the right direction, making turns at the intersections that look familiar. This usually works, especially in areas I know well, but sometimes I get turned around. I open up the map on my phone and put in my destination’s address only to find that I have taken a few wrong turns and am not close to where I intended to end up. I thought I knew what was best on my own, but I led myself to somewhere I didn’t want to be, rather than just following the map.
It feels like we are always trying to do the right thing and make good choices, but as Pastor Art reminded us through Proverbs 14:12, sometimes we can do things that look right but that actually lead to death. We need to be intentional about seeking the will of God because his ways are different from ours. Our actions make seem to check out to us, but an all-knowing and all-loving God is to be trusted far more than humans when it comes to making decisions.
In both the large and small things, we need to ask God for his guidance–and then follow it. When looking at the praying believers in Acts 12:1-19, Pastor Art pointed out that when we are less mature in the faith, we are more likely to ask for an outcome we desire rather than rely on his perfect will. Though we don’t know what the prayers of the believers were, it was likely that some erred on the side of asking God for their will to be fulfilled, whereas the mature believers would likely focus on the completion of God’s will, even when it may have seemed confusing. Peter’s impending death was not something easy to face, but it was important that these Christians believed in God’s plan and purpose for his life.
We need to reflect on our own prayer life and consider if we are trying to impress our ways on God or if we are allowing ourselves to be transformed by his ways. How can we focus our prayers on asking God our role in the completion of his will?
Lastly, there may be times–and many times at that–when God tells us to wait. We may petition God for what we want but, again, we should shift our focus to desiring what he would have for us instead of what we design for ourselves. Like Peter had, we should praise God for his faithfulness, thank him for the transformative work he has done in our lives and show our gratitude that we get to play a role in his Kingdom.
This week, let’s focus on seeking God’s will above our own, knowing that his ways are both different and better than our own. Let’s meet with God in prayer and ask him to show us what we can do for his Kingdom. Let’s wait patiently for the next task ahead, knowing God is faithful and has all things under his control.