“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22 NIV 2011)
My granddaughter was busy playing with a Play-Doh™ ice cream sundae machine, which she had received as a gift. I could tell that she was getting frustrated with one aspect of the toy, so I went over to see if she needed help. She said that she did. I showed her the correct way to work it, and her response was “I know that.” My response was “Then, do that.”
Ade knew what to do, but she was intent on trying to get the right result by doing it her way instead of the way that the instructions outlined.
I walked away chuckling to myself and thinking, How often we do the same thing in regard to God’s instructions for life.
God says that we are to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44 NIV 2011). We think, That can’t be right, or Forget it; I’m not doing that! Then, we spend years nursing anger or bitterness, or dealing with strained relationships.
God also says that debt can enslave us: “the borrower is slave to the lender.” (Proverbs 22:7b NIV 2011). Yet, we spend more than we ought, and then, we wonder how we are ever going to pay all our bills and get out from under this financial pile that we are enslaved to.
God says, “Do not be anxious about anything.” Yet we spend countless nights lying awake worrying about this, that, and the other thing, instead of trusting God to provide or show us the way. “But in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6 NIV 2011).
As God’s people, we know all these things that God says in His instruction book of life, plus so much more. The big question is So why don’t we do that?
Once Ade had frustrated herself enough by trying to work the machine her way and not getting the desired result, she was smart enough to employ the correct method, and she ended up playing happily for an extended period of time.
Are we this smart? Are we this humble? Are we willing to lay aside our way and do what we know that God has said is the best way, His way? If not, why not?
The choice is up to us. But I know the way that I am going to choose. How about you?
Prayer: Father God, when we know the right way — Your way — empower us with humility and wisdom to do it, that our lives may flow as peacefully, as successfully, and as joyfully as possible. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Copyright © 2022, by Lynne Phipps <email@example.com>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada
Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission