Updated: Jun 9, 2020
Why do we always put constraints on God?
As Christians we believe that God will do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. But where we fail is we put ourselves into that equation far too often and limit God because of our own limits.
Let me explain.
Recently I struggled with the idea of signing a new year-long lease on the apartment I live in. I just finished up a 13-month agreement and wasn't sure what to do. In waiting for my next stage of life, what if that next stage presents itself, but I'm trapped in this lease. How do I drop everything and follow him if I'm tied to this building. I want to be ready for whatever God has for me, but if what God has for me is in April, how am I supposed to get out of this lease? Classic case of overthinking.
This is a concept that a lot of Christians struggle with. When presented with a few options, all of which would glorify God, all of which have positives, we become paralyzed by inaction. What if I choose wrong. Should I go to this college or that college? Should I stay at my current job or accept another job?
So we go to God in prayer. We ask him what he wants us to do. Sometimes he'll answer in an obvious and tangible way. He'll push you towards one of the options more than the other or wane your interest in another. But sometimes it doesn't seem like he's providing a clear answer or like he's leading you in any specific way. So we choose, hoping we made the right decision. Worried we maybe just put a stop to the progress God was making in our lives. "What if I was actually supposed to buy that slightly cheaper car, freeing up funds for something God is about to bring us?!"
I'm here to tell you today that it's okay to worry. The fact that you're worrying about following God's plan means that you're following God's will. If you weren't worrying about the big decisions that's where your problems will start.
"Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." - Proverbs 3:5-6
Now that we got that out of the way I'm also here to tell you not to worry. Luckily your plan isn't your plan. It doesn't depend on you.
God won’t be surprised by one of your decisions. It won’t come out of nowhere for him. He won’t be caught off guard by what you choose. If you’re actively trying to be in God’s will, there is no wrong answer.
"Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails." - Proverbs 19:21
We read the Bible and are amazed at the miracles of God. The feeding of the 5000. The burning bush. The parting of the Red Sea. Raising Lazarus from the dead. But as soon as we close the book, we go back to worrying that we're throwing God's plan away by picking the wrong church to attend.
If the God of the universe is handcuffed by our decisions than he's not the God of the universe.
He's not going to try to trick you. He's not going to dangle two options in front of you with one of them leading you away from him. That's not what he does. We complicate what God has for us.
"He has shown you, o mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." - Micah 6:8
He's already shown you what to do.
"What should I do?" you ask God. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself," he answers.
God's will for your life doesn't involve you losing sleep over a puzzle you think he's presented you with.
So I realized a lease isn’t gonna stop God from fulfilling whatever he has in store for me. I believe with everything in me that God will bring my calling to fruition. A calling that almost completely relies on God's intervention at some level. My dreams are big and scary and a little terrifying. Dreams that require God to open some massive concrete doors, so if God is brought to a halt by an apartment lease, my dreams are toast.
Now I'm not saying that God doesn't care what decision you make. Nor am I saying that you shouldn't go to God in prayer about absolutely everything. All I'm saying is he doesn't want you to worry so much. If you think God isn't speaking to you, open up the 66 book he already wrote you.
"Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." - Proverbs 16:3
If you're loving God, loving your neighbors, reading your Bible, and trying to glorify God in everything you do, choose whichever option takes you the furthest away from the snow.
Just make your move.