Written by Evi Idoghor
When I evaluate certain circumstances that take place in my life—when I begin to do a root cause analysis on each problem I encounter; I can almost conclude that a situation went awry because I failed to involve God from the beginning.
I was joking with my family one time and told them that I had come up with a new strategy for dating, seeing that Valentine's Day was quickly approaching and I was single. So anyway, I went ahead to say—when I meet someone new and for instance, he asks for my number, I am not going to give it to him. Rather I will ask for his number and then take one week to pray about it, asking God if this is a friend, business partner, potential future partner, enemy, or just an acquaintance.
Depending on the answer God gives me, that is how I would approach the relationship. In response, they asked— what if God doesn’t answer within one week? to which I replied—I will wait for how long it will take; well except the guy is fine, tall, and nice then what am I waiting for? (just kidding).
Seeking God First
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and its righteousness and every other thing will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33)
Involving God from the beginning of circumstances we encounter will usually save us from a lot of heartaches. How many women have found themselves in bad relationship after bad relationship, all because they chose to leave God out of the mix? I mean who needs God when He will tell us to let go anyway and we want to live our best lives right? But here is the kicker: we need to get the go-ahead from God before we make any major decision.
Getting a go-ahead from God doesn't mean that the heavens would split open and a dove would descend, then you hear a grandiose voice. No. Most times, it is based on the relationship you have built with Him over time, through studying the Bible, that you know how to make the right decisions based on His rights and wrongs.
This reminds me of a story in the Bible about the nation, Israel. They went ahead to fight a battle that they had no business fighting. In fact, God had warned them not to fight, according to what was written, because they would lose the battle. In those days, a loss of battle always almost included loss of lives and livelihood. However, in true children's fashion, they ignored Him and went ahead to battle with their opponents and ended up defeated.
Then they had the audacity to cry out to God (don’t we all?) and in response, He said: I warned you not to fight that battle. I told you my hand wasn’t going to be with you if you went along with it. Yet, you disobeyed me, now see what has happened. (Paraphrased).
If we only adhere to the voice of the Lord at the beginning of things, He would save us from many sorrows and dare I say, destructions. I think sometimes the issue we have with waiting on God or simply obeying His voice, is because most times, He doesn't arrive with an answer when we expect Him to, or perhaps we already know His stance on the matter so we choose to go ahead with what we want to do. So we ignore Him. Or maybe we don’t trust Him enough to believe that His ways are perfect—yielding better results.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5)
The Importance of Not Leaning On Your Own Understanding
I was watching a true-crime documentary on the ID channel not too long ago where this young man had seen an advertisement for a job on craigslist (and like everyone else who is in search of a job,) he was excited about the opportunity because he had been looking for a job for a while. After a few conversations with the prospective employer, he was offered the job and as such had to pack up and move to the city where the job was located.
Before his move, he went to church and thanked God with his friends who had prayed with him to get the job, and then left for the opportunity of a lifetime. He arrived at the said location of the job, and the prospective employer lured him into the woods and immediately murdered him—just like that. He was found because some other man who was also offered the same job, traveled to meet the employer, and when he got into the woods—the so-called employer shot him.
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However, victim number two survived the shooting and was able to escape and reported the case to the police. Now, I don’t know if guy numero uno sought the face of the Lord before accepting this job, all I know is that he thought the job was a blessing from God or the answer to his prayers.
Sometimes we allow lack and desperation to lead us to the things that are not for us—we tend to lean on our understanding of things, and then we slap God’s name on it when He has nothing to do with it in the first place. This brings me to the era within the evangelical Christian community, the "God told me" era.
That can lead us into dangerous territory like the one in the story if we are not careful steer to clear from the voices in our head or circumstances that seem right, believing that they are from God.
Some people stubbornly stand by their convictions—even when they perceive that they are wrong. Certainly, our good God wouldn't offer a man a job (someone who has been searching for a while) that would immediately lead to his demise.
Just because your situation is dire, doesn't mean that the first opportunity you get, is one from God—seek Him first. God is more concerned about what will happen in your future than your present “discomfort.” God is seeing 10, 20, 50 years down the road—when that man who is whispering sweet nothings to your ear you will become an abusive husband. God is seeing two years down the line when your boss would fire you suddenly for no reason and He is making you uncomfortable in your spirit, just so you know you don't accept that job offer.
God is seeing six months into that relationship which would pull you away from Him. God is seeing eight years into the future when that "friend" would betray you with a kiss and your mind is saying do not be friends with this person— they are not good for you. There is no way that we can spin this, where putting God first in our lives isn’t going to be the best option for us.
Putting God first simply means trusting God with every intricate detail of your life (Proverbs 3:5). God might not reveal the whole picture to you at once, however, all He wants you to do is for you to trust Him enough to put Him first: then you will not be easily misled by the opportunities or people that present themselves to you.
If you seek God first, every other thing will be added to your life. Remember the story of Joseph? I doubt that he was ever worried if he would find a spouse or have children. There was so much going on in front of him. However, because He gave God first place in his life, when God elevated him, a gorgeous wife was already waiting for him. If you give God the rightful place in your life, He will be very happy to be the captain of your ship, and you will save yourself from a lot of heartaches.
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