Updated: Apr 2, 2021
Haven’t we all blown through one of life’s intersections without a second thought? Haven’t we all blown through the red light that God had set before us? You know the ones. We did it in our own purpose driven pursuit of some self-set, goal or church vision – through some passionate agenda we thought up – some hairbrained obsession we sunk our teeth into – some ministerial vision we bought into. All without taking the time to ask God first or even exerting the energy beyond shallow lip-service to slow down when the lights began to change and God was trying to tell us to hit the brakes.
How many times have we been left holding a bag of rotting plans, painting ourselves into a dead-end corner and reaping the bitter fruit of failure and disappointment all because we didn’t listen to God. Instead we took the path of least resistance, the quick fix, the man-made detour or because it sounded good, looked good and felt good. How many times have we listened to the counsel of our own hearts or the misguided counsel of others rather than the counsel and timely counsel of the Holy Spirit? We choose to lean to our own understanding all because we didn’t want to hear what God would say or simply didn’t care what God would say. And because we didn’t stop when the warning lights turned yellow we paid the price – sometimes a very dear price for our reckless driving. Many of us were so oblivious of God that we didn’t even look in the rear-view mirror to see if we had blown it.
That’s exactly what our Father Abraham did when he came up with the plan to use Hagar to fulfill God’s promise to bring forth the promised seed he would father. He did it in his own understanding, in his own devising and in his own strength. At the time it may have seemed expedient, quicker, guaranteed to succeed and maybe a little more clever than what God had up His sleeve. But it ended in total disaster and the consequences have plagued natural Israel to this day.
A lot of men and women of God throughout the ages have willfully run their own red lights with grievous results. They too have eaten the bitter fruit of failure, disappointment and disillusionment. They did it and we’ve done it. If the truth be known, we have all done it more times that we can remember and some of us are still paying the price. That is why His counsel and direction is so important as His words caution us:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5 & 6)
Maybe it’s time right now for you to slow down, listen to Him and put your foot on the brakes?