If we are to learn an important lesson from the life of King David, it would be that the God of the Universe is wholly adequate – all wise and all knowing – to advise us regarding all life issues. The majority of present-day Christians would probably agree with this truth, while privately disregarding it in practice. I believe the biggest reason is our desire for control. If someone else is making the decisions, then our lives feel out of our control – even if that person is God.
Because it is illogical not to permit the most qualified person to be in charge, we rationalize our control issues a number of ways. We determine that it’s faster/more efficient if we do it, it’s not worth bothering God, we already know what He’s going to say, it’s a minor thing and doesn’t matter, and/or we are qualified and capable. But the biggest reason is that we don’t trust God to make the decision that agrees with what we want or think is best. Said another way, we don’t believe in His inherent goodness, kindness, and faithfulness. Perhaps we can even point to specifics like allowing a loved one to die, the horrors of growing up in an abusive family, catastrophic events resulting in great loss, or any number of similar issues where it was apparent that God failed us. Sadly, what we are actually demonstrating is our lack of knowledge of Who God is.
There is no short-cut for knowing God apart from seeking His spirit of wisdom and revelation (Ephesians 1:17) in His Word daily. Isaiah 55:8-9 spells out the reason for this kind of time investment: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
God uses all the decisions we make on a daily basis to not only illustrate our need for His input, but also where we tend to go it alone and why. The Lord made this very real to me recently when He directed me to purchase a new cell phone. In the data transfer from the old phone, I lost significant pieces of information from my contact list, but didn’t make that horrifying discovery until the next day. While upset, I was aware this was a test, so I actually made two decisions: to try to exercise patience and to fix the problem myself. I spent the next four hours typing in everything manually. My husband who is more tech-savvy than I, volunteered to help so that I wouldn’t accidently miss anything. His efforts did help, but they also undid many of my manual updates. This tipped the scale of my tolerance from barely patient to seethingly angry, and taking it out on someone who was only trying to help. While I had initially been obedient, this test accomplished what God’s tests are designed to do – it exposed my area of weakness, specifically wasting four hours of my time that I wanted to use another way. This was all about what was good for me… that is definition of self-righteousness. Ugh.
God spoke to me through Romans 1:5-6, that I am called “to the obedience that comes from faith.” There was zero obedience in my reaction, and especially in the way I treated my husband. My right to be angry, self-righteousness, had usurped the power of God and the righteousness of Christ that comes by faith (Romans 3:22). The control I exercised highlighted my lack of trust that God was at work on my behalf; He uses everything for our good (Romans 8:24), regardless of the way things presented. The Lord needed me to see that a minor thing like losing four hours could turn into a major thing like elevating my righteousness above His. Not only did He show me grace in this revelation, but He gave me the opportunity to repent. It is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4)
This is God’s high way, and the road He desires us to choose. No matter how much I want it, or how many times I try, my way will never get me there.