Trusting God is great in theory, until he asks you to do something that makes you uncomfortable. So, what do you do when his direction or instruction flies in the face of your instincts?
All of our favorite Bible characters navigated through this same internal struggle. Let’s look at Moses as a prime example. God told him that he would be used to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. What a ridiculous notion! Then, after they had been rescued from their oppressors, God sustained his people through miracles as they wandered about in the desert. God’s instructions to Moses were laughable, but he obeyed anyway. His radical obedience wasn’t out of rote or being forced or coerced into submission. Moses obeyed because he knew God. He knew His voice and character, making obedience a no-brainer. So why do we struggle so often with following God’s instructions?
I want you to think about a time when God told you to do something. It could be going and speaking to someone, forgiving someone who hurt you, quitting something, starting something new, or a thousand other things. Do you have yours in mind? I have mine. Now, how does that instruction or direction make you feel? It’s a strange question coming from me; I’m not one to talk about feelings often, but I’m learning that there’s value to this type of self-assessment. I think the main responses can be: fear or freedom depending on your perspective. Let me say it another way: your response to direction reveals your view of God.
The Bible says that God is love, it’s not that he can love or he loves well, but he is the very definition of love. The Bible also says that perfect Love casts out all fear, meaning that fear cannot exist in the same space as perfect Love. When a frightening directive is given by God and your focus is on the instruction and yourself (i.e. the selfish perspective that I normally take), the natural result is fear. But when you focus on the One giving the command, the Father who loves you, it can be a freeing experience.
Most of the time I take the selfish road, as I am a selfish individual. But the interesting thing is that this perspective always leads to my detriment. Focusing on myself and how God’s word affects me causes me to operate from a place of fear. But, when I change my perspective and focus on God, my response changes. When I know that God loves me and is always looking out for me, I can trust that his directions are indeed good. I can know that He wants good things for me and will work things together for my benefit and not to my destruction.
I don’t know what you’re facing right now, but I know that God is good. Every time I have entered into a period of transition or stepped into something scary, God has pulled through and, despite all the bumps in the road, I’ve come out better on the other side. And I believe he will do the same for you.