This is what I told them, “Obey me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people. Only do as I say and all will be well.” But my people would not listen to me. They kept on doing whatever they wanted, following the stubborn desires of their evil hearts. They went backwards instead of forwards. (Jeremiah 7:23-24)
Most of us claim that we believe in God, but like the Israelites listening to Jeremiah we often return to our old ways and ignore God. We act as if everything depends on what we do, on our efforts, on what we know and that we can keep all the balls in the air better that anyone else.
I can handle this by myself or don’t worry about me or everything is fine, it is under control. Meanwhile, we are “white-knuckling” it through every day.
We are just as God made us, and that includes being needy and stubborn. Control freaks, perfectionists and the fiercely independent are not of much use to God, who created us all to fit and work together.
Whom, or what, do you unwittingly consult without going to God first? What guides you? Is it security, acceptance by other people, the stars?
One of the significant characteristics of our society today is our isolation from each other. We seem to be allergic to seeking help or to be thought of as “needy” unless we get backed up to a wall with seemingly no other options. We certainly would never allow ourselves to be vulnerable to another or publicly offer ourselves to God in prayer.
As we move through Pentecost this year, a time when our faith is frequently the highest, I’d like to suggest we try an exercise. Each morning before you start your daily activity, intentionally pray to God for guidance. Guidance for what to do and say in each moment, each encounter with others, in each situation. Each day write in your journal, or on your calendar, Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path (Psalm119:105). Then follow up on those feelings, those callings. At the end of the month, notice what changes might be happening in your life, what new directions your life might be taking.
Blessings to you all,