(All scripture from NLT except as noted)
“Some folks treat God like a lawyer. They go to him only when they are in trouble.” (Anonymous)
As adults, are we not guilty of doing things that we should not do, or not seeking God’s guidance before we just jump into the middle of things without considering all the possibilities? We start without praying about it and considering how God would prefer we get it done. Because we think that we know exactly what should be done, how it should be done and when it should be done in order to accomplish that need or goal that we have. Since we already have it all figured out, there is no need to be bothering God about such an issue – right? But our way may not be the best way and when things go wrong we wonder why.
There are times when things going awry may not be a very big deal; but, there are times that the results can be devastating to ourselves and/or to others. The fact is, for the most part, we humans are selfish and tend to be very fickle. We want what we want when we want it – and if it does not happen when or in the way we think it should we get upset. Then the blame game begins. We may blame a family member or a friend or society at large or God – we tend not to look to what is the likely source – ourselves.
In the midst of the blaming, THEN we may decide to cry out to God – sometimes even in anger. We have His Word to guide our lives and we can pray to Him at any time for guidance, but yet we blame Him even though we did not bother to consult Him. Proverbs 19:3 says: “People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord.” (The Message translation puts that same verse this way: ”People ruin their lives by their own stupidity, so why does God always get blamed?”)
I love this quote from Corrie Ten Boom: “Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?”
I believe that we would be much more successful in our lives if we would only remember that God will honor our prayers, especially if we think of prayer first as our guiding force, just as the steering wheel is the guide for your car. That spare tire that rides around in our trunk day in and day out only comes out when we have an issue with the tires that help to get us where we are going. When we have a problem (a flat) of some kind in our life as a result of trying to make things happen on our own, then we remember that we should have prayed. Imagine the headaches and heartaches we could prevent if we only thought to do things in the appropriate order.
Some people think that they should not bother God with small matters. But we should never just use God and prayer as a convenience. We should depend on Him and our prayer life as our critical sustenance – as that steering wheel that will guide us. We would save ourselves so much trouble. We have an almighty God on our side…He knows everything there is to know about us and He wants to be there for us in every detail of our life. No issue is too small or too large for Him.
Psalm 139:1-4 “O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.” Does that sound like a God that does not want to be bothered by us? We are generally brought up to be self-sufficient, so learning to lean on God and depending on Him for so much in our lives is not an easy thing.
“It doesn’t occur to us that when we keep God on the periphery of our lives, we have no business accusing Him of not ‘being there’ for us when we need Him.” “We are genetically prone to want a convenient God who is there when we need Him and will leave us alone when we don’t.” “The solution is to let Him be the integral and intimate foundation of our lives now before trouble comes.” (Chris Tiegreen)
So start living your life with God as your steering wheel – not as your God of convenience.
Written by Karran Martin – August 20, 2020