Ask Before You Act

 

“All heaven is waiting to help those who will discover the will of God and do it.”

J. Robert Ashcroft

All relationships are built on communication. Our relationship with God is no different. If I want to know what pleases my family or friends, I need to ask them. Taking time to dialogue with them helps me discover their likes and dislikes, as well as their dreams and desires.

The prophet Haggai came on the scene eighteen years after the Israelites had been released from their Babylonian captivity. Haggai urged the people of God to revive the work on rebuilding God’s temple. Twice in chapter one, the prophet exhorted them to “give careful thought to your ways.” (Haggai 1:5, 7) God’s people at that time gave more thought to their own houses than the house of God. Their time, talents and treasures were spent on their own things while leaving the temple of God in disarray. The Israelites were called to account by Haggai.

The scripture in Haggai encourages me to give careful thought to my ways and to persuade me to consider what God wants me to do. If God is Lord of my life than all of my interests are to revolve around Him. When God is central, then I don’t just do what I want to do, nor do I do what is right in my own eyes. Instead, I stop and ask God what He thinks is the right thing to do.

Judges 21:25 reminds me of today’s culture while putting the fear of the Lord in me. “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” If Jesus is king in our hearts then we will yield to His will, knowing He will be glorified in our obedience. The question I need to ask myself is, Am I building my own kingdom or God’s kingdom?

God gave me Ephesians 5:15-17 to focus on in 2014. “Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” One way to know God’s will in my life is simply to ask Him. If I was in the habit of asking before I acted, then more than likely I would be living as a wise woman.

God wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives: faith or finances, relationships or rearing our children, health or homes, along with our work or ministry. God wants us to ask so He can answer. As a result, our nearness to God deepens.

When you wonder about what to do next, stop and ask God. When you have a decision to make, cease trying to figure it out on your own and instead take a moment to seek what God’s thoughts are on the matter. I think God loves it when we depend on Him and ask Him what He thinks is best to do. Like a good earthly father would do, our heavenly Daddy also desires to give us His Fatherly advice. He waits to answer, if only we would ask Him questions.

Instead of doing what is right in our own eyes, let’s be like King Hezekiah in II Kings 18:3 and do “what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” As you look ahead to this week’s commitments, give careful thought to your ways. Ask before you act and wait for God to answer.

“He who does little, but in a state to which God calls him, does more than he who labors much, but in a state which he has thoughtlessly chosen…”

Augustine of Hippo

Relevant Reflections:

1. What area of your life do you need to give careful thought to your ways?

2. Stop and ask God what is right in His eyes and what He wants you to do.

3. Act on God’s answers. God is glorified when we obey.

 

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