I like watching those animal shows where you learn how they survive the brutal winters, or the intense heat of the dry and arid lands in which they live. Their ability to hunt for food and secure water is always intriguing. One thing is frequently seen in these shots - they don't 'settle' for the first thing that comes along. They 'lay in wait' for a while in order to be sure they are pursuing something they have a good chance of actually securing as their meal. I find it truly amazing how many of us humans "settle" for the first thing that comes along - something or someone appears to be whatever we think will fulfill our immediate need or emptiness of spirit and we 'jump' toward it. God's hope for us is that we will learn to be a little more discriminating in our choices - willing to wait until what 'comes along' is exactly right to fulfill that need. His desire is that we would come to use the wisdom and direction of the Holy Spirit to move us toward what truly matters and away from what only holds value for the immediate moment.
Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good; God probes for what is good.
(Proverbs 16:2 MSG)
We settle - God probes. God searches deep into a matter, investigating all the possibilities prior to taking action in our lives. If we look close enough, we will see just how many examples we are given in scripture of God's examining hearts, looking deep for ones who are committed to following him, we will find they weren't willing to 'settle' in their lives for anything less than finding him or his way. They could have "settled" for a run-of-the-mill half-hearted belief, but they probed deeper to find the commitment of heart that reveals a passion to be embraced by God's love and they found their yearning met and fully satisfied by his grace and love.
God is not a forceful God when it comes to his leadership in our lives - although he could exercise great force, taking control of our lives even when we didn't want to give it to him. He asks us to put him in charge of our lives - even though he could quite easily take charge of us, manipulating us like puppets on a string - because there is nothing as satisfying as being 'wanted' by one whose heart yearns for you. God is looking for open access to our lives, not just a glancing relationship with us. When this type of access is given, he is free to direct the situations and opportunities of our lives toward what will truly fulfill and truly bless - the things we won't have to 'settle' for in life.
It scares me to see how frequently we leave God out of our plans - trusting our own abilities or thinking rather than trusting in our Lord's oversight and protection. It is a foolish and dangerous predicament to find ourselves in - we are almost assured failure when we take steps God has not directed for our lives. Remember this - we may plan the way we want to live, but the very ability to live that life comes from one source alone - God. Our plans, in the hands of God, can be ignited into purposeful and fulfilling work. Apart from his Spirit's guiding force in our lives, those same plans fail - we find ourselves squarely facing having no other choice but to 'settle'.
God is always giving us new ability beyond what we imagine possible. e gives us the wherewithal to 'live out' what we imagine. He also protects us from stepping out into things that are sure to bring us defeat. Don't you think it is time to let God do some 'probing' in our lives, uncovering what he sees as impeding our progress? When he does, we will be free to allow him to energize us with the plans he has for us. We don't have to settle for the first thing that comes along that promises fulfillment - there is a greater plan he has for those willing to wait for his purposes to be fulfilled. Just sayin!