Stop, ask, then listen

If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open. (James 1:5)

How many times do we launch into life's daily activities, then come up against something that kind of bewilders us? It is likely at least once in a while for all of us, but sometimes this happens quite frequently - especially when life seems to be throwing you curve ball after curve ball. Sadly, I think a great many of us attempt to muddle through in our own effort, only stopping to ask for help from God when we get things so messed up that we cannot figure our own way out! We reveal a lot about ourselves by doing so - a lot about our pridefulness, stubbornness, and self-focus!

If we don't know what we are doing, why don't we stop to ask for help? H.G. Wells always said, "If you fell down yesterday, stand up today." How many of us have 'fallen down', attempting to do things without asking for direction or help, only to find ourselves falling down again and again as we repeatedly face the same hurdle? How much wiser would it be to just 'stop', 'ask', and 'listen'? I didn't say it would be easier, because when we have to actually go through the process of asking and listening, it requires us to STOP. Whatever it is, we have to STOP, ask, and then listen - that means we don't take a step forward until we have sought the direction we are to take.

I think we want to make good decisions, but we don't like to admit we need the wisdom of Christ to make them. We need only look as far as the Book of Proverbs to find repeated instruction in how to move - when to move, how to move, and when it is wiser to just not move at all. We have wisdom at our disposal, but do we STOP long enough to consider it? As we explored yesterday, we have to ask honestly - not with only 'half-truths' or 'insinuations' of our real need. When we are vulnerable like that, God can answer us with the wisdom we really need to work through the problems at hand. We will only 'stand up' today because we stopped long enough to learn from yesterday's mistakes and missteps. Just sayin!


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