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The Dangers of Presumption
9 March 2013
Although this article can be read on its own, it is also the fourth in a series of articles. You might like to read the previous three first, in order to understand the context that the following thoughts were written in:
In my last article, we consider the question: Is every open door meant to be walked through? We specifically looked at the life of Yeshua (Jesus), to see if His example could help provide an answer. After considering a number of verses from the Gospels, we found that Yeshua did NOT walk through every door of opportunity, but sometimes let a seemingly great opportunity slip by. He was able to make these kind of decisions because of His moment by moment communion with the Father through the indwelling Holy Spirit. He expects us, as His followers and disciples, to follow His example and live the same way.
Today I want to consider the recent events in my life in light of these thoughts. As I recounted in Last Day of Unemployment, a door of great opportunity was open to me last month, for which I had been praying for more than three years. As month after month of unemployment dragged on, I felt increasing pressure, from various sources, to find a job and earn a living.
So, even though after three years of unemployment we were in no financial need or difficulty at all, in my mind it seemed very obvious that it would be God's will that I find a job as soon as possible. In light of the above points I've listed above, how could I even imagine it might be otherwise?
Therefore, it didn't make much sense to ask God what His will was when I was offered a job, because it was already quite clear to me that such an opportunity and provision MUST be from Him. Plus, I was praying fervently that if this job was NOT His will, that He would slam shut this door of opportunity. But it stayed open, so I felt obliged to walk through it, despite the sense deep inside that it wasn't the right thing to do. As I wrote in my A Bizarre Meltdown article:
I had absolutely no desire for this job, no interest in it, no vision for it, no excitement or joy about it.... instead of positive thoughts and feelings about this job, what I felt inside was exactly the opposite. I felt like my doom had fallen, as if I had been sentenced to prison or some other horrible fate. My heart was filled with dread.... deep in my heart I didn't have a peace about it. There was no sense in my spirit of that "yes" or "amen" from the Holy Spirit which often confirms that we are on the right track.Another factor which came into play during this time was my deep, deep longing to be "wanted." For my three years of unemployment, I had been moaning and groaning: "Nobody wants me! How I wish someone would really want to hire me ... that I would be JUST the person they were looking for. If only someone would want me!" So, finally, here was a company that REALLY wanted me, as became very clear during the seven days I was working there. My wish had come true! I had exactly what I had been longing for and dreaming of! Someone WANTED me ... REALLY wanted me!
So, here are the factors that came together at the same time to create a "perfect storm." First of all, I felt great pressure, real or imagined, from family, society and religion to get off my butt and get back to earning a living ... to be a "man" ... to be "responsible." Second of all, I had this deep longing to be wanted and feel useful, and not a reject that nobody wanted. Thirdly, I felt that waiting over three years for God to tell me what He wanted to do next, and STILL having no answer from Him, was just way too long. I was tired of waiting for Him to speak! Maybe He was speaking to me through this open door of opportunity? Taking this job would solve all three of these issues, or so I thought!
There's a saying: "Be careful what you wish for!" Many times, what we really want is, in the end, not what we really need, and not really good for us. We frequently see this with children, and it's our duty as parents to be wise in meeting their demands, and give them what is good, not necessarily what they want. But there are times, especially when our kids are being particularly persistent in their nagging, that we decided to give them exactly what they're asking for. If they want it so bad, even though it's not good for them, then maybe the only way they can learn their lesson is to actually get what they want, and experience first-hand that it is NOT good for them. Sometimes our words have no effect, and they have to learn the hard way.
There are some verses in the Bible which describe this scenario in frighteningly vivid imagery: "They wouldn't wait for His counsel! In the wilderness their desires ran wild, testing God's patience in that dry wasteland. So He gave them what they asked for, but He sent a plague along with it" (Psalm 106: 13b-15). Gosh! If this doesn't hit the nail on the head, I don't know what would! These words seem to describe exactly what I went through with this whole miserable episode! I got what I had asked for, but I also got a plague along with it! I had been tugging on God's hand for so long, trying to pull a direction He didn't want me to go, that He finally let go of my hand, so I could fully experience the misery of having my will instead of His. Like the demanding child I was talking about above, I had to learn the hard way and experience first-hand that what I wanted was not the best for me.
Well, I think I've painted a pretty clear picture about what when wrong. In my next article — An Umpire Named Peace — I'll take some time to explore what I should have done instead, and the lessons I can learn from the painful mistakes I have made.
This article is 12th a series of articles on this Web site related to My Journey with Yeshua (Jesus) which also includes (scroll to see the entire list):
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