By Jim Lange
Last week my wife and I were taking our son to a new doctor. Connie had made the appointment and she told me the general area where we were going so I assumed she knew exactly where the office was.
That was mistake number one…which led to mistake number two.
Because I had assumed she knew where we were going, I did not use my phone’s GPS to guide me.
Which led to mistake number three.
When I discovered that Connie didn’t know where we were going, I became frustrated and angry at her which made for a very unpleasant car ride. Looking at this now, I realize that it wasn’t Connie’s fault; rather, it was my assumptions that led me to not use the tools I had at my disposal which led to us not being able to find our way.
How similar is that to our daily lives and our walk with God?
Consider this scenario:
- I wake up in the morning, and because my day looks fairly “routine”, I decide to skip my time with God. I assume that I really don’t need His guidance today because it’s just a normal day and I know I can do what is necessary to bring the results I need.
- I proceed along my day, never connecting with or thinking about God and what He desires for me this day.
The problem with this is that it’s possible for me to get to the end of the day and still feel like the day was a success. After all, I may have gotten a ton of stuff done. This could lead me to repeating my mistakes tomorrow and the next day…all because I have made a wrong assumption about success.
|530 Billion Dollars!
That’s how much the institutional church has spent on itself since 1980, and the percentage of evangelical Christians has not increased by even one percentage point. It’s time to ask some questions. Read, “Is the Institutional Church Really the Church?” Learn more here.
I used to think, and I sometimes still do, that success had to do with what I had accomplished. However, I’m starting to understand that success is really about being obedient to what my Father wants me to do. For example, sometimes He may want me to simply rest (Though difficult, I am actually beginning to see resting as being successful which is very foreign to me).
Looking at the negative progressions mentioned above, let’s look at what can be learned:
- Assumptions can be very dangerous and lead us to think we can do life without God (these can be assumptions about success, our need for Him, what He has or hasn’t done for us in the past, etc…);
- These assumptions can keep us from using the tools at our disposal which help us to connect with God. Some of these include the Bible, prayer, journaling, fasting, Bible studies, worship, etc… (If you would like some ideas on ways to connect with God, I encourage you to go to www.calmingthestormwithin.com and click on my free course about developing intimacy with God near the bottom of the page). Please keep in mind that the tools, though helpful, are not what’s important – a heart that seeks God is the important thing (see Jeremiah 29:13-14).
If we can avoid the assumptions that keep us from seeking God and actually pursue Him, we can avoid many frustrations in life. If we are successful at this, this doesn’t mean our lives will be free from pain; however, our lives will be much more fulfilling.
“But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. If my people would but listen to me, if Israel would follow my ways, how quickly would I subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes!”
About Jim Lange
Jim Lange lives in Lambertville, MI (just outside Toledo, OH) and is the president of Five Feet Twenty, an organization that coaches leaders and helps them to be all God made them to be (go to http://5feet20.com to get his free monthly magazine). He also leads monthly Truth@Work roundtable groups (http://truthatwork.org). His latest book, Calming the Storm Within: How to Find Peace in this Chaotic World along with some great free resources can be found at http://calmingthestormwithin.com.