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I attended a ladies’ seminar last weekend at which the topic was control, trust, and resting in God. Yeah, a topic that all women (well, men and women) need a reminder in once in awhile. My toes were heartily tromped upon, believe you me.
Then last Sunday, the day after the seminar, our Sunday school lesson was about Rehoboam and Jeroboam, two Israelite kings with different approaches to ruling (both wrong) that actually stemmed from the same thing: pride. I’m reading through the Old Testament in my personal devotions right now, and the one thing that constantly sticks out to me is how often the children of Israel strayed from God and came back again. If you don’t think we serve a merciful God, go read your Old Testament! Time and time again, God told His people that if they obeyed Him, He would bless them, but if they strayed, they would suffer the consequences of their own actions. Time and time again, God’s Words came to pass as the children of Israel turned to idolatry and were soon captured by their enemies. Why didn’t they get a clue? I mean, God was r-e-a-l-l-y up front with them and did not mince words about how to either have a nice peaceful life or live a miserable existence.
So then we study about Rehoboam and Jeroboam at church. Niether of them was very bright, in my opinion. Rehoboam was outright nasty to his subjects. Buddy, there are ways to get what you want, and telling your country that you’re going to make life rough on them on purpose is not a smart political move. As for Jeroboam, he played up to the people to get on their good side, but then he turned around and set up idolatry in the country. That’s not a great recipe for success when the one true God is the one in charge of whether or not you’re in a position of authority.
Talk about dumb. You’d think they would’ve learned after all those years of God’s advice, the children of Israel’s falling away, and subsequent horrific consequences like captivity, plague, and famine.
But then I remembered what I had heard at the ladies’ seminar. About control.
I like to have control of my life. I have certain ideas of how I want my future to look. I have PLANS!
I have a hard time giving those plans over to God, unclenching my fists, and opening my hands to accept God’s next step for me. I have a hard time only seeing one step at a time. I like to KNOW what’s going on.
Time and time again, I try to take control of my life. Am I really in control? *snort* Absolutely not, but I like to think I am. And because God gave me the freedom of choice, I sometimes do things that aren’t in His perfect will. And that’s sin. That’s straying from God. That’s a form of idolatry. I’m replacing God with myself. And that’s dangerous.
All this after God’s repeatedly telling me to trust, to let go, to let Him plan my life. He’s told me over and over that if I just let Him take over, He’ll do amazing things and I’ll be happy and content – at rest in my Father’s will. He’s also told me that if I insist on trying to run the show, I’m going to get myself in trouble.
Wow, I’m dumb.
I do the exact same thing that the children of Israel (and Rehoboam and Jeroboam) did! Over and over again. Realizing this was a lightbulb moment for me. We humans can be so blind to our own mistakes, even when God has made things so obvious.
Father, open my eyes. Remind me when I stray. And thank You for Your mercy.