December 13, 2018
Can You Read God’s Mind?
When I look back at my childhood, I recognize a big disconnect that dramatically affected me during my teen and early adult years: what my parents wanted from me as a kid was different from what I thought they wanted. There were many reasons for this, but I wish I had known then what I know now about my parents’ intentions. I could have avoided so many wrong decisions along with the resulting heartache, suffering and regret.
In a similar fashion, many of my spiritual problems, which led to psychological and relational struggles, were the result of another disconnect—the one between what God really wanted from me and what I thought He wanted from me. God doesn’t need our plans and ideas. He wants our attention. He doesn’t need our obedience; He wants our relationship. He doesn’t need us to spend hours thinking up things for Him to do and bless; He wants us to spread His Word and grow and equip His flock here on earth.
Sometimes we go to great lengths to bring God down to our level, to make Him finite so we can understand His ways and plans. I am grateful that we serve a God who is so big that He is beyond our understanding, a God who is not dependent on our strength, our time and our money. If God was like that, what a mess we’d all be in! I believe that He wants us in a frame-of-mind where we know He is leading. He is our shield, and a shield works best in front, not from behind.
Therefore, our question must be, “What is it You want me to do, Lord?” Most of us don’t even know our own hearts. Our ways are not His ways. What He wants from us is clear and He reveals it in His word. If it doesn’t seem to make sense, then Satan is at work. Always default to what The Holy Bible says, not what you feel in your gut or think in your mind.
Today, take a piece of paper and draw two lines down the page dividing it into three equal parts. First, without hesitation, write down the first thoughts that immediately come to mind when you think about what God desires of, from, and for you. Then, in the middle section write what the Bible says God wants of, from and for you. Lastly, in the section on the far right, write down what other people would write about you based on their observations of your daily activities and their knowledge of who you really are. Ideally, all three columns would show the same observations. Unfortunately, we all have areas where the outside columns don’t match, or perhaps contradict, the middle column.
Hopefully, this will help you recognize some of the “disconnects” that interfere with your efforts to enjoy abundant living. The first steps toward change are self-reflection and self-assessment. Whether you believe that God’s desires for you are really the best for you or you believe you know exactly what you need without God’s input is your decision, so choose well.
O God, thank You so much for loving me as I am. I want to know Your desires and plans for me. At times, I have glimpses of them and actually live them. Then the world’s clutter and my old tapes start playing and I lose sight of Your real desires for me. Thanks for persevering with Your plans for me even though I take the long way to get to Your goal. Thank You for the trials You allow that cause me to increase my trust in You. Help me give praise to You during life’s tough storms. I know You are working all things out for your Glory. In the name of my connector to the Father, Jesus Christ. And all God’s children say AMEN!
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
“And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’” Zechariah 13:9
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Deuteronomy 6:5
“The thief comes to kill, steal and destroy; but I came that you might have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10