Get Out of His Way
In 1863, over 150 years ago, President Lincoln said in a speech,
“But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.”
Can you believe words that were uttered over 150 years ago so clearly and succinctly speak to us today? When I read this quote, I checked my heart and actions against it and realized that in many circumstances, I still get in God’s way. I sometimes take credit for the goodness God has placed in my life. And my pride and self-sufficiency blind me to the blessings that overwhelm my day-to-day dealings.
It’s easy to take the glory and acclaim for a successful business deal. It’s easy to strut around like peacock when life is good, and opportunities are lined up out the door. We naturally feel pride when the benefits stack up nicely, and everything is going our way. We often forget that God’s hand is on the pulse of everything good in our lives. Who we meet and the opportunities handed to us, all have His fingerprint on them. Now I’m not saying that we’re pawns in a massive, extravagant chess game God is playing. I believe that only 10% of life really happens to you, while the other 90% is how you react to it. So, although God puts an abundant amount of goodness in our lives, our response shapes its actual influence.
That kind of puts your responsibility into a whole new perspective, doesn’t it? And it sure changes the “blame game” we play with each other and God every day. If we lose money in the stock market, get in a fight with our spouse, make a mistake at work, or hurt someone’s feelings, we rationalize every which way out of our own responsibility in the matter. We give 90% of control over willingly. We say things like, “My spouse is a nag,” “The economy is destroying my net worth,” “That person was asking for it.” However, their part is only 10% of the equation. A considerable percentage rests on your shoulders.
The same is the case with God. How we react to his blessings makes all the difference to our relationship with Him. As Lincoln said, we can believe that it was “produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own” or we can be grateful for it. And by the way, gratitude, in itself, is a blessing.
So, are we in God’s way? Are we putting up roadblocks to his blessings? Are we railroading his benefits, and sticking the feather in our own cap? How are we reacting to Him in our lives? It’s 90% up to us. You can look at that as a blessing, that God would trust us with so much responsibility, or you can think of it as, “Why me.” Either way, you decide whether you’re in God’s way or not.
‘FOR MY THOUGHTS ARE NOT YOUR THOUGHTS, NEITHER ARE YOUR WAYS MY WAYS,’ DECLARES THE LORD.