WAITING OR MOVING? ACTION OR INACTION?
I recall a conversation with another woman leader who said a lot of Christian women just sit around waiting for God to do something. She believed women needed to be more proactive in their lives.
Is that true? If so, to what extent?
Careful wisdom is needed when trying to "make things happen." Here's what Sarah of the Bible said to her husband when it appeared God's promise of a child was not to be:
The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her" (Gen 16:2).
She didn't want to "sit around and wait for God" any longer.
But the plan turned sour. There was jealousy, and today there is still conflict in the Middle East as a result.
YOUR PLANS OR GODS?
Another important scripture to look at is this one:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways" (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Women can think they know best, map out a plan and take bold steps. But God might have a different plan. And even if God has a different plan, things may not work out as expected. God's work isn't always successful in the ways we imagine. The Apostle Paul is an example. Who'd want to end up in jail like he did?
Listening for God to speak before acting is important. Perhaps this is why some wise Christian women appear to be "sitting around waiting for God." If God says sit, sit.
LISTEN FOR GOD
The goal of every woman should be to have a well-developed ability to hear from God so movement is at his mention is obvious.
Of course, you're not going to sit in bed doing nothing. You're going to continue the assigned activities you know God has given you. He has called each of us to be a steward of our family, our possessions, and our finances. He has called us to love our neighbour and to minister to the poor and widowed. There are many day-to-day functions we will just carry out as normal ongoing activities until or unless we're interrupted or inspired with another order.
WHAT ABOUT REASONING?
Reasoning is something else we often do before acting. Reasoning makes sense. I hit my head on a branch I was mowing beneath with the lawn tractor today. I knew the branch was there and dangerous, but we'd put off chopping it down and, in the shadows, I missed paying attention to it.
As a result, my neck was wrenched backwards on impact. Today, I bore the brunt of neglect. My neck feels as though my head almost came off.
Reasoning tells me to get out there and cut the branch down tomorrow! I don't think God wants me to sit around and ponder this one. But I could just as easily injure myself or come up with a new problem if I don't ask God to guide me in how to complete the mission.
Including God in all details of life is important.
BE WARY OF ADVICE
There are many well-sounding experts around. Many of our closest Christian friends appear to be experts. Our social media contacts all tell us the latest thing we should be doing. But we can still make poor decisions by listening to the wrong advice. We need to avoid being deceived by being alert. Don't fall for every bit of advice you're offered (whether it's from a certified life coach or other person).
That doesn't mean you can't count on the educated advice of professionals. God speaks in many varied ways, and he brings professionals and counselors into our lives for our good.
When waiting for God to move it may seem like forever. Often we don't see how much we have moved until we look back. Being surrendered to God and asking for his daily advice gives us the confidence that we are right where we need to be. We can move forward in confidence when we've checked in with God first.
"For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose (Philippians 2:13).
Os Hillman* says, "God has equipped us with everything we need to make good decisions. Hearing His voice is the first step toward making right choices in life. Do you have a decision to make? Submit that decision to the Lord, ask God for clarity. Ask Him to make the desires of your heart the same desires that He has for you in this matter. Await His perfect timing on the matter. Then you can be assured of making the right decisions."