I have always valued the opinion of others tremendously. I understand there is a lot of value in the counsel of others when it comes to making decisions. Over the years, I have probably put too much stock in what others have had to say. To the point of not doing anything – out of fear of what someone may say about what I was attempting to do. (Writing on this blog has helped me some what with this).
There is a place we all must come to in following Christ. The place where we need to be is where we put aside the many voices telling us what we “ought” to do and follow what, “Thus says the Lord.”
I wonder how many believers there are filling up churches in America who are not living out God’s potential in them because of what someone else has said that discouraged them from living in obedience.
I’m afraid the number would be great. I think often times its human pride – the fear of failure – that keeps most from launching out into the deep waters of obedience. The fear of what others may think or say leads us to pleasing others and not the Lord.
Paul explained his meeting with the leaders about his call to preach to the Gentiles. He was sold out on what he was to do and yet felt compelled to make sure that James, Peter, and John were on board with him. But at the end of the day – Paul was going to do what, “Thus says the Lord.” Galatians 2:2 lets us know Paul’s meeting with them was out of obedience to God’s leading. “I went there because God revealed to me that I should go.”
I know I have had some crazy ideas and dreams during my lifetime. Some have been encouraged and some have been questioned with the thought, “I hope he knows what he’s doing!” Some dreams have been fulfilled and others well… who knows what happened to them?
I was having dinner with a friend the other night. His college aged daughter was there too. She was making her plans for her next trip overseas. His comment to me was, “Don’t you just wish you could go back to her age and dream like that?” Her response was, “These aren’t dreams – these are plans!”
Well, she shut both of our mouths wide opened!
But that’s just it… too often we operate our lives off of our dreams (fantasies) we have. When in reality we need to live in what, “Thus says the Lord.”
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”