Friday, August 19, 2011
August 19th – Proverbs 19: Don’t Be Hasty!
“It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way.” – Proverbs 19:2
The first part of this Proverb basically tells us that desire without knowledge isn’t a good thing. Think about it, how many endeavors have failed because of a simple lack of knowledge? Many businesses fail and it’s not because the owner didn’t have the drive or willingness to work, they did. The business failed because this very willing motivated person didn’t have the knowledge to complete the task. The other extreme is having someone with all the knowledge necessary, but lacking the motivation. This is where many in the church are today. Knowledge is essential, but knowledge coupled with zeal and a willingness to work will get the job done.
We are then told that it’s not good to be “hasty” and “miss the way”. So what does being hasty have to do with missing the mark? Another word for “miss the way” is sin. When we are hasty, or when we rush we start to sin. Why is this?
“…everything that does not come from faith is sin.” – Romans 14:23
We are not to be led by circumstances, pressure or anxiety, but by the spirit of God. Faith is proactive, it’s not reactive; it’s responsive to the Lord, not circumstances. When we start to get too hurried, we stop listening to His voice. It’s very difficult to hear the still small voice of God in a tempest.
I remember several years ago when I was new to the things of God and hearing His voice. I had (and still have) a heart to reach the nations with the Gospel. I received a phone call from a minister friend of mine that breathlessly told me of this GREAT opportunity to go and minister in Russia. Everything about the trip sounded great! It would be my first overseas trip, I would be able to work alongside other more mature ministers and it seemed like all the details were just right. Then, this person threw me a curve-ball. “I need to know whether or not you are coming NOW!” All of a sudden the pressure mounted. Where would I get the money? Would I be able to get my passport in time? How could I get out of work or prior obligations so quickly?? I asked for as much time as they could give me and this person told me to call back within an hour.
Ok, I thought, I can take this hour and seek God about the trip and He’ll tell me simply whether or not I can go. So I went into my office, got on my knees and said, “Lord, speak to me!” So I waited… and waited. The clock was ticking down and my hour was expiring. I began to think through all the details, what I would need to do to be able to go, how to raise funds, etc. The minutes went by and I was only about 15 minutes from my deadline and God hadn’t said anything! In a panic I called my Dad and repeated the details of the trip. I must have been talking fast because he asked me if I was ok, I sounded stressed. I then told him that I had only a few minutes left to decide. He didn’t even think about it and said, “Call them back, your answer is NO!”
I couldn’t believe it, how could he be so sure, couldn’t I be missing a great opportunity?? He then told me very flatly, “All pressure is of the devil, God doesn’t lead us through anxiety and He is certainly not in a hurry. Any ‘opportunity’ that has to be decided NOW is a NO!”
God’s not in a hurry, so why are you?