More Than a Rubber Stamp
Conversations unfolded at length and sizable plans were taking shape.
By the time I was privy to the information, the excitement level over the likelihood of the near-future events occurring was palpable.
I was the rubber stamp of approval. The yes-man. The only obstacle standing in the way of progress.
Being left out of the planning didn't feel good. To not be asked my opinion or be seen as a valuable part of the decision making had me feeling deeply hurt and...well...quite angry about how the entire situation had been handled.
Today, while reading chapters 42 and 43 of the book of Jeremiah, the plank was pulled out of my own eye, and I realized I treat God the same way I didn't like being treated.
A remnant of Judah, on their way to Egypt, came to Jeremiah the prophet and said, "Please let our petition come before you, and pray for us to the Lord your God, that is for all this remnant; because we are left but a few out of many, as your own eyes now see us, that the Lord your God may tell us the way in which we should walk and the thing that we should do." (42:2-3 NASB)
They strengthened their petition by adding, "Whether it is pleasant or unpleasant, we will listen to the voice of the Lord our God to whom we are sending you, so that it may go well with us when we listen to the voice of the Lord our God." (42:6)
Sounds good, right? Sounds like their hearts are in the right place. But when Jeremiah speaks the word of the Lord to them, their true motivation is revealed.
God, through Jeremiah, says to stay put and not continue on to Egypt as they had planned. God warns them, "If you really set your mind to enter Egypt and go in to reside there, then the sword, which you are afraid of, will overtake you there in the land of Egypt; and the famine, about which you are anxious, will follow closely after you there in Egypt, and you will die there." (42:15-16)
God's word is clear cut, yet, in their arrogance, this group of men accused Jeremiah of lying and did not obey the voice of the Lord to stay in the land of Judah (43:2-4).
Their plans had been made, their minds made up. They were going to Egypt. Stopping to inquire of the Lord through Jeremiah was the last step on the way out. "Sounds good. Be on your merry way," were the only words they wanted to hear.
Many times, I am no different than this remnant of Judah. Whether in my head or in reality, I make my plans without consulting the Lord. I set the wheels in motion and come before Him in the final phases.
Like an architect with her blueprints, I spread my plans out before Him and ask Him to sign off. I have an agenda...there's only one thing I seek - for God to give His rubber stamp of approval and bestow His blessings upon them and me.
Father, You should be first, not last. You are much more than a rubber stamp of approval. Forgive me for treating You that way. Your plans are the ones I want to be committed to and excited about, but how can I know what they are if my mind is calculating the future without You? My own agenda aside, I want to say to You, "tell me the way in which I should walk and the thing that I should do" and mean it - and do it.