Tuesday, June 9, 2009
I'm More Afraid of . . .
As I was talking with Mary Ann about Sunday's teaching on Genesis 16 (in which Sarai gave her maidservant Hagar to Sarai's husband Abram to try and get the son God promised them Abram would have) I was struck with a thought: I am more afraid of my good intentions than my bad. What I mean by this is that I don't set out to deliberately disobey God or do "evil" things and I can pretty easily recognize those things and say "no" to them. I usually know and recognize when my intentions are bad, and it is really then a simple question of choosing to obey God or my flesh. Whichever decision I make it is clear and I usually am aware I am making it.
It is my "good intentions" that are really, for me, the most dangerous. I believe that Sarai and Abram had really good intentions. Think about the depth of Sarai's good intentions and desire to do for God that she would give another woman to her husband. But, those good intentions---decieving in how dangerous they are because they are "good"---caused tremendous hurt and pain for those involved and have caused ripples of unrest and war to this day.
So often we step out of that place of pure faith, of trusting God completely, and don't even realize it because we are "good intentioned". But, really, our good intentions can easily be a substitute for faith and standing on God as we seek to take some level of control back, or at least to feel like we are "doing something." This isn't to say that faith doesn't require action. Not at all. But it must be God-directed action. Peter's intent to save Jesus from Jesus' fate was met with, "Get behind Me Satan" because Peter was not mindful of the things of God but of the things of man.
The life of faith sometimes seems like a scary free-fall because we are living totally in a realm of trust, but it is really the only place we are securely in the center of God's palm. I need to make really, really sure that my "good intentions" are not really a running ahead of God, or a substitute for trust and faith. The last thing I want is to be in a place where I am not in God's will, and I am finding I get that way more often acting on my "good intentions" than my "bad" ones. Thoughts? Comments? Or did this even make any sense at all?