Monday, November 13, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: A life lesson about not acting hastily

What God Taught Me About Not Acting Hastily

A devotional by Aubrey Taylor

“Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation,
A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation;
Whoever believes will not act hastily.”— Isaiah 28:16 (NKJV)

As a lifelong sufferer of anxiety, Isaiah 28:16 (NKJV) has brought me great comfort.

There have been many times in my life when I felt I had to do something. Spurred on by the belief that delayed obedience was disobedience (which can be true under other circumstances), I was always afraid that my slowness to respond or reluctance to act meant that I was in disobedience to God. Furthermore, I was taught to fear the consequences.

What grace one finds in the verses above. Yes, God does want us to obey, but He is also wants us to rest in Him and trust His Sovereignty—and His love for us! The Bible says elsewhere that He knows we are only dust (Psalm 103:14). He understands our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15) and will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle (Isaiah 43:17).

Further, the Holy Spirit is gentle. Anxiety, as I have experienced, is not gentle. It causes us to act hastily and recklessly. It can cause harm rather than furthering God’s purposes. That is not to say that His purposes can be thwarted by our mistakes, but simply that we may cause ourselves and others greater difficulty by not waiting on Him!

When I was in a season of severe anxiety, I remember feeling that I had to tell an employee at the grocery store that I had just published my first book. I didn’t just approach the employee once—but two different times! This example may sound silly to many readers, but I know there are those out there who can relate. I heard so many stories of people feeling that God was leading them to do something as random as go up to someone in the store and talk to them, coupled with a fear of disappointing God, I felt I simply had to do it…or else! Ultimately, though, I only frustrated myself and the employee. Further, stores usually have a policy that customers are not supposed to solicit employees.

Those who act hastily flit around as if they do not have a clear understanding of what they’re doing. They are like children who are distracted by a shiny thing, or who dash out into oncoming traffic because they are chasing a ball without looking both ways and thinking of safety before crossing the road. We can be sure that this is not God’s will for us. We are harder on ourselves than He is on us, and often, we are harder on each other as well. This verse is proof that He is not in as much of a hurry as we believe Him to. Though God does not want us to delay if we know His will clearly, He does not want us to act hastily either. In my earlier example, I acted hastily, on impulse to talk to this employee, because I feared the consequences if I did not.

Are we willing to trust in Jesus Christ to protect us from shame when we are called to do difficult things? Are we also willing to trust Him to cover us if we choose not to do something? Especially if we are prone to impulse, anxiety, or believing we have to imitate someone else, it may be wise to take some time to think and pray before acting. He will not shame us for doing so.

Let’s Pray:
Dear Jesus, thank You that You are sovereign above all, and that You hold the whole universe in Your hands. Help us to see that our fears and anxieties should not be the impetus for us to act, but rather, our actions should come from peace and confidence in You. You will be patient with us as we seek to determine Your course rather than stepping out into something simply because we feel we have to do it at that moment. Calm our anxieties, and give us a strong focus on who You are, who we are in You, and what Your purpose is for our lives. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “Be Alright” by Evan Craft, Danny Gokey, Redimi2. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

The only child of a single parent, Aubrey Taylor filled her younger years by creating characters and writing stories. This ended around age sixteen when music, friends and part-time jobs began to fill her time. After that came college, work, marriage, and children. 

It wasn’t until the world was beginning to come out of the COVID pandemic that God led her back to her love for writing, coupled with a passion she’d always had for history. It was time to start a new adventure! Her current long-term project is Gott Mit Uns, a German-perspective 20th century historical fiction series.

Aubrey lives in Upstate New York with her husband and three children. She’s busy keeping the home, caring for her family, doing research for and writing her books.

Aubrey enjoys music and is involved with the worship ministry at her church as well as a German choral group. She also plays gigs occasionally with friends as a singer and acoustic guitarist. After all that, she finds time to sketch, craft, and hike.

She is a lover of Jesus Christ, The Holy Bible, history, German culture, tea, and cats.

Aubrey has a special heart for those who struggle with severe anxiety, depression and PTSD.

Connect with Aubrey:

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