TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11 ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• We had an issue at our house yesterday with kids playing in the creek behind our house. We asked them to leave several times because 1) it’s on our property and if they got hurt, we don’t want to be sued, 2) we don’t know these kids or their parents and if they did get hurt, we wouldn’t know who to notify, 3) because of the spring growth on the bank, much of the creek is hidden right now so if they got hurt, and we weren’t aware they were back there, we might not even see them, 4) we heard them break a bottle back there so, we knew there was sharp glass, 5) I don’t want kids to get used to playing back there because I know how that creek floods after heavy rains. It was dangerous for many reasons.
But the most troubling factor for me was the older child (she was around 11), who rang our doorbell and tried to confront us. Mind you, we are strangers to her. Yet, she came by herself to our front door and tried to have an argument with us. I tried being nice and explain why, but in her defiance, she refused to listen and kept interrupting me to argue, “It’s just a creek.” Y’all, I admit… I’m not the most patient person when it comes to children. And being interrupted by a defiant child is one of the quickest ways to peak my Southern Mama temper. I immediately stopped with explanations and moved into, “Because I said so”—my own form of defiance to children who try to question my authority.
In the end, because these kids refused to stay out of the creek after being told three times, we called the police. The officer who took the kids home came back later and said their parents were unaware their kids had come so far down the street (we live in a cul de sac of a very long street with lots of side streets). We’ve been told it’s being handled.
After calming down, the part that really causes me the most concern is the child’s willingness to go to the door of a stranger. I guess I’ve watched so many episodes of “Dateline” and “Forensic Files,” it scares me. I’m grateful that it was us she chose to argue with. We’re not going to hurt her, but someone else might have.
As I’ve thought about it, we all have the spirit of a defiant 11-year-old in us, even as adults. When God closes a door, or tells us no, how often do we readily say, “Okay, God… whatever You say”? I admit that prompt acceptance and obedience have not always been my first inclination… I’ve done my own fair share of arguing, debating, and acting defiant because I didn’t get my way. I’ve banged on the door of heaven and tried to make my case to God. I have refused to listen. And I’ve even gone off mad, and tried again to have my stubborn way in a situation.
There are a number of stories in the Bible that show people’s tendency to be defiant to God. And they never won. I don’t know why we persist in doing it. But we are just as stubborn as a thousand generations.
Instead of looking at verses that deal with God’s anger at defiance, let’s go to Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” God has good plans for us. If we trust Him, debating with Him is a slap in His face because He has a purpose. We can’t say we trust Him if we aren’t willing to accept His closed doors and no’s… Those situations are clearly not in His plans and arguing just delays us from the better plan He has for us! And frankly, He doesn’t owe us an explanation. He’s God, we aren’t. He has the authority; we don’t. It’s His plan; not ours.
So let’s decide… do we want what we want for us more than God does? He has the big picture that we don’t have… I’m glad and grateful for His plan. And I pray that He continues to temper my defiant spirit.
Today, as you pray, thank God for His plans. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you accept them, even when you don’t know or understand. Ask Him to give you a heart that willingly obeys and accepts Him at His word.
SHARING ••• Please share with others! Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. ***Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.