Here are some questions that we can ask ourselves to see whether we are trying to do things ourselves or whether we are relying on the Lord.
Our Thoughts or God’s Thoughts?
Our Ways or God’s Ways?
Arm of the Flesh or Hand of God?
It is so easy to get ourselves in the way of what God wants to do in our lives. Isaiah 55:8 says: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.” We need to learn to seek the Lord in all things and follow His thoughts and ways. That requires spending time with Him and learning to hear from Him in order to get His direction before we run ahead of Him and pursue what we desire. We need patience in order to wait on Him because God does not always move in the way that we would like and in the timing that we would choose. When things do not happen quickly enough for us, we sometimes try to make them happen. When we force things, they usually don’t turn out well. God’s timing is ALWAYS perfect. The truth is that we CAN make things happen and sometimes God will allow us to do that! However, when we get impatient and do things on our own, there will be a cost. Either we will not learn the patience that He is trying to teach us through waiting or we miss the blessing that He had for us if we had waited.
I encourage you to take a few minutes and read I Samuel chapter 8. Israel wanted a king like all the other nations. They told Samuel that they wanted a king. It grieved Samuel and he spoke to the Lord. The Lord told him that they had not rejected Samuel but that they had rejected the Lord. The Lord told Samuel to warn the people about what the king would do to them but they still insisted that they wanted a king. They got the king they wanted but rejected God in order to get their way (I Samuel 10:19). God let them have their way but there was a price to be paid. They missed what God had planned for them in order to get what THEY wanted when they wanted it.
Recently, I have seen a couple of people who I dearly love get their kings. It grieves my heart that they did not wait patiently on the Lord and trust Him to give them what they needed in HIS timing. We can extend the arm of the flesh and do things our way or we can wait on the Lord and get the things God has for us by allowing the hand of God in the situation.