“My soul, wait thou only upon God.” Psalm 62:5
Suggested Further Reading: Proverbs 3:1-8
We must mark God’s providence leading us; and then let us go. But he that goes before providence will be very glad to run back again. Take your trouble, whatever it is, to the throne of the most High and on your knees put up the prayer, “Lord, direct me.” You will not go wrong. But do not do as some do. Many a person comes to me and says, “I want your advice, sir; as my minister, perhaps you could tell me what I ought to do.” Sometimes it is about their getting married. Why, they have made up their minds before they ask me, they know that; and then they come to ask my advice. “Do you think that such and such a thing would be prudent, sir? Do you think I should change my position in life?” And so on. Now, first of all, I like to know, “Have you made your mind up?” In most cases they have—and I fear you serve God the same. We make up our mind what we are going to do, and then we go down on our knees, and say, “Lord, show me what I ought to do;” and then we follow out our intention and say, “I asked God’s direction.” My dear friend, you did ask it, but you did not follow it; you followed your own. You liked God’s direction so long as it pointed the way you wish to go; but if God’s direction led the contrary to what you considered your own interest, it might have been a very long while before you had carried it out. But if we in truth seek God’s guidance for us, we shall not go wrong, I know.
For meditation: We sometimes get it into our heads that God should do whatever we want, rather than the opposite. If we call him our Master, we should seek to play the part of his followers (Mark 10:35-40).
Sermon no. 144
2 August (1857)