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19 May '11

Sometimes our best action is no action

Posted by T.J. Addington in personal growth, prayer, problem solving, The heart
We are an action oriented society. Have a problem? Go fix it! Need something? Figure it out. The larger the problem, the harder we work. I understand that as a "strategist," "maximizer," and "achiever," in the Strengths Finder terminology. 

But.

Sometimes our  best move is to make no move until we have been still before God long enough to wait and listen for His promptings, or to allow Him to move on our behalf for us. Sometimes our biggest work is to resist our temptation to do anything at all and simply "wait on the Lord," and see what He does on our behalf.


Throughout the Psalms we have numerous references from David of waiting on the Lord for Him to act on His behalf. And that from a man of action, a warrior who understood that there were times to act and times to simply wait for God' to act on His behalf. As David wrote in Psalm 121:1-2, "I lift up my eyes to the hills- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth."


Perhaps we too often try to solve issues that God would like to solve for us if we were patient and waited on Him! Or, we act prematurely before He gives us the conviction that it is time to act. Our own level of anxiety can cause us to act prematurely and sometimes unwisely when waiting on God in prayer would have saved us problems and given Him time to act on His own.


This is particularly true in instances where we try to convince others to solve some problem in their lives (acting for the Holy Spirit - bidden or not bidden) rather than praying that the Holy Spirit would act in His way and His time in that individual's heart.


As my own faith has matured, I have learned to act less and pray more about issues facing me. I am constantly amazed at how God creatively solves issues that either could not have solved or in His fashion. When I am tempted to act precipitously I turn to the Psalms and remind myself that "The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore" (Psalm 121:8).