Can You Shed Some Light on the Tension Between Taking Action and Waiting on the Lord?
The following is an edited transcript of the audio.
Many times in Scripture people are rebuked for not inquiring of the Lord first, but instead acting on their own. Can you shed some light on the tension between doing and waiting on the Lord?
That's a good way to put it. It is a tension, because almost all of our doing is spontaneous doing that you would be insane to try to premeditate.
For example, right now here I am talking. If I tried to pause between each word to consult the Lord whether that word should be used and not another, I couldn't talk! Life can't be lived that way.
I use gestures. I nod my head. My voice goes up and down. Can you imagine how insane I would go if I tried to pause at every moment and said, "Should I use this tone of voice or gesture?" You can't!
Life is spontaneous 95% of the time! Which means that consulting the Lord happens in the morning over the Book, covering the whole day.
You say, "Lord, here I go. I'm going to go into life and I'm going to do ten thousand things with my tongue, my eyes, my hands, my heart, and my legs today. Would you please guide me? Would you so transform my mind and bring it into conformity to Jesus that spontaneously what comes out of my mouth would be helpful and loving to people? Because I can't pause at every moment in my life to ask you about this. You've got to be so in me and so fully functioning through me that my spontaneity is you!"
Now, that's the main way we live our life in consulting with God, I think.
However—I can't tell you what the criteria are for this—but for many things that you are about to do, it is good to pause and pray. Pause and ask God, especially with the bigger things.
Maybe that's one of the criteria: the bigger a thing is, the more fitting it is to pause, get your bearings, and consult with the Lord. And I would say, carrying on that kind of conversation with him all day long as much as you can is a good idea.
I just don't want a person to start to go insane because they're trying to pray over every gesture they make, every corner they turn, every bite they take, saying, "Is this of God?" We can't live our lives that way.
We live freely, and we pause often to consult with God.
©2015 Desiring God Foundation. Used by Permission.
Share the Joy!: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in physical form, in its entirety or in unaltered excerpts, as long as you do not charge a fee. For posting online, please use only unaltered excerpts (not the content in its entirety) and provide a hyperlink to this page. For videos, please embed from the original source. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.
Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. ©2015 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org