We need God’s guidance for every area of our lives—financial decisions, marriage, business, education, and anything that concerns us. Sometimes we’re going in the right direction, but the timing isn’t right. God not only knows what we should do, but how and when as well. Some choices may seem fantastic from our perspective, but if they aren’t God’s will, we will regret them eventually. As Christ’s followers, we have the Holy Spirit within us to guide us into all truth. But if we neglect His divine leadership and insist on going our own way, the Lord will let us face the consequences until we finally repent and turn back to Him.
When we refuse to consult the Lord and are determined to go our own way, we can expect the following results:
Confusion. We’ll start to question our decision and wonder if we made a wrong choice. God’s actions at the Tower of Babel demonstrate how He brings confusion when we make decisions apart from Him. Not only were their plans frustrated, but God accomplished His will despite them, as they scattered over the surface of the earth.
Conflict. We’ll experience internal conflict when the Holy Spirit gives us a sense of uneasiness, inadequacy, and doubt over our course of action.
Cost. Disobedience is always costly when we don’t do the right thing, in the right time, and in the right way.
Loss. We will experience loss at some point in our lives, whether emotionally or physically.
Regret. God chooses the best direction, time, and way. Therefore, if we go in an opposite direction, don’t wait for His timing, or do it our way, we will miss His best and suffer deep regret.
Pain. We may experience physical pain as the result of our disobedience, but the worst pain is that which is emotional. As we look back at our choices, we’ll be filled with thoughts of “If only I’d done this or not done that.”
Disaster. It could come to us financially, emotionally, or in countless other ways, but the result of disobedience is always disastrous because we didn’t follow the Lord.
Discipline. If we will not listen and obey God, He’ll discipline us. His goal is that we learn to trust in Him with all our heart instead of leaning on our own understanding (Prov. 3:5-6). Only then will He make our paths straight.
If we claim that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Lord, we should consult Him regarding every decision. He loves us, understands our weaknesses, knows what’s best for us and how to accomplish it, and can save us from the pain and trouble that could result from following our own self-directed path. When He directs our way, He ensures that everything works out according to His will because He has the power to accomplish it.
This article is adapted from the Sermon Notes for Dr. Stanley’s message “Planning Without God,” which aired this past weekend on TV.