Out On a Limb

by Lester Young

You’re doing your level best to obey God’s leadings, day by day, step by step. You do what His Word and His Spirit tell you to do. And when you’re finished doing that, you look and listen for the next instruction. All the while, the clock’s ticking: some “deadline” is fast approaching, growing larger and larger with every passing minute as it steadily makes its way toward you. What’s more, as far as you can tell, nothing you’ve done has made a bit of difference in your circumstances. As a matter of fact, every step you take seems to only move you further and further… out on a limb.

But where is it written that’s automatically and unequivocally bad? Human beings (Christians as well as non-Christians) often tend to get caught up on the surface – that is, the appearance – of things, judging instinctively and overwhelmingly according to a situation’s “face value” alone. However, we Christians should certainly know better than that by now, because our initial reaction to adversity should always be, “Let’s get a take on what God thinks about this thing, and look at it through His eyes” (2 Corinthians 10:7; John 7:24, 8:15; Isaiah 11:3-4).

Alright, then; but how do we do that, “practically” speaking? Well, if you’re born again, you already have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). We, as His brothers, just have to get in the habit of actually thinking with it (Romans 12:2). We have to appropriate Jesus’ attitude and mindset as our own and go to our Father in the Word and in prayer, just like our elder Brother did (Philippians 2:5-6; Romans 8:29). After all, isn’t the Bible the Book of “God’s thoughts”? Indeed, that’s exactly what it is, from start to finish – and we can take comfort in the knowledge that He’s already thought about everything we’ll ever come up against (2 Peter 1:3; Deuteronomy 28:61).

Now, once you’ve got His thoughts on the matter – whatever the circumstance, issue or subject matter may be – make them your own! And that means even if you don’t personally agree with them. As a matter of fact, let’s just go ahead and put it this way: Especially if you don’t agree with them – because that’s the biggest, plainest, clearest clue you’re ever going to get… that you’re wrong. What else could you be?! If God’s Word is Truth – meaning He’s always right – and you disagree with something He’s said… well, do the math (John 17:17; Romans 3:3-4).

So don’t make your own ‘final and unchangeable’ judgment about anything that’s questionable until you’ve got God’s opinion and insights on it. Our Lord Jesus didn’t and neither should we (Isaiah 11:3-4; John 5:19, 30, 8:5-6). If you do have a question or even a disagreement with Him about His Word, by all means, the Father welcomes you to ask Him – and He promises to give you the wisdom you need about it, as long as you ask believing you’ll get it (Philippians 3:15; James 1:5-7).

The point here is that if you’re feeling kind of ‘out on a limb’ even after following the Lord’s leadings, it’s okay. As a matter of fact, it’s better than okay. Even if you’ve made some mistakes along the way that look like they could translate to an even farther fall, He’s still got you (Psalm 37:23-24; Micah 7:8). Just stay in faith toward Him. Instead of being out on a limb, consider yourself to be out on The Branch, where there’s actually no safer place to be (Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 33:15).

I’ll leave you with this: The ancient Israelites, after rolling out of Egypt with a high hand, were immediately maneuvered right into an “inescapable” position pinned up against the Red Sea, on purpose! (Numbers 33:3; Exodus 14:2-4) If you recall, that worked out pretty well.

Your deliverance is going to be magnificent, and God will get all the glory – just as it should be!

 

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