Miscellaneous

Act Now, Ask Later

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. James 1:5-7 NIV

“The only stupid question is the one that you don’t ask.” I can recall hearing that expression repeatedly as a student in elementary and high school. That phrase was supposed to encourage those of us who were too timid or embarrassed to speak up. Nothing that we could ask was deemed too silly. In fact, withholding the question meant possibly not having pertinent information and that was silly. I fully understood the logic, but that still didn’t motivate me to ask my questions. I’m not sure if I feared that people would think that I wasn’t as smart as I thought I was or if I felt that I was too smart to even have questions. Honestly, it was probably a combination of both! That fear and pride often resulted in me having to do extra work because instead of asking questions when I was unsure, I just carried on as if I knew. After I realized that I truly didn’t have a clue what I was doing, I asked the question and had to re-do all of my work. It took me a while to realize how ridiculous my antics were. Why not just inquire in the first place? How much time and energy could I have saved if I just asked the questions to begin with?QuestionMarkAndChecklist

It wasn’t until I got to college that I truly changed my way of thinking. I was determined to graduate with honors and knew that asking the right questions was going to be critical to my success. Although I was doing better in school with asking questions before I acted, my personal life wasn’t mirroring the same. Many of the bad decisions and wrong turns were a result of me failing to ask any questions before I acted. Maybe I could’ve avoided unnecessary heartbreak if I asked God, “Is he a part of Your plan for my life?” Wasted efforts and energy on fruitless projects could have been avoided if my line of questioning included, “God, is this venture a part of my destiny?” Should I do this or should I do that instead? Do I accept this employment offer? Is this really a great deal? There are so many answers that could have been beneficial to my life if I only asked them before I acted.

Let’s face it; we don’t have all of the answers in life. Being fully aware of our ignorance and need for knowledge, God promised to supply us with pertinent information. The only conditions for receiving wise answers are that we have to (1) ask and (2) believe the answer. The Word consistently reminds us that receiving an answer is contingent upon the question being asked.“Ask and it will be given to you…” (Matthew 7:7 NKJV) “Yet you do not have because you do not ask.” (James 4:2 NIV) Yet we often find ourselves in similar situations to the 7th grade version of me. We won’t ask because we think we know exactly what needs to be done in our life. Even worse, we are not really interested in getting His opinion on the affairs of our life because we want to do it our way! That seems like a great idea until we are struggling and in despair based on what we chose to do. Life could be so much easier if we consulted Him first.

The other important aspect is that when we ask Him, we have to believe and not doubt. Believing God’s answer is much more than simply thinking that His answer is truth; it’s doing what He tells us to do. If we ask God if we are supposed to be in relationship with a certain guy and He answers “no”, believing Him means that we move on. There is no room for trying to make it work or sticking around and waiting for things to change. Disobedience proves that we don’t believe God’s answer and that makes us double-minded and unstable in all of our ways.

Asking before you act doesn’t guarantee a life without hiccups along the way, but it does promise that you will always be journeying inside His perfect will. And as the song goes, “The safest place in the whole wide world is in the will of God!”

Dear Daddy,
I am sorry for all of the times in the past where I acted first before considering what You would have me to do. Please remind me to seek You before I make any life-altering decisions. Help me to act according to Your answer and not according to my desires. I know that You have my best interest in mind and I want my actions to reflect that. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to ask before you act! Engaging God in your affairs before you take any big leaps can save you wasted time, unnecessary heartaches, useless energy, pointless pain and so much more! I EMPOWER you to act according to His answer! Show that you believe what God says by obeying His word.

Do you have an experience where you acted first before consulting God? What were the consequences? Share your story below.

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Mrs. Kristen Harris is a wife, a mother, an entrepreneur and a dedicated servant-leader. She is extremely passionate about women’s spiritual advancement, hence the founding of EmpowerMoments. As an avid reader, Kristen enjoys reading the Bible and other non-fiction pieces. Her driving inspiration is when God says to her: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) She currently resides outside of Chicago, Illinois with her wonderful husband and three lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.

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4 thoughts on “Act Now, Ask Later”

  1. This Empowerment is for me!!! 2 questions: 1-When you ask God, how do you discern with confidence between His response and your inner voice? I sometimes struggle with this. 2-Can you recommend a study bible that makes it plain?

    1. Hello Tuere! Sorry for the delayed response. There are few things that let me know when it’s God speaking to me versus when it is just me telling me what I want to do (LOL). First off, when it is God, it will definitely align with the word of God. If it is out of line with the Word in ANY way, then that is not of God. Even a minor stretch or bend or the Word is not Him speaking to you. Next, I usually know that’s it is God when it’s something that I would not normally conjure up in my own mind. For instance, if I get an idea to do something or try an idea that would normally seem insignificant, scary or even crazy to me and the thought just never subsides, then I feel that Him giving me direction. The final way that I know is the one that offers me the most confidence. When I have PEACE with a decision, I know God was all in it. When I am uneasy until I do what He’s instructed, I know that it’s Him speaking. When He tells me to do something, I don’t feel bad when I do it. Regret, condemnation, uneasiness, etc do not accompany the action. I once backed out of a major business transaction at the last minute. I had some apprehension of going through with it so I prayed and prayed and asked God to give me an answer. The day before it was to be finalized, my spirit had no rest. God told me that it wasn’t the right move. The normal me would have never backed out at the last minute, but I had no peace in my spirit that entire day until I called to say I would no longer be apart of the deal. Once I did though, it felt like a burden was immediately lifted from shoulders. (I later found out that there was some illigeal, underhanded stuff going on.)

      I said ALL of that to say, trust your Holy Spirit! It is not always wrong to listen to your inner voice, as long as you are listening to your Spirit and not your flesh! Joyce Meyer has a morning devotion, “Hearing From God”, on the mobile Bible app. That may be a good starting place for you.

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