April 29, 2016

Reset Defaults According to God’s Word

Defaults …. We all have them. Those go to things that we do because they are as comfortable as our favorite pair of jeans. You know how it is. You get stressed and you default to________ (insert any of your defaults here). You get irritable and you default to________ (again, insert your list of defaults here). My default is chocolate! Stress, then chocolate; Bad mood, then chocolate; Happy day, then chocolate. Any chocolate will do. I once heard someone say “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”. Well, they obviously have never had chocolate!

Seriously though, what are your defaults? I was reading in James recently and came across the very common passage that says “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (Js. 1:5). I began to think about asking becoming the default. How many times do we actually stop and ask God for wisdom rather than just defaulting to our usual behavior? One Sunday morning, the pastor family usually has a bit of a crazy Sunday morning, I found myself running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Now I have actually seen a chicken in that state before and I never want to again, but you get the picture. I was buzzing from one task to another leaving an echo of my voice as I was shouting to one person about finishing a task and rapidly moving to the next one. I paused for a moment and I heard the Spirit of God speak to my soul and He said “Tammy, if you would have asked me for wisdom on how to handle your morning I would have given it to you.” That took me back and really made me take a mental break and do some reflection. Why didn’t I ask for wisdom as I started what I knew would be a whirlwind morning? I knew before hand that we had several people out of town and I was going to fill multiple gaps that morning. I didn’t ask for wisdom because, honestly, it is routine. I know how to address the tasks that were before me that day. However, God had insight that a few other needs were going to arise that I didn’t make plans and accommodations for … I didn’t know but He did. And guess what!? That morning I defaulted to chocolate. It just so happens that the youth ministry snack bar was in the whirlwind path on the way to the children’s ministry space where I was going. I defaulted to what brings some peace – Reece’s Cups! It was in that moment of default that God began to challenge me that we often neglect His wisdom because we know how to get things done.

I want to encourage you from Jeremiah 29

11 For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call on Me and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear [your voice] and I will listen to you. 13 Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and I will [free you and] gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’

Verse 11 is very common. We see it quoted everywhere. It is written to a group in exile. So many times we are in exile to our own stuff. It keeps us away from hearing the wisdom of God. But v. 12 brings so much encouragement. When we call on God, pray to him, he will hear us. When we have that deep longing to seek after him and search after him, He will be found. So many times, we default to our _________________ (I’m inserting chocolate here) instead of defaulting to searching and seeking after God. Maybe we default to yelling when the kids get out of control. Maybe its guilt when your husband does something you don’t agree with. Maybe it is insecurity when someone overlooks you.

I want to challenge you to embark on a journey of factory reset. Let’s reset our defaults according to the word. Seek God concerning your default and allow Him to direct you to a scripture to fall back on. God has a funny way of doing things. The same morning I defaulted to chocolate in my whirlwind of to-do’s is the same morning the pastor decides to call the church to a fast. Guess what isn’t the default any more …. CHOCOLATE! However, a cupcake would be nice LOL.