“‘Woe to the rebellious children,’ says the Lord, ‘who carry out a plan, but not mine, who make a league, but not of my Spirit that they may add sin to sin who set out to go down to Egypt without asking for my counsel’” (Isaiah 30:1-2).

This text applies to nations, the world, and individuals. They make plans and implement them. They draw up treaties, agreements, and contracts. The plans are not God’s. They do not ask the Lord for advice. Many Christians also follow this pattern. God says, “Woe to the rebellious children.”    

In the early stages of the conquest of Canaan, the Gibeonites deceived Joshua into making a treaty with them under oath:

The men of Israel sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the LORD. Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath” (Joshua 9:14-15).

There is a way to follow God’s plans that is not good, but is still better than following your own way:

“Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with a bit and bridle, else it will not keep with you” (Psalm 32:9).

It is not pleasant to have a bit in your mouth, a bridle on your head, and no understanding of where you are going. If we do not seek God’s will on our own, God, in His faithfulness, will jerk us around with a bit and bridle to ensure that we do not miss it.

God has a better way, His perfect way:

“I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go: I will guide you with mine eye” (Psalm 32:8).

This personal guidance from God is based on a relationship with Him which presupposes the forgiveness David prayed for earlier in the psalm.

“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:6 KJV).

“All our ways” includes business dealings, purchases, vacation plans, friendships, recreation, and every other area of our lives. If we are honest with ourselves, we will acknowledge that we seldom if ever share these with our heavenly Father. Perhaps if we started to share the details of our lives with Him, the joy and relief from strain would equip us for the big decisions that come our way.


*Excerpted from Being Christian. To purchase, visit ccmbooks.org/bookstore.