I’m sitting at my big, beautiful, all-in-one, touch screen computer, updating the social media for the Underground Church Network. Now, I love this computer. I bought it on a Black Friday (exactly 1 year and 5 months ago) and besides my car, it is the most expensive thing I own. As I am sitting there, all of the sudden the bottom of the screen starts bouncing and my screen gets discolored. Being in complete and utter control of my emotions always, I freak out. I shut it down, turn it back on and it is worse.
I drive it down to the Geek Squad and lug that big, beautiful mess inside, just to have the technician tell me it’s going to cost me $600-$800 to replace a light inside that has gone out. Again, in control of my emotions, I ask how that can even be possible. He basically responds with the fact that because my computer has all the bells and whistles, I will have to replace each individual part they have to break open to get to the one, tiny, broken light. How can this be?!
I’m driving home with my expensive hunk of junk in the back seat of my car and I start praying. ‘God how could this happen?’ I didn’t hear anything but I knew what to do. Like so many ‘crises’ in my life, I’ve learned that instead of asking God why something is happening, the best possible thing you can do is praise Him for every good thing in your life. So I begin thanking Him for every blessing and slowly my mind corrected itself from looking at how big my problem was to how much bigger my God is.
As I am praising, a quiet voice speaks to me and says, ‘Did you ask me if that was the computer you should get when you bought it?’ All of my Bible training comes to attention and I say, ‘No! God is not a dictator that requires I get permission for everything I do!’ No sooner does that come out of my mouth then I realize just how silly that really sounds. Of course God is not a dictator. Of course God gives me free will and delights in the fact that I’m not a robot or scared to make a move for fear of it being incorrect. But…God does know the beginning from the end. God does know what will happen in the future and which choice will benefit me and Him most greatly. God does know me.
In the car, I had this ah-ha moment. Checking in with God before buying this computer or any other thing I’m doing in life isn’t asking permission, it’s wisdom. You see there is a fundamental difference in these two perspectives. One perspective says ‘if I don’t ask God before I make a move, He will punish me.’ The other says “let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”
That last one – it’s the Biblical one. It’s the mindset the Bible lays out for us in Hebrews 4:16. We do need to ask God’s permission sometimes, but it’s immature to see that as a negative. God is our Lord, but He is also our friend. He left His Holy Spirit with us to help us navigate through this thing called life. He is for us. He wants us to make wisechoices and good decisions, simply because they benefit us.
As I contemplated this, I realized that I hadn’t asked God about the computer before I bought it. If I had, He may have told me to buy one without the bells and whistles. He may have told me to opt for a different brand or go for the extended warranty. Who knows? I don’t. But what I do know is this: my God is a good God and He always makes a way of escape.
If we would stop in our daily lives to ask God if He has a say in what we’re doing or where we are going, we would probably be a lot better off. Including God in my life, even on a miniscule scale can only help me.
So, I am sitting here on my brand new laptop that I purchased that very same day. My experience may have been expensive, but the lesson I learned was simply priceless.