Imagine the situation of John Smith. He wants a raise. He makes an appointment to talk to his boss. In the meeting, he prefaces his request with some comments on his satisfaction with being part of a great team with a great mission. Then, he does not ask for a raise. Rather, John asks his boss to please let him know if he has any guidance on how John could improve his contributions to the team and the mission. He adds that he’s had a few ideas himself but would really appreciate insight from the boss’s perspective. Now, let us imagine that the boss immediately asks John to share a couple of his ideas on how he might improve his work. John gives the boss a list he has brought with him of the top three initiatives he had been contemplating. After a few minutes of discussion and clarification, the boss tells John he thinks items 1 and 3 on his list are very important. Then, the boss adds another item to the list, one he sees as most urgent from his perspective. The boss then thanks John for sharing his thoughts and encourages him to pursue the three important items they have prioritized together.
The following week at the staff meeting, the boss brings up the three initiatives he and John had discussed. He turns to John and says, “Hey, John, how about a quick update on how you’re doing with those initiatives?” John is sweating. He looks embarrassed. He confesses he has done nothing at all. Will John get the raise he was hoping for?
In our prayers when we get as far as John got in the meeting with his boss, it is important to implement. Here is what I mean. Several months ago in prayer I got some input on what I needed to do regarding some specific health concerns. I wrote the priorities down. I put them on my to do list. Then for several months I kept rescheduling the priorities. Now my pain is the price of my procrastination. Can you benefit from my error?
When God talks, it’s essential to write down his directives. It’s great to put them on the to do list. But if you don’t schedule them and DO them, they will not just happen. They will not get done. You want a raise in income, health, relationships? Listen to The Boss and EXECUTE!
Some people believe that God is infinitely patient. Even if we don’t execute in a timely manner, can’t we expect grace and mercy? The Book of Proverbs, Chapter 1, Verses 20-33 (Amplified Version), seems to convey a very different message.
20 Wisdom cries aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the markets;
21 She cries at the head of the noisy intersections [in the chief gathering places]; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
22 How long, O simple ones [open to evil], will you love being simple? And the scoffers delight in scoffing and [self-confident] fools hate knowledge?
23 If you will turn (repent) and give heed to my reproof, behold, I [Wisdom] will pour out my spirit upon you, I will make my words known to you.
24 Because I have called and you have refused [to answer], have stretched out my hand and no man has heeded it,
25 And you treated as nothing all my counsel and would accept none of my reproof,
26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when the thing comes that shall cause you terror and panic—
27 When your panic comes as a storm and desolation and your calamity comes on as a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.
28 Then will they call upon me [Wisdom] but I will not answer; they will seek me early anddiligently but they will not find me.
29 Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord,
30 Would accept none of my counsel, and despised all my reproof,
31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way and be satiated with their own devices.
32 For the backsliding of the simple shall slay them, and the careless ease of [self-confident] fools shall destroy them.
33 But whoso hearkens to me [Wisdom] shall dwell securely and in confident trust and shall be quiet, without fear or dread of evil.