Monday, May 4, 2015

FAQ # 9 Analysis Paralysis



Time to write another post. I already knew the topic. Analysis Paralysis had been popping into my mind these last few days. I knew exactly what the Lord meant by that - it was a major factor in blocking believers from receiving God's divine directions. But which testimony would best illustrate the concept?

I grabbed our Maltese dog and settled onto the couch to pray. 

"Lord, what experience would best illustrate this concept?"

Then I waited and listened. I remembered how the Lord led me to buy our dog when I had said hundreds of times, "I'm so glad we don't own a dog!" and what a blessing he is. I thought about the time I did not want to attend a conference but ended up going when the Lord directed me to. Then there was the amazing way God let my daughter know which college to attend and how He got her in through an unusual set of circumstances. 

Story after story ran through my mind as I reminisced about God's faithfulness, but each one did not seem quite right to illustrate this blog.

Almost an hour had passed and I was getting hungry. 

I guess I'll grab some lunch and maybe the Lord will pop something into my head as I am eating.

He did!

As I headed for the refrigerator it dawned on me. God had just put me through another object lesson - one that I thought I had conquered for the most part. 

I had analyzed every God story that the Lord had brought to my remembrance. For various reasons I rejected each one using my human wisdom and reasoning. Never once did I ask, "God, is this the best one?"

How many times had I taught others not to analyze the problem that they had just given to God? Sometimes it was easier to recognize in others than in myself!

After committing an issue to the Lord then spending some time in silence listening and waiting for God's response, I usually ask the person I am praying with, "Are you sensing anything from God?"

Here is a helpful clue. If the response sounds something like this: "Well, I'm thinking that I really need to do thus and such, but maybe I should really do...." I then ask, "When you are listening for God's answer are you analyzing your choices and trying to figure out which is best?" Invariably the person says yes.

That is my clue to suggest that if we use that quiet time of listening to reason out the best answer, we will miss God's response. We have to hand the microphone over to Him and just sit quietly and expect He will answer.

When a distressing situation occurs or the decision we need to make is major, it is hard to do this! But it's not impossible. It does take practice.

Over time the Lord taught me to stop the brain chatter. When my mind learned to be quiet, His answers came readily, and I knew that it was His answer and not mine. "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10) serves us well when we are inquiring what direction to take.

It helps to remember that God's ways are higher than our ways (and much better!) and that His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Takeaway Points:
  • When you are asking God for His wisdom, silence your own. He may confirm your initial thoughts are the best answer, but many times He will provide you with a better solution.
  • Meditate on Isaiah 55:8-9 before you ask God for His directive. Be convinced in your heart and mind that you  really do trust His answer will be the best.
  • To avoid analysis paralysis focus on God, not the problem, as you sit and listen for His response. Quiet the brain chatter.
 







 

10 comments:

  1. Hello again from Cape Town South Afirica.
    This is so awesome, just this morning during my prayer time, God spoke to me about the stillness, and how much easier it is to hear from Him in the stillness.
    We hear and see better at this time as there is no chatter.
    Thank-you for this blog. I am faceing a huge battle right now and have prayed so much about it, and as yet I was not directed to do anything but to stand on the promises of God.
    Much love in Yeshua.
    Edward Cloete.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Edward,
      Sometimes God fights the battle we are in, and sometimes He directs us what to do to see victory. I'm so glad this blog spoke to you. Just prayed for wisdom for you. Keep listening with a quiet heart. He has you covered! Blessings...Jane

      Delete
    2. Thanks so very much for your encouragement, my dear sister.
      Blessings in Christ Jesus.
      Edward.

      Delete
  2. Am always looking forward to your blog. I was just metering to myself.."that my head is quiet" I think am ready to hear Him now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Muttering....not metering :)

      Delete
    2. Chukwuemeka,

      Sometimes getting our thoughts to stop can be a challenge. Some people listen to music or gaze at a landscape and let their mind relax. I trust you will hear Him at the right time. Blessings...Jane

      Delete
  3. Thank You Jane for this blog. This is something that has been nagging at me for weeks if not months. I have some deep financial needs. I sit quiet every morning listening for idea, concepts, some word from God but mostly sense - "wait on God" - I will do that for awhile. When nothing happens I strike out on my own, see an opportunity only to see the door shut before I walk through it. This has happened 5 or 6 times. This is polluting my faith. I can stay calm for awhile and hear nothing but silence, then pressure continues to mount. Its frustrating. That's when doubt comes in, then the fretting starts and I see now way out. I keep telling God, "I don't know what to do." I am sitting here now wondering what to tell my landlord as he is expecting the rent I do not have and wondering if I am missing God somehow. I am finding it hard to stand on his promises when the circumstances are just screaming at me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous, Waiting on God is hard and having our faith stretched is sometimes painful as it seems in your situation. I don't know if you have read my book yet, but there is a list on page 135 of possible reasons that God seems silent. There is also a chapter on avoiding discouragement. Be sure that you have said yes to God (Secret 1) - that you are willing to do whatever He directs you to do. I am praying that God will make His will clear to you. Blessings...Jane

      Delete
  4. Thanks Jane; That's the issue, God hasn't directed me to do anything yet. Your book is excellent but man its hard trusting God right now. Your line about having my faith stretched . I am trying to pass the test but, echk I am choking on this one

    ReplyDelete
  5. what I really would like to hear on this blog is people with testimonies as to how Janes book teaching has worked for them.

    ReplyDelete