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.
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).
- 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.