The one who gives an answer before he listens—this is foolishness and disgrace for him.
Proverbs 18:13 HCSB
When I read the Book of Proverbs, I am not just pierced but cleaved, like a butchered chicken. The verse above is a perfect example of the Word that splices and dices me, and in this case, confirms a chastening. I was breaking under the load of several heartbreaking situations when I received the hook, crook, and rod of correction: I am to listen and pray, NOT FIX.
Fix It? No, Listen and Pray
This is not my first dealing with the heinous sin ‘fixing’ (otherwise known as I-AM-GOD complex), and it may not be my last. I may have even written about it before on this blog! Regardless, here’s what happened. The Lord had put several people on my heart in a big way, and, because I was holding onto them, I was drowning. I was a real mess. It felt like my heart was breaking, and I just couldn’t see a way out or through for any of them. And that was my problem.
Not only is it not incumbent upon me to see a way out for someone else, it is very much beyond my ability to do so. I was playing God and weeping over my failure to be All-Knowing and All-Powerful. Ludicrous! “God, where are You?! I don’t know what to do or what to say here! It’s all too much and too big – GAH!” What I was doing was looking for an answer within the tiny scope of my own reasoning and experience to fix things—“foolishness and disgrace.” What I didn’t do was listen and pray.
When God gives me people and situations, it’s NEVER so that I will fix things. But when I’m connected to it with my heart, it’s a work to unclench my gripping fingers and give it all to Him. It’s not easy to love someone and see them in pain, or lost, or imprisoned. My immediate reaction is to try to relieve that pain, or map a way out, or free them. And not only is that unhelpful, it’s not love. For me to stand in God’s way is incredibly selfish and unloving.
To Listen and Pray is to Love
I cannot save anyone from anything, but I can listen for God’s will for someone and then pray it in, too. I can listen and pray. It is a privilege to listen and pray for the people God loves! THAT is love.
God is going to give me more than I can handle – ALWAYS. That’s how much He loves me. My spindly sheep legs can bear no burden, so I’ll have to turn to Him. As He tells me every day, “turn and keep on coming to Me with all your heart,” “for My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Jesus has all the answers because HE IS the answer to everything. He just needs a vessel to pray that the Father’s “will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” It’s my great honor and privilege to be that vessel.
Listen and pray. When the Lord gifts me with a heartbreaking situation or an impossible person, it’s because He’s chosen me to be the vessel for His Living Water and Resurrection Life that are so desperately needed. I can fix nothing, and He doesn’t expect me to either. It is only mine to listen and pray.
The entirety of Proverbs 2 belongs here, but I’ll confine myself to verses 1-5:
My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,
So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;
Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God.
Man oh man Jennifer, this is good stuff!
Thank you Jennifer for that scripture . . . so much: receive, treasure, incline, apply, cry out, lift up, seek, search — all I can do right now is cry out; seems like a desert place I’m in, far from Jesus and I miss Him.
Oh, Jennifer, how many times you describe me in your blogs. Listen and pray, listen and pray. Can’t fix, but keep on trying. Love you dear girl
The heinous sin of fixing (I-am-God complex) is just as you say it is – SIN. And how I have lived my life in delusion that it was love. Thank you for sharing your life-walk with Him to correct, encourage and train.
It is always so amazing how the Holy Spirit works! I played catch up with all the blogs last week. My how the Spirit worked. Your message today was one of the messages the Lord spoke loudly to me. “Be still, be still and be still and then listen to My voice and be obedient. You cannot save the world! That is My job Linda!”
So I had to smile this morning as it was a gentle reminder to be DOING and praying only what He gives me to do and pray! Thanks Jen!
This has hit me in the forehead and the gut………..so thank you so much , God may use you to write it again next week or tomorrow!!!!
thank you, Jennifer ….
Thank you so much for sharing this!
I am forever amazed at the workings of God!
I hit the “send” button just minutes ago on an email containing some of your very words Jennifer!
He is so very generous…loves me so very much…cares enough to let me know that even on this earth I don’t stand alone.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul and all that is within me bless His Holy Name!”
The timing of this is start from heaven. Thank you Jennifer.
I’m listening and praying with you my friend.
I cannot tell you Jennifer how much I needed this. It’s 4:07 am and I just needed to hear this. Everything that you said is what I needed to hear! I’m trying to fix someone I love from horrendous sin that kills because I care about them so much. So so much. and I hate what they are going through. I mean IT KILLS MY HEART KNOWING! I had a past with this person and boy it’s not easy hearing. I just got off the phone with the person’s mother and got on Facebook and saw this Fresh post! Literally… Read more »
In the name of Jesus I pray your mind be stilled in His peace. May your heart and mind be filled with peace as the Lord does His work in this other persons life. Trust in Him alone and lean not on your own understanding because His ways are not our ways. They are better even if painful at moments! May you feel His Presence!
Wow, this is so spot on. Thank you…