“Write the vision and make it plain,” is what they say. And while they’re all yelling and eagerly professing, I wonder if they know who’s vision they are writing and why there’s a need to make it plain.
I don’t know much about Habbakuk besides the introduction of the book that I read in the NIV version and the four chapters I skimmed through briefly.
But I do know that God is the one who told Habbakuk to “Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it” (Habbakuk 2:2 King James Bible).
Habbakuk was seeking an answer from God in regards to what He was going to do about Israel and their wicked ways. When God finally responded to Habbakuk, He basically said this, “Here’s your answer, write it down. Don’t make it too elaborate or too complicated to the point where people can’t understand it. Write it as simple as possible. Make it plain so that people won’t be confused at all about what I’m going to do.”
So what does that mean for us? Are we still writing the vision and making it plain?
They say, “Delight yourself in Him and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
My nephew does this little thing where he’ll say, “I love you TT,” and he’ll keep repeating it. “I love you TT… I love you TT,” and he says it in the cutest, most adorable voice.
And then I’ll say, “I love you too, Gabriel… but you’re still not getting it,” (whatever it is that he’s interested in at the time.”
You see, I know his motives. And I know why he keeps saying, “I love you TT.”
Though he really does, I’m aware that in that moment he wants something from me. He thinks that if he “delights” himself in me that I will “give him the desires of his heart.”
Most times, I’ll just let him keep saying it until I finally decide to respond. Usually, if I say, “No” to something that he’s asking for it’s because 1) he doesn’t need it 2) it’s not good for him 3) because he’s already had enough of whatever it is and doesn’t need anymore.
I believe that I know what’s good for him.
Likewise, God is not giving us the desires of our hearts… at least not all of them.
When King David said, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4 ESV) he was speaking in reference to who God is and what He’s always done. This particular passage speaks to the fact that God won’t forsake the righteous at the hand of evildoers. That’s why he says that he has “never seen the righteous forsaken.” But delighting ourselves in God is not just a simple matter of telling him that we love him so that we can get what we want. Delighting ourselves in Him does not even mean that we read our Bibles everyday and that we love going to church. Rather, delighting ourselves in Him means loving him enough to the point that we trust His ways and are willing to follow His lead and His instructions.
But even then, God is not giving us whatever we want just because we “delight” ourselves in Him.
And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us.
1 John 5:14 (KJV Amplified)
According to His will… and in agreement with His own plan. That’s the only way that God will give us the desires of our hearts, is if He finds it suitable.
I truly believe that God gives us things that are desirable and enjoyable, but He will not let us have whatever it is that we want if it is not according to His plan.
We hear this all the time, but for some reason, I believe that we have difficulty understanding this concept. We say that God is the Ruler, He’s the King, He’s the Master, but we also say this is my life and I’m not sure why I can’t just have what I want.
“According to His will” is a hard concept for us to understand because we see it as a form of control. We say my life but under His control? I don’t get it. I’m confused. And then we go all off into “free will” and being upset and angry at God for not letting us do whatever it is that we want and be successful at it. Or maybe that’s just me.
You must submit to and endure [correction] for discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons. For what son is there whom his father does not [thus] train and correct and discipline?
Hebrews 12:7 (KJV Amplified)
Sometimes I’ll try to offer my nephew (who’s also my Godson) something different, something better for him, but he doesn’t want it–he won’t take it. That’s because his mind is fixated on the thing that he wants. He thinks that what he wants is better than what I am offering him.
So then I’ll say, “Okay. That’s fine with me.”
I get a little bit sad watching him because I know that he’s upset. And then it makes me even sadder because I know that if he’ll just try what I want to give him that he would like it.
Sometimes he’ll actually give in. When it’s food that I’m offering, he’ll go, “TT, it’s good!”
Then I’ll say, “I told you,” with a smile. And now my little heart is content.
For man’s anger does not promote the righteousness God [wishes and requires].
James 1:20 (KJV Amplified)
I’m not sure about you, but when I’m angry, I don’t want to talk to you. I don’t want to look at you and I don’t want to see you.
I’ve been this way with God before, especially when he didn’t let me have what I wanted to have. If you let anger between you and another person go on for a while eventually it’ll cause separation. It’ll cause the two of you to become distant.
I remember when God tried to offer me something and I said, “No.” That’s not sustainable, I thought. And because I went in search of what I believed was “sustainable” I never found it.
I became upset with God and proceeded to tell Him that all I wanted was to find something that was sustainable.
Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.
Proverbs 3:4-5 (KJV Amplified)
Truth is, I wasn’t confident in what the Lord was saying to me. It didn’t make a lick of sense to me. Instead, I relied on my own insight and understanding of what I knew about the world, what I needed to do, and how I should operate in it to be successful.
But failed miserably.
Sometimes we can even have “success” and still be in a state of confusion.
We can follow a “formula” and be confused about why that formula isn’t working and we can be successful and confused, knowing that “something still isn’t working.”
Either way, if we haven’t acknowledged Him in our plans, we’ll always remain in a state of confusion and bewilderment.
So, know who’s vision you’re writing before you write it. Is it of God or is it your own? Understand that God is not into giving us whatever we want because we obey His commands. Our desires still have to be in alignment with his plans for our lives. We have to come to a humble place of submission and truly recognize His ways as the best ways even when we don’t understand or when it doesn’t make sense to us. We have to know that following our own plans will always lead to frustration and confusion.
God’s meaning of success is different than our own. Until we recognize that and stop chasing our own visions of success, we will never experience the fulfillment that God has for us in Him.
Please feel free to share your thoughts… respectfully of course 🙂