Prerequisites

doctor-563429_1920Do you know what it takes to be a nurse? I don’t mean can you stand the sight of blood… I mean, can you handle what it takes to get a degree in nursing? I did some checking… it isn’t easy.

I found Medical Surgical Nursing on the long list of required courses. Ooo, let’s start there. It sounds very nurse-y.

Then I saw there were several prerequisites. As in prerequisite: a thing that is required as a prior condition for something else to happen or exist.

Good golly, Miss Molly.

In order to even enroll in the course about real nursing, you have to finish Nursing Research, A Global Community Outlook, a math course, and eight much less nurse-y courses. Global Community Outlook? What…?

So I redefined prerequisite: the boring or less glamourous stuff you have to do before you do what you think is really more important.

Sometimes we ignore the prerequisites. Like pre-washing diapers. Priming before painting. Sweeping before mopping. Proofreading the email before hitting “Send.”

And how does that work out for us? Stained diapers, chipping paint, muddy mopping, utter embarrassment, right?

Raise your hand if you never skip a step. I dare you.

So why do we think we can gloss over select steps that God gives us? Like this:

…if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.     (2 Chronicles 7:14)

He made it pretty clear to Solomon:

  1. Humble yourself
  2. Pray
  3. Seek His face
  4. Turn from your wicked ways

Once again. Step 1: become humble… or lose the pride, stop being the boss, and get over yourself. That’s what I hear anyway.

Then we can pray. Pray authentically and deeply and without an agenda. Pray for His will to be done. Pray without thinking that we have the answer and all He has to do is listen and nod. Pray with a thankful heart because we know He’s in control. We really don’t know what He’s going to do, but we trust Him anyway.

A note from the author:
Please don’t try to figure out what direction I lean by these words. Please don’t make this about a party or person or ideology. Thanks – please continue.)

 

Currently, our focus is on important decisions. We postulate about who would do the best job, or who will appoint the best judges, or who will do the most for the working man or the underprivileged or the Christian.

We pound our fists, roll our eyes, sit in little groups and preach to the choir. We share the latest, most outrageous news leak, historical blunders and bad decisions.

We speak with authority – as if we know God’s mind and heart. We pray for what we believe is true and right, which is what we are supposed to do… as long as what is true and right is biblical.

Biblical. Not an interpretation or a “leading.”

Please do not misunderstand. I know without a doubt that leadings from God are real. He speaks to those who call Him “Father.” He speaks in many ways, and challenging someone else’s leading – especially someone who walks the talk – is usually way above our pay grade.

But leadings are not Scripture. We can pray through our leading – pray for wisdom about what we believe God put on our hearts. Pray for how we should proceed. Pray for clarity. But when we skip the humility part and start praying back to God something that we think He told us, we are venturing into the deep end of the pool.

So, yes. “Dear Jesus, heal our land.” But beware of “…by getting this one, who is clearly Your choice, into office.” That last part? I may think it’s right, you may think it’s true, but unless we can find the chapter and verse? Well, you know that old expression “Don’t get above your raisin’“? Take heed, my friend. Go back to Step 1: get humble.

And remember. God always gets it right. He puts first things first. He’s never out of order. He never forgets. He never overlooks or misses or lets it slide.

So, think about this the next time a nurse walks toward you with a syringe. I’m pretty sure you’ll want her to be well-prepared. I’m pretty sure you’ll hope she didn’t miss any steps. Even a course titled A Global Community Outlook.

 

God always puts first things first. He’s never out of order. He never lets it slide. Click to Tweet

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