There is an old saying in Scotland – “Whit’s Fur Ye’ll No Go By Ye” – which being interpreted means – “What’s For You Will Not Bypass You”. I suspect the saying is the secular equivalent of the fatalistic Hyper-Calvinistic view of predestination which has cursed and consigned to misery so many in my community. Indeed perhaps that is where the saying has its root – I don’t know. I am full aware of the theological arguments – but it is not my intention to address these here.
Some of us, including me, have in the past hidden behind smokescreen responses like this when challenged to action. “God is sovereign” in these matters we say or “God is in control and we need only leave matters in his hands”. I am sure he is on all counts – but in reading the New Testament gospels one might be excused for pausing to question such an assumption as an excuse for inaction on our behalf.
I imagine two blind men sitting in the summer sunshine by the roadside in Dumbarton when they hear Jesus is about to pass them. Turning to his friend Hamish says — “Don’t make a scene Calum – Whit’s Fur Ye’ll No Go By Ye”. “Aye right” replies Calum — “Have it your way but I’m going to make sure!” Calum’s attitude seems to me a bit closer to the mark!
“As Jesus and the disciples left the town of Jericho, a large crowd followed behind. Two blind men were sitting beside the road. When they heard that Jesus was coming that way, they began shouting, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” “Be quiet!” the crowd yelled at them. But they only shouted louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!””
Matthew 20:29-31 (NLT)
They were instantly healed! What would have happened had they remained silent? Of course we don’t know – but perhaps we can make an educated guess! And there are many other examples of active desperation in the ministry of Jesus and indeed the generations before and since.
But it is not only a fatalistic theology which prevents people from experiencing God’s blessing or healing. Naaman, the Syrian Commander [2nd Kings 5] almost missed his healing because of pride. Pride in his position – pride in his ethnicity – pride in his power – perhaps even pride in his theology. Humility is, I believe, a core necessity in the realm of blessing and healing. How many of us miss out on God’s best because of our pride? I strongly suspect I have for one.
Recently I reluctantly found myself in a situation where I was prayed for by two ladies publicly in a Church. All my pride, prejudice and cultural mindset fought against the position in which I found myself. However – in that prophetic prayer God revealed afresh his love, compassion, understanding and assurance in my life – as well as his promise of direction. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt God spoke to me through them – and I almost missed it – because of my pride!
For Gideon his achilles heel was fear and insecurity – and these robbed him of blessing, confidence, assurance, direction, vision, victory and destiny. Until –
“The Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!”
I don’t think Gideon expected to hear that as he cowered in fear and hid himself away from the challenge of action. Perhaps someone reading this needs to hear such a word ! He is with you today – by his Holy Spirit within you have the power of heaven at your disposal! Rise in faith – mighty man – mighty woman of God!
I have a sneaking suspicion that in the eternal day God may ask us if we want to see how life might have been if we had made different decisions. If we had said “Yes” instead of “No” or perhaps “No” instead of “Yes”, if we had followed his leading and the inner conviction of the Holy Spirit, taken a different direction, humbled ourselves, ditched our pride, and listened to his voice. I think we may all be very surprised!
“Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust,
And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works
Which You have done.”
Psalm 40: 4&5 [NKJV]