Last week, I was having a conversation with my friend about some decisions she needed to make regarding leaving her job to go back to school full-time. Of course, the questions/thoughts ran the entire gamut:
"Why does God want me to do this?"
"Why does it take another degree to do xyz?"
"I have to know why things are working the way they are."
"I know I probably shouldn't be questioning God by asking why but I want and need to know!"
I listened intently to her series of questions and the holy spirit brought something up.
"The problem with a lot of believers is that they always have to know why. They need to know every intricate detail before they can move forward with what I've told them to do. Instead of focusing on the why, focus on the how."
My friend and I, as we always do, got to squealing and hollering about such good revelation -- but it wasn't over yet.
"Focusing on the why reveals a trust issue. If you truly trust God, why question the details? You say you're in faith but you prove each and every time you're not if you have to spend countless days wondering why something is the way it is."
Say word! We stay playing "20 Questions" with God.
I was reminded of the story of David and his battle against the Philistines in 2 Samuel 5. David was the newly appointed king of Israel and hadn't been in his seat for very long before he was faced with an uphill battle against those who hated him. He captured Jerusalem (verses 6-9) and by verse 17, was up against a HUGE army of Philistines.
When David learned that the Philistines had covered the valley of Rephraim, he went to God and asked:
"Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?"
The Lord replied to David, "Yes, go ahead. I will certainly hand them over to you." (verse 19, Amplified version)
Notice, David wasn't all like, "Lord, I just got here -- why these folks hatin' on me? Why I got to do all this? Why? Why? Why?
He simply wanted to know HOW this thing will happen. He sought God about how things would go -- would he be successful? God told him "Yes." That was all David needed to move forward.
But check this: in verse 22, David was faced with the SAME problem -- those big head Philistines were back (after getting their first crew's tail whooped) to try to take David down.
David inquired of God of what to do (the HOW) and God said:
"You shall not go up, but go around behind them and come upon them over opposite the mulberry (or balsam) trees. And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then bestir (or move around) yourselves, for then has the Lord gone out before you to smite the army of the Philistines.
And David did as the Lord had commanded him, and smote the Philistines from Geba to Gezer." (verses 24-25 Amplified version)
God gave David instructions on HOW to defeat the Philistines again (and notice, it wasn't the same instructions as the first time -- this is why we have to seek God daily on what to do and how to handle things. What worked in the past may not work this time around.) The second time, all David and his crew had to do was hide behind the trees and move around like there was tons of folks behind the trees hiding. Made no sense (the why), but David's obedience to the how is what made him victorious.
What my friend (and even I) learned in our conversation is that the only thing we have to focus on is the HOW. She believed God was moving her into preparing for a new season in her life where education would be the focus -- instead of asking why, she's decided to ask God how: what do I need to do? How do I need to prepare? How should I best position myself for what's coming next?
And don't you know God will answer? Just as He did for David! He will give specific instructions on what to do, how to do it, and when to do it!
Let's shift the focus of our questions. No longer should we ask why, but how. God's promises are true and will come to us -- we just have to know how to get them to manifest.
Follow Alisha L. Gordon, M.Ed. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AlishaLGordon