The Reward of Pausing Before Acting By Babatunde Olugboji
For many of us, a moment of crisis is often a moment to do more, but sometimes it may actually make more spiritual sense to do less. It could be a time to give a good thought to potential intended and unintended consequences of our action before making a move. That window to think things through can have massive spiritual significance. Psalm 46:10-11 says: “Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth”.
The attitude of Joseph when Mary became pregnant was an apt illustration of this simple truth. Matthew 1:19-20 says: “Because Joseph, her husband, was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had pondered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to embrace Mary as your wife, for the One conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”
Joseph was understandably troubled, even livid, by Mary’s mysterious pregnancy. He was upset about what was before him, he didn’t know at that point what the future held for them and wasn’t completely certain how he should handle the situation. So, he thought the best course of action was to abandon her secretly, to walk away from her quietly. But for some reason, he was not comfortable with that decision. Joseph didn’t like what was going on with his wife, he thought perhaps another man was involved. But did you notice that he didn’t react in anger, he clearly didn’t take a hasty action, he wasn’t quick to jettison her; he didn’t yell at her. He paused, giving himself time to consider the situation. He pondered over it and took a moment to reflect. He mulled over what was before him.
Doing what first comes to your mind may not yield the best spiritual outcome. When faced with a challenging situation, an immediate reaction is not often the smartest move to make. The idea is not that we should stop all activity and stand in one place. What the Bible recommends is to be still and let the Holy Spirit minister to you. Being still means surrendering to God’s supreme will, stopping all contention, and acknowledging that he is the one and only victorious God.
When you receive a disappointing email, immediately clicking the reply button may not be the wise thing to do. Pause, like Joseph did, and allow the Holy Spirit to minister to you.
If Joseph had done what first came to his mind, if he had reacted hastily, he would have missed an appointment with the angel and messed things up. 2 Chronicles 20:17 reminds us: You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you.
Can you say this prayer this week:
King of glory, this week, helped me realize the importance of pondering and reflecting over situations and circumstances.
Help me learn to pause, be still when the situation demands, even when everything is telling me to be hasty.
I will keep on acknowledging that you are the God who fights battles, the God who is always a winner, the God who has never lost a battle.
Going forward, I will strive, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to be still, and witness your deliverance in my life.
Welcome to the month of May and have a great week!
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