Slow Down

Michael Beck

“Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” (John 5:19)

How often we need to deny the impetus to act or speak without the permission of our God. Many a “good” idea should be shelved. God spoke through Isaiah to a religious people: “I will declare thy righteousness, and thy works; for they shall not profit thee.” (Isaiah 57:12) Jesus said: “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63)

The subtle error of the religious man is to mistake the momentary heat of his own spirit with the sure leading of God’s Spirit. There is a time to question even our strong desires to do what seems right. “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” (Matt. 14:28) Looking back, Paul realized he had moved in a zeal that was not good. “I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.” (Acts 26:9)

Zeal is good, but it so often needs tempering. God must teach us to “go softly” before Him. (Isa. 38:15) He made the ambitious and headstrong Jacob to limp. (Gen. 32:31) Jesus is the paragon of perfect worship. He walked as we should walk. He did nothing of Himself. Let us follow Him, even if that means slowing down.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.