I remember when I first fell in love with Korean food.
The restaurant was down the street from where I lived, and every day I drove by, it was filled with people. I never stopped to even question what kind of food it was, but over time I felt compelled to try it.
My husband came with me and we sat down to eat. It was at that moment I discovered my love for Korean food. It was something I never realized I was missing in my life.
In the same way, there are moments where I don’t realize how much I need God. There are times in my walk with God where I find I am in disagreement with him: moments of disappointment, pain, perseverance, and more.
When I wanted something but didn’t get it, or when I got something in life that I didn’t want. It is in these times that I have learned that God often provides the unexpected: something I didn’t know I wanted but was desperately missing from my life.
Below are four examples of others in the Bible who navigated their own disagreements with God only to find a greater purpose and experience in their life when they decided to walk with Him.
“Then Moses told the Lord, “Please, Lord, I’m not eloquent. I never was in the past nor am I now since you spoke to your servant. In fact, I talk too slowly and I have a speech impediment.” 11 Then God asked him, “Who gives a person a mouth? Who makes him unable to speak, or deaf, or able to see, or blind, or lame? Is it not I, the Lord?
12 Now, go! I myself will help you with your speech, and I’ll teach you what you are to say.” 13 Moses said, “Please, Lord, send somebody else.” 14 Then the Lord was angry with Moses and said, “There’s your brother Aaron, a descendant of Levi, isn’t there? I know that he certainly is eloquent. Right now he’s coming to meet you and he will be pleased to see you.
15 You’re to speak to him and tell him what to say. I’ll help both you and him with your speech, and I’ll teach both of you what you are to do. 16 He is to speak to the people for you as your spokesman and you are to act in the role of God for him. 17 Now pick up that staff with your hand. You’ll use it to perform the signs.”Exodus 4:10-17 ISV
Sometimes we disagree with God when we are afraid. Moses was afraid to confront the Egyptians who were enslaving his people, particularly because he had a speech impediment. Sometimes we feel inadequate for the things God calls us to do.
The interesting part of the story is that God responds to Moses, saying He is the one “who gives a person a mouth” and “makes him unable to speak.” So why doesn’t God make us perfect and able to carry out his purposes? Although God could do that, he doesn’t. Instead, God says he will help us, which requires us to see our need for God.
I personally think it’s inspiring that God chooses us despite our fears and feelings of inadequacy. When we disagree with God it is important to be aware of how fearful we are and to understand how that affects our trust and confidence in God and his plan for us.
- What insecurities or weaknesses make you feel inadequate?
- How do you think God wants to use those things to do good?
“When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.” 5 “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.”
6 And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! 7 A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking. 8 When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.”
9 For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. 10 His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed. Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!”Luke 5:4-10 NLT
In this passage, Simon and the other disciples were hesitant to do what Jesus suggested. Their experience fishing all night hadn’t gone well and they were skeptical that trying again would be worth it.
Have you ever felt disappointed after praying a lot for something or having your hopes up for a long time without seeing any results or answers? It is in these moments that it is especially challenging to push through, try again, and continue to trust God will come through.
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How trusting are you of God moving in your life? Do you feel unbelieving that God has a good plan in certain areas of your life?
One of the ways to overcome unbelief or mistrust is to remember who God is and the ways we have seen Him move in our lives already (Psalm 77:8-11). Simon says to Jesus, “But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” He trusted in Jesus because of who he was and it led to their nets being full and their lives being changed.
- How is God calling you to try something new and different?
- Are you willing to trust God’s character and try God’s way?
“Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.” 22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord.
23 Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it?
25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” 26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”Genesis 18:20-26 NIV
Abraham pleaded with God to spare the righteous people living in the dark and sinful cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Not only did God agree to sparing fifty righteous people, but Abraham went back and forth with God until God decided to spare the cities if just ten people were righteous. It’s an amazing story of God being moved by one man because he appealed to God’s character.
Sometimes when things don’t go the way we want, we assume God isn’t on our side. But Abraham saw that God was on his side. He knew that God valued mercy just as much as he valued justice, and he pleaded with God in a faithful and respectful way.
- When you care deeply about something, do you consider God’s heart toward it?
- When you pray and plead for others, do you have a deep faith and trust that God cares just as much or more about those things?
“He sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”Esther 4:13-16 NIV
Esther had a choice: protect herself or protect her people. The easier and safer option would have been to stay silent and hope someone else would step in. But Esther chose to do what was right by risking her life and helping her people.
How can we get to the point where we agree with God and are willing to do what he is asking of us? From Esther, we know that though she was afraid, she was inspired by God’s greater purpose. She was chosen to be queen at that specific time in history to do good and to change the course of history by saving many lives.
You may feel that what you are going through right now is too challenging, too difficult, and too much. But God allows us to be in these situations so that we can rise to the occasion and fulfill our purpose.
Esther also did not do it alone. She relied on Mordecai’s advice, prayer, fasting, and relationships. She was decisive and courageous with the help of God and her friends.
- How is God calling you to see the greater purpose for your life?
- How can you be inspired to deny yourself and to live for God and loving others?
Through all these stories, we see incredible people who overcame their disagreements with God and came out the other side with more faith and changed lives. Disagreeing with God is normal and happens a lot in the Bible, but these examples show us how to overcome it and walk with God instead.