Good ideas are a dime a dozen but God’s word often directs us in ways that we, ourselves, would not think of. Even more important, some of those things that we think of as good ideas are not just bad ideas, they are offensive to God and His holiness. They are also ultimately harmful to us: There is a way that seems right to a man but the end is way to death. (prov 14:12) The Bible is filled with passages that show us the problems of doing what we think is a good idea.
Abraham and Sarah thought it was a good idea to bring about God’s promised son through Hagar.
Saul thought that holding onto some of the Amalekite animals for sacrifice to God was a good idea.
David thought it was a good idea to take a census of the people.
People during Jeremiah’s day thought it was a good idea to go to Egypt.
The leaders of Israel thought it was a good idea to crucify Jesus.
Ananias and Sapphira thought it was a good idea to lie to God.
The list can go on and on but each of these people could have avoided the problems, curses, and consequences if they had simply combined a desire to serve God with a knowledge of His will. Paul wrote of his people: For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. (Rom 10:2)
God warned through Hosea that His people were destroy by a lack of knowledge; they did not know His word. He warned Timothy to study to show himself approved.
Often the zeal to do so is not the problem but the knowledge is. Of course, you could also argue that if one knew what God wanted of them, the zeal might diminish. In other words, we believe we are serving God when all we are doing is serving God according to our desires, not according to His. We don’t know His will and so we are unable to do so and yet, if we did know, would we be willing to serve?
I think a desire to serve God that is based on the recognition of our having sinned against Him and His Grace by sending His son to save us is a good foundation to build on. One may never know everything, nor is knowledge itself the goal, but it is part of our growth. We learn about Jesus by the preached Gospel, we are baptized in His name, and then we are taught the things he wants us to do (Matt 28:19-20) That last part is important too.
Paul wrote to Timothy so that “one may know how to behave himself in the household of God which is the church of God” (I tim 3:15)
Do you know how to behave in the household of God? If you do not read your Bible quite often, you may be as surprised as Josiah (2 Kings 22:1-13) to find out that you don’t!