By Maria I. Morgan

There is something about a formula that makes me feel comfortable.  It takes the guesswork out of things and gives me a reliable way to come up with an answer.

When I looked at the definition of ‘formula’ I had to smile: a prescribed and more or less invariable way of doing something to achieve a particular end (Encarta English Dictionary).  That is definitely how I like to approach things. And exactly why the Lord doesn’t lay out a formula for this thing called life.

A trap

Formulas crowds out the need for faith:

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6, KJV)

Did you catch that?  We can’t please God without exercising faith in Him.  Formulas leave God out of the equation and lull us into self-reliance.

Sarah’s mistake

Remember Sarah, Abraham’s wife?  God had promised that she and her husband would have a child. Several years passed and when Sarah didn’t get pregnant, she reverted to the custom of the day: giving her handmaid, Hagar, to Abraham so she might have a child by this secondary wife.

Taking things into her own hands and manipulating them to have a child seemed like a good formula.  A baby WAS born – but it wasn’t the baby God had promised, and a whole host of problems followed.

We do it too

Before we’re too hard on Sarah, we have to admit we do the same thing.  When God doesn’t seem to answer our prayers, we pull out the formulas that are most likely to result in the goals we are after.

Just like Sarah, we can be impatient; but we have the opportunity to learn from her example.  When we choose to cry out to God during the times of extended waiting, we will be rewarded – with an accurate view of Him and an opportunity to become more like Jesus.

Your turn

Do you rely on formulas to live life?  What step will you take today to change this pattern?

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, forgive me when I rush ahead of You to reach my goal.  Help me be quick to always cry out to You.  Thank You for being my strength, rock, fortress and deliverer.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Maria I. Morgan in an inspirational writer and speaker. She is the award-winning author of Louie’s BIG day! Regardless of the age of her audience, her goal is the same: to share God’s truth and make an eternal difference. Now Available on Amazon: Outrageously Fruitful (a 10-week Bible study for women on the fruit of the Spirit)