As a leader, I desire to be a life-long learner.

“Wise men and women are alway learning. Always listening for fresh insights” ~ Proverb 18:15 The Message

This captures it—always listening for fresh insights. I don’t want to be guilty of Hardening of the Categories as the late Dallas Professor Howard Hendricks called it.

There is a concept in the legal field called “Confirmation Bias, which is the idea of holding a certain belief or stance on an issue and being closed to listening to anything new that might challenge it; but rather looking for things to confirm it.

Last week a close friend of mine, Mike Coppersmith, shared a verse with me:

“The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives”~ Psalm 37:23 NLT

Then Mike dropped this little nugget. He said that next to the word “Steps” George Muller had written in his Bible STOPS.

If you are not familiar with who George Muller is, follow this link to find out more:

George Muller

Now I don’t believe that Mr. Muller was attempting to add anything to Scripture but, rather, explore another way that God directs us by stopping a direction we may be thinking of heading, or stoping an idea we had from going any further.

Without doing an exhaustive study on all the times in the Bible that God directed STOPS, two come to mind:

1.  David’s desire to build the temple—God said STOP. Your son will build it. (2 Samuel 7)

2. When the apostle Paul wanted to travel East with the Gospel—God said STOP and, through a clear dream and vision, he was instructed to travel west to Europe instead. (Acts 16:6-10)

It didn’t take me long to decide to memorize Psalm 37:23.

Memorizing key verses or short passages of Scripture is one of my spiritual disciplines, and doing this has impacting me more than anything else that I practice!

As I have been meditating and praying the last several days with the idea of STEPS and STOPS in mind, here are a few initial ideas I have at this point.

It’s hard for me to accept stops, while it’s nice to follow steps. When I have an idea  I’m thinking about or a direction I’d like to go, I love it when He shows me the steps to make it happen. But when He says no or wait a while, my flesh doesn’t like it.

For me, it has a lot to do with the way I’m wired. I live and lead with a penchant for action and I often want to quickly move ahead with my ideas.

I’m understanding that His STOPS are just as important as His STEPS. I simply hate to wait. Impatience has resulted in more sin in my life than anything I can think of.

In this same Psalm 37 (NLT)  we read in Verse 7: “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.” I tell the Lord that there are two things I’m not particularly  good at:

  • Being still
  • Being patient

I’m beginning to learn  from this “Fresh Insight”  on how to appreciate the stops as well as the steps.

I’ve a long way to go on this!

God always answers my prayers. It is one of these three:

Go—Green light

Wait—Yellow light

Stop—Red light