About 30 years ago I attended a prayer group one evening at my church. I was a young Christian but was so in love with Jesus and spent every spare moment in His Word and His Presence. That evening He taught me a valuable lesson that I have never forgotten.
The group was small and we put our chairs in a circle in the front of the sanctuary. In attendance was a small, sweet lady that I had seen at church. I didn't know much about her except that she was single and lived alone.
Before the prayer time started she gave a prayer request. She stated that she did not have enough money to pay her utility bill that month and would we pray that God would supply the finances she needed.
I was a young mother at the time and my budget was extremely tight - but my bills were paid and I hated to see anyone go without- so when the prayer time ended I approached her and asked her how much her bill was. I gave her the money.
When I got home that evening, the Lord corrected me. I was shocked and replied, "But Lord, that was a GOOD thing!"
His reply was, "It was a GOOD thing but not a RIGHTEOUS thing."
He then began to tell me that He was teaching this sweet lady to trust Him and I had just thwarted His efforts. I had not asked Him before I gave her this money and it was not His will that I do so.
I immediately asked His forgiveness.
In everything we do, we need to be lead by the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians chapter 3 talks about our works being burned up if they are not according to the will of God. But we may not realize that when we think we are doing something for God, we may actually be opposing His will!
And we need to remember that God's will for one person is not necessarily His will for another. Often times I have seen others get very inspired by the Holy Spirit to do something and then assume that others are not obeying God when they are not participating. We each have a unique placement in the Body of Christ and a unique assignment. We need to forget our 'fear of man' and needing others' approval and carefully obey the Holy Spirit.
I love Rick Joyner's book, "There Were Two Trees in the Garden." God has given him an amazing insight into this subject of man's good vs. God's righteous. Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of Knowledge of GOOD and evil.
There are so many people who want to do good, never realizing that their 'good' may be outside of the will of God. There are so many who strive to do good in their own power and become exhausted and burned-out. There are so many that are doing 'good' with a desire for recognition. These are the works that will be burned up. We will have wasted our time and worse than that - we may have interfered with the will of God.
I have a habit of 'giving my day to the Lord.' As I seek God in the morning, I ask Him to order my footsteps for that day, to give me wisdom and to keep me in His will; to help me hear His voice clearly and obey His direction quickly. Jesus prayed, "...Thy will be done...lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil." Staying in the will of God will keep us continually refreshed and inspired and moving forward.
I found out later that this little lady only attended prayer when she need money to pay a bill and this was a common request from her. I have still made many mistakes over the years in this area but continually strive to be faithful to always ask God before I act!
love and blessings~