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Extra step just might be too far

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POSTED April 4, 2014 11:51 p.m.

“He is the one who will build a house for my Name….”

2 Samuel 7:13


In my family, I’m famous for going one step too far.  For example, when I barbecue a steak, instead of taking it off the grill when the juice runs clear as the experts say, something in me says, “Just a few more minutes.”  

It’s within those few extra minutes that I go too far.  My once perfectly tender fillet has now become a slab of rubber.  Another example would be parking.  Once, while backing into a parking spot, I noticed a pole.  I backed up slowly, but instead of leaving enough room as all the good driving manuals had taught me, I gave in to that little voice that said, “Just a little bit farther.”  The loud crackling noise of my taillight smashing into a pole was a clear sign that I had gone too far. 

My most recent example of this “too far” syndrome with which I struggle happened a few days ago.  I wanted to try waxing my eyebrows for the first time, as if plucking them wasn’t painful enough.  I followed the instructions and heated the wax, smoothed it under my eyebrow, placed the cloth across the hot wax and then yanked.  It didn’t hurt too much, really. 

I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, Hey, I did a good job.   Then that little voice came back.  Not the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit mind you, but my own loud inner voice that said, just one more time.  

There was no reason for it but I just had to do it. I had to go one step too far.  As I carefully re-applied the hot wax, somehow, with no explanation for it, my hand slipped, causing the wax to cover almost my entire eyebrow.  Now, if you know anything about the whole hot wax experience, then you know that whatever hair the wax touches is coming off. Removing it gently did not change the inevitable.  Once the wax came off, so did half of my eyebrow, the consequence of going one-step too far.

God loves to use these types of illustrations to teach us about ourselves – to remind us of the importance of doing only what He has called us to do.

King David understood this concept. In 2 Samuel, Chapter 7, King David had a pure-hearted desire to please God by building a temple in which God could dwell.  However, God made it known that although He had called David to be king, He had not called him to build a temple.  That honor was set aside for King David’s son, Solomon.  

King David could have gone one step too far, listening to that little voice that might have said, “Go on, do it…it’s all for God, anyway,” and begun building.  Instead, he recalled the lessons he had learned long ago.  Going one step too far had had consequences. (2 Samuel 24:1:3)  Now, King David accepted with grace the boundary God had set, and instead of going one step too far, he stepped aside in order that his son could build the temple.

Think about what God has asked you to do at this time in your life. Possibly He has asked you to speak, teach, build, sing, cook, or dance.  Perhaps, He has even asked you to do the most challenging thing of all – to wait.   Whatever it is, know your boundaries.  God assures us that His favor and grace is upon us and upon the specific things He has called us to do.  Even though it may be a “God thing,“ taking God’s plan for your life one step too far can often bring unexpected consequences. Who knows, if you’re not careful, you may even find yourself walking around town with only half an eyebrow! 

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