The phone rang with some discouraging news. A project we’d been working on for months, that we thought was in the bag (at least in principle), was starting to look unexpectedly shaky. It really caught me off guard.

I found my mind wandering during my other morning appointments, turning new approaches over and over in my head. What were we going to do? How were we going get this project back online again?

What Now?

When I stepped out of my meeting and had some time to clear my head, my gut instinct took over:

I called on a couple of trusted advisors.

We tried to discern the underlying motives, we strategized counter arguments, we brainstormed ways to tilt the scales back in our favor. All good things. Normal business moves. But there was one key thing my gut reaction didn’t lead me to do:

Pray.

I never once stopped to inquire of the Lord.

Strangely enough, I’ve been reading through the Old Testament accounts of Israel’s leadership disasters in the book of Judges and 1 Samuel and journaling my thoughts on what I see there. Over and over again, God rescued His people. And over and over again, they forgot Him and leaned into their own understanding. Chaos ensued, they eventually repented, and the whole process began all over again.

Why were these people so stubborn? So stupid?

Why am I so stubborn? So stupid?

The Problem

The problem is not in calling on trusted advisors (there is wisdom in wise, godly counsel). It’s not in strategizing, brainstorming, even fighting back! The problem is starting with human wisdom and not first stopping to inquire of the Lord.

What if our gut business instinct was to immediately turn to God in prayer? What if our hearts were so intent on abiding in Jesus that our involuntary response to conflict and stress was to find a quiet place to seek the Lord? What if our first reflex was to inquire of our Heavenly Father, on the fly, in the heat of the moment?

There is a time to use our God-given intellect, a time to pull together our team and discern the next best move, even a time to come out swinging (being a Christian doesn’t mean being a wimp). But what do we do first? Where does our gut instinct lead us? To save ourselves or to the Savior?

I want my gut business instinct to lead me first to Jesus. How about you?