Tag Archives: letting God lead

Just Move On (Genesis 20)

Sometimes I read about Isaac and the feud with the Philistines over the wells, and think, “Why didn’t he fight for his rights? Why didn’t he stand up to the bullies and tell them he’d dug those wells, so they should just go and dig their own? Why should Isaac lose what he’d worked for?”

Instead, Isaac gave in, packed up and moved on to another location, dug another well. Then, when the Philistines came and claimed that well, too, Isaac reacted the way he’d reacted before. He packed up and moved on to yet another location, and dug yet another well. The Philistines took the second well right from under Isaac, and Isaac appears to not even have objected. He simply moved on.

That just isn’t done in 21st Century America. I mean, people have gotten into fist fights, even pulled guns on one another over parking spaces at the grocery. You don’t step on the  perceived rights of an American these days.

Was Isaac so weak, did he have so little faith that God would fight for him over the wells? What gives?

This is what I hear God say to me this morning: It wasn’t that Isaac didn’t trust God. It’s that Isaac trusted God a great deal. After digging the third well, and without any objection from the Philistines this time, Isaac said:

Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land. (26:22)

The truth is, sometimes battles present themselves that God does not want us fighting. Sometime we don’t need to respond if someone baits us with a political position, or a moral dilemma. Sometimes God wants us to back away, move on instead of taking up our battle position.

Yes, there are times God wants us to go to war. But sometimes war is not His will, even though Satan would love for us to jump into the fray. God may want us to move on instead.

Isaac was sensitive to God’s leading, and God led him to greener pastures where Isaac could flourish. I know you’ve heard it said, “Pick your battles,” and I think that is sound advice. Here might be the better advice, though:

Pick God’s battles.

Notice in the verse I quoted above Isaac said, “… the Lord has given…”

It wasn’t about winning a fight, it was about waiting for God’s best. And God always gives His best when we are in a position to receive it. Sometimes we just have to keep moving on until we are in that position where God can and will bless us.

Let’s determine to be in God’s Word every day, to pray without ceasing, and to be sensitive to God’s leading in every situation. Then let’s let God move in our hearts as to whether we fight or just move on. May He find us obedient however He leads.

 

Septemer 18 – Hold The Reins!

Ezra 1-3

Tens of thousands of people volunteered to help rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. They came from all over the countryside in order to be a part of this important undertaking. I can almost feel the excitement as they converged on the city.

The first thing they did was to build an altar. They offered burnt offerings morning and evening, they celebrated the Feast of Booths, and had a continual burnt offering going on. For two years they went before God without laying a foundation for the temple. Two years.

There might be a lesson here. Sometimes we are quick to jump on a spiritual sounding bandwagon that ends up disastrously. Sometimes pulling back on the reins, and slowing down a bit, gives us time to deal with our hearts condition, and time to let God reveal His timetable.

It’s not easy. Especially when we are excited about the possibilities. But we should never get ahead of God. And if waiting on God dims the enthusiasm, it’s probably God’s way of shutting the project down.

Has God laid a program, an activity, a project on your heart? Hold the reins and let God take the lead. Take time to confess sin, to spend time in God’s Word, and to pray before you dive in.

June 10 – Is This Sandbox All There Is?

Proverbs 22-24

The little boy doesn’t want to stop playing in his sandbox, so he ignores his mommy when she calls. He wants to play with the neighbor kids instead of taking a bath in the middle of the day. So when his mom picks him up to carry him inside, he kicks and screams. “No! I want to play. Why can’t I play?”

The mommy puts him in the warm bath and begins to wash her little boy, but he sobs. He slaps her arm away. Then, when she smacks his bottom, he pouts. He pouts as she dries him off, and puts his new clothes on him. Brand new jeans, and a new t-shirt with his favorite Ninja Turtle on the front. But he still pouts, arms crossed tightly in front of him.

The mommy scolds him. He pouts. She tries speaking softly, soothingly, lovingly. She hugs him. He still pouts. She buckles him into the carseat and he begins to cry. “I wanna play in my sandbox,” he says over and over.

“We’re going to Grandma’s house,” the mommy says. The little boy loves going to Grandma’s. But he stubbornly says, “No! It’s not fair. I wanna play.”

When they arrive at their destination, the mommy has to pull his arms away from in front of the boy where they are still tightly crossed. She runs her fingers through his still-damp hair, and straightens his shirt.

Taking his hand firmly in hers, they walk into Grandma’s house.

“Surprise!” he hears. He sees colorful balloons and streamers, presents and cupcakes. His cousins and friends are there, laughing and welcoming him. They begin to sing, “Happy Birthday.”

The little boy looks at his mommy standing beside him with a huge smile on her face. “It’s all for you,” she says.

The sandbox is forgotten. Let the party begin.

Solomon tells us not to envy what other people have. He assures us God has something better for us who are His children. The thing is, we only see our world in the space of a sandbox. God has a much bigger view of our lives.

So when Solomon tells us the humble will receive a reward of riches, honor, and life, we might think that means we’ll get a bigger sandbox, and get to play in it longer. When Solomon says generous people will be blessed, we think that means we’ll get a raise so we can buy more toys to play with in our sandbox.

Solomon tells us not to envy sinners because the reality is, they have no hope. You see, God is getting us ready for the party He’s got planned for each one of us.

We might see it as unfair that we don’t have the state-of-the-art sandbox our neighbor has. We can’t imagine there is anything better than having that sandbox. But God sees way beyond that sandbox.

We might feel the sting of his discipline. But sometimes He has to smack our bottom to get us ready. We might pout or complain or question. But God wants to take us firmly by the hand and get us to what He knows is ahead.

And what is ahead is so much better than a bigger boat, or a better job, or fame, or even health.

In my example of the little boy, it would have been so much easier on him if he’d gone without a fight. And that’s how I want to make my own journey to where God is taking me. I don’t want to fight Him, or question Him, or demand anything from Him. I want to put my hand in His and let Him lead me.

Because I believe that where He leads is so much better than this sandbox I’m living in right now.