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Wait on the Lord . . .

Wait on the Lord . . .

"Wait for the Lord and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you will see it." Psalm 37:34 (NIV)

Most of our family recently went to the Grand Canyon! Six big-sized humans fit into our Honda Pilot, and we had a great time!

I love vacations, and the planning part is almost as fun as the doing. I like to know what interesting things are along the highway, or off the beaten path, that we can see. I e-mailed an itinerary to the whole family a few weeks before we left! Without a plan, I feel lost on vacation.

Recently, I read the story of Israel crossing into the Promised Land again, and I noticed something I hadn't seen before!

Joshua and all the Israelites were crossing into the new land, with all of God's wonderful promises of help and strength, but they still didn't have a plan! They knew God had promised to defeat their enemies and give them this land. They knew He was leading them in this direction. But no plan.

Was there a plan? Just because we don't know the plan doesn't mean God doesn't have one!! In fact, God always has a plan.

In Joshua 5, the Bible says Joshua was walking around "near Jericho." He was probably scouting things out. He had already sent spies into the city. He may have been praying, asking God for a plan.

Suddenly, ". . . he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand." Joshua 5:13b (NIV)  Where had that guy been just a moment ago?

Joshua went up to ask him whose side he was on. The man answered that he was on neither side, but that he was the commander of the Lord's army. Joshua fell face down in reverence and shortly after, the man (now called the Lord) gave Joshua a strange battle plan that involved circling the city with the priests and fighting men for seven days. On the last day, they would circle seven times, shout and blow trumpets, and the walls of the city would fall.

One question that came up to me was why didn't God tell Joshua the battle plan early on? Why did He leave Joshua apparently confused and bewildered, walking around the city by himself?

While we don't have ready answers to these questions, I can see parallels in my own life. God doesn't always tell me what to do in each difficult situation I face. There are principles in His Word about how I'm supposed to act, but the steps I'm supposed to take often are revealed very slowly! And when I try to make a plan prematurely and take control, which I am prone to do, things seem to go poorly!

God delights to help those who cry out to Him and are willing to wait for His answer! "Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him." Isaiah 64:4 (NIV)

Why did God have such a strange battle plan? This was not normal protocol to march around a city for a week and blow trumpets and wait for a wall to fall.

There are probably some great answers to this question, but one obvious thing is that we humans tend to take credit for things we don't do! There's no doubt that if something good happens in my life, I tend to think it's because I did something right. In this situation, the Israelites could never doubt that it was God and HIS power that won the battle.

God wants us to have all our confidence in Him, His plans, His power, and His promises. Sometimes we have to stop, listen, wait, and trust to build that confidence. Everything in me fights against this sometimes, but the faith "muscles" God builds in me when I do things His way are priceless.

Andrea Phillips

Bible Teacher, Journalism Instructor, Newspaper Reporter

Wife to Greg; Mom to Josh, Sam, Jacob, Caleb -- Ruston, Louisiana



eThoughts Team - Extended Week-day Free Devotions -- Vol. XII, No. 08-08AP -- Archived

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