Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Judges 1:1-2 "Always Ask First"

1After Joshua died, the Israelites asked the LORD, "Which tribe should attack the Canaanites first?" 2The LORD answered, "Judah, for I have given them victory over the land." ~Judges 1:1-2 NLT

I have decided to tackle my first Old Testament book. The Old Testament is the history of the Israelite people and God's first covenant with man. Therefore, it can be difficult to glean practical lessons from listings of laws, battles, and prophesies. So I won't be going verse by verse in this study. However, there are many, many valuable lessons to be learned from the journey this amazing nation took to get where God wanted them as His chosen people. And, of course, God stopped me in my reading at verse 2.

Here the Israelites have just lost their beloved leader, Joshua, who had finally gotten them into the promised land after many years of wandering through the desert. Now they are faced with a dilemna -- how to remove the Canaanites from the land God has told them they are to live in. They immediately ask the Lord who should lead the charge, and He answers, "(The tribe of) Judah is to go...." Why is that significant?

What struck me was the fact that they immediately sought God's leading. How often do we face an obstacle and immediately stop and seek God's direction? Now may we may often do so in very large decisions or trials in our lives. We may ask for His direction in finding a job or asking for healing from a major illness or accident. And this is what the Israelites did. They sought God for a very big task at hand. And this is a good thing. I certainly do not want to take a job without knowing I am going where God wants me to be. And if I or a member of my family is facing a life-threatening illness, I am certainly going to claim healing in the name of Jesus. But what about all the other times....

How many times a day do I need to seek God's direction and don't? He desires to abide in every aspect of your life -- not just in the big decision or major crisis. Of course He wants you to seek Him in the "big" matters of life. But He is not just some super hero or mega-doctor. He is our Father who desires a relationship that is involved in every situation, every choice, every action of our life. He left His Holy Spirit here with us to maintain a running dialogue throughout our day -- guiding each step we take. Without His constant direction, I will be prone to selfish decisions and will miss out on amazing God-filled opportunities. I must connect with Him to begin each of my days, and then maintain that connection until I lay my head on the pillow at night. Without His guidance, I exist. With it, I live purposefully in His will. That is where I want to remain.

Further Thoughts:

  1. Do you just seek God's guidance in "big" moments of your life? Why?
  2. Do you think God doesn't really care about this "little" parts of your life? If so, read Psalm 139.
  3. What can you do to open that running dialogue connection with God in the morning?
  4. How do you maintain the connection throughout the day?
  5. How do we hear God's voice?
  6. What big and small decisions do you need to take some concentrated alone time with Him to seek his guidance for? When will you do that?
Father, forgive me for the days I try to guide my own steps and only look to you for the "big" stuff. I need you every moment of every day because by myself, I will mess everything up. Holy Spirit, direct my steps today. I want to say what you would have me to say, to think what you would have me to think. To go and do what you would have me to do. And to remain in Your presence moment by moment. Amen.

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