Wednesday, December 10, 2008

God’s plans are best

Some time after crossing the Jordan River into the Promised Land, the Israelites approached Jericho (Read Joshua chapter 6). It was time to take the first city of the Promised Land. How would they do it? God had a plan. God had a specific way by which He wanted to take the city and it was a strange way. It was far from a normal battle plan. In fact, it seemed rather foolish to most:
Walk around the city quietly each day and then on the 7th day walk around it 7 times. On the 7th time around that last day, they were told to shout. How would this work?
You know the story, the Israelites obeyed the Lord, followed His plan, and the walls of Jericho fell. “The victory is ours, when the battle is the Lord’s.” I find it interesting that the final instruction from the Lord was to shout. They were told that the victory would be theirs when they lifted up their voices in unison and shouted. Throughout redemptive history, we see the power of the spoken word. “The tongue has the power of life and death” – Proverbs 18:21. It has the power to bring down walls. Do you have walls in your life that need to come down? 

God’s plans for taking the land are not always our plans. But, His plans are best. When we follow His plans, we will find great success. When we ignore God’s way and do it our way, we will encounter poor results and often experience total defeat.

Remember the story of Gideon’s army? You can read about it in Judges 7. God’s plan didn’t make a lot of sense to Gideon and his people. It wasn’t a military strategy that had been used before. They had tens of thousands of soldiers, but God wanted to send only 300. And He wanted them to go to battle with candles placed in clay jars. Gideon’s army followed God’s way and experienced total victory, while the enemy turned on each other and destroyed themselves. “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise.” 1 Corinthians 1:27

Saul decided to not follow God’s plans. (1 Samuel 13) He was told to wait for Samuel to make the sacrifice before going to battle. However, because of fear and to keep his men happy, He didn’t wait and instead took it into His own hands. He disobeyed God’s plan. That was the day the anointing was removed from him and his family. He did it his way and lost everything: his kingdom, his son, and his own life. 

What can we learn from this?
We need to seek God’s plan for our lives. We are not promised victory on our terms. We are promised victory when we do it God’s way. Are you listening for His plans or are you just doing it your way, the way you’ve always done it, the way the world does it? I recommend spending time in prayer, seeking God’s face and His voice. Seek God’s plans and His ways before going into battle, before tackling the issues of life, before moving forward into your future, before ministering to others, before making big decisions. God has a plan and you need to follow it. 

There’s a popular song from a few decades ago called “I did it my way”. This should not be the theme song of a Christ follower. Instead, we should be singing the song, “I did it God’s way.”

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