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Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Joshua 1:7
My family and I just returned from Spring Break at the beach. It was heavenly.
However, returning home to a to-do list a mile long, and laundry two miles long, my heavenly mind-set was quickly forgotten.
I woke up Monday morning later than usual, which always makes for a not-so-happy-Jill.
Even after my coffee, I wasn't quite feeling the spring in my step. It was totally void of spring. My spring had sprung out.
Fortunately, I made it to my little Monday morning prayer group and my attitude shifted substantially. Until, it was time to go to the grocery store. Ugh.
As I sat in the parking lot of the grocery store, going over my list, and balancing my check book to see how much I could spend, I received a text. It was from my daughter's teacher.
This is all it said: "Today, I had the students finish this sentence, "My mom always_______."
Presley's sentence said, "My mom always.....loves me."
Right there in the midst of my chaotic morning, I felt the gentle gift of God's grace and Presence.
He knew I needed those words. Perfect timing.
I looked at the clock. My daughter would be eating lunch in 10 minutes. I didn't really have time to go and eat with her at school. My day was jam packed already. Too much to do. Way too much.
In my pondering, I envisioned her sweet face if I were to show up and surprise her at lunch.
I went to the Lord in prayer immediately. It went something like this:
Lord, you know all I have to do today. Help me decide what to do. I want to see my girl and bring joy to her day. However, I don't want to make my day more stressful by putting off my duties. Lead me in the way I should go in this moment. Preferably let me know within the next 5 minutes! Thank you, and amen.
I left the grocery store and had lunch with my girl. The choice was clear in that moment. My stuff would just have to wait. It would be there all week.
Sometimes, we get ourselves so wrapped up in our "schedule", that we miss God's plan. We miss the moments that take us to the next step He has for us. We have a time line. We have a vision. We have a mission. We certainly don't have time to stop and ask Him for directions.
That's where we mess up.
When we can put it all down, sit with Him, and ask Him which way to go.....we end up on the path our souls really long for. His path. His way. His plan.
Often I have found myself doing things that "make sense". Things that seem to be "logical". Things that seem to be "perfect" for me. Things that others seem to be doing that "work".
A few miles down that road, I often find out that it wasn't really for me after all. I had never sought God and asked His way. Or His plan. I wasn't "still" enough to hear Him. Many times I have asked Him as I was already running full spring to the destination I had picked. But, I never stopped, halted, and waited for His Answer.
When I find myself running through my day, annoyed at long lines, long-winded people, slow drivers, and slow service....
I need to stop. Talk to God. Listen for Him. Wait for Him.
Maybe He has put these things in my path because the path I am on is not the right one.
I love how Joshua listened to God. He watched Moses do it, and now he was doing the same thing. He learned from the best.
Joshua would not take a step without knowing His directions from the Lord. Joshua was successful because He waited to hear from God. Every single time.
When the world is shouting, "Go! Now is your time! This makes perfect sense! Just do it!"
We shouldn't have to be talked into something. Our spirit should already know what to do if we are listening for God's voice.
So, how can we know when to go and when to wait?
- Seek the Lord in prayer.
- Seek the Lord in His Word.
- Seek one or two godly mentors.
- Ask God to remove any part of your will, and only give you His will and His desires.
- Ask for several forms of affirmation that this is His will for you.
- Wait. And wait some more.
Maybe the wait is hard. Yes, it is hard. But going against His plan is much harder on us.
learning from Joshua,