“But the story we’re given is a God-story, not an Abraham-story. What we read in Scripture is, “Abraham entered into what God was doing for him, and that was the turning point. He trusted God to set him right instead of trying to be right on his own.” Romans 4:3 (The Message)
So far I’ve talked about how God wants us to praise and worship Him despite our circumstances, trust Him with the outcome and our issues at the first sign of problems. Today I want to talk about another aspect of the history of the Israelites also found in the Old Testament. This time we’ll be looking in the book of Judges even though other examples are scattered throughout the entire Bible.
Why do you think we’re urged to prepare for an emergency before it occurs? Why do they hold fire drills and tornado drills at schools? It’s so when an actual emergency occurs, everyone knows what they are supposed to do. It should lessen the feelings of panic and pandemonium occurring and keep people safer than being in an emergency without any preparation.
In the same way, in our spiritual lives, God gives us instructions (or a chance to prepare) ahead of time for life’s difficulties. The first instruction is to fully surrender to Him every day. You might wonder what exactly that means. It’s very simple to say, yet harder to live out every day. It basically means, if you’re already His child (have asked Jesus into your heart), then every day choosing to let God be in charge instead of yourself. If you’ve never made the choice to ask Jesus into your heart (become a child of God/Christ follower), then it means taking that step first. **If you want to make that decision but don’t know what to pray, I have placed a copy of a prayer you are welcome to pray to ask Jesus into your heart at the bottom of this blog. According to Romans 10:9 (NIV): “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” and you are now God’s child.
Once you’ve surrendered your day to your Father (which needs to be done every day, sometimes multiple times a day if you’re like me and try to take control back), then it’s time to get back to the job of living. I have to admit, I’ve been struggling with this step for quite a while. Not so much the surrendering to God part. I want Him to be in charge of my life and lead my life where He wants it to go. But I’ve been struggling with what exactly that means. And while God has showed up more times than I can count in my life, this is when I revert back to the Israelites way of thinking … needing confirmation, afraid I’m missing the cue to step into the river like Joshua did. I wonder if I’m supposed to be moving instead of sitting quietly in God’s presence and trusting Him to speak loud enough for me to hear.
The truth is, God has shown up in my life in big ways more times than I can remember. Years before I was going to lose my job to advanced technology, God started preparing me for a writing career. Years before. At first I questioned God’s invitation (which I am NOT proud of), then I took the step and obeyed. A few years later, God again invited me to another position. This time I asked for two weeks of confirmation and then stepped where He wanted me to step. It was uncomfortable taking that first step, but so worth it. Two and a half years later, God started stirring my heart that He was going to bring about change again but didn’t tell me exactly when. Then four months later, He showed me clearly what He wanted and again I stepped.
Come back next time as I finish what God has been teaching me this time through the example of the Israelites.
© Cheri Swalwell 2018
** O Heavenly Father, I come to You in Jesus’ name. I believe You died on the cross, and that You rose again and You’re seated on the throne. Jesus, forgive me for all that I’ve done wrong and I choose to forgive all others. Come into my life, today and forever, I am Yours. In Jesus’ name, Amen”