Time Out (by Jerry Schmoyer)
Some decisions seem so easy we don’t even give them a second thought. The answer seems obvious. Why even bother God with it? So we made the decision and think nothing more of it – until later we realize that it started us on the wrong path. Think back on your own life, how many major difficulties started with what seemed like a small thing, a little decision that seemed simple at the time.
Joshua had such a time himself. God directed Joshua through the Jordan River and to victory over Jericho. Defeating tiny Ai seemed no problem after watching mighty Jericho crumble, but the Jews were defeated. They didn’t go to God first or they would have learned that there was sin in the camp.
Then when the Gibeonites offered to sign a treaty with the Jews Joshua thought it was a sure thing. At first glance it was evident they had come from a long distance so they couldn’t be part of the people that God said had to be destroyed. After signing the treaty Joshua found out they had fooled him and were really from nearby.
But it even gets worse. The Gibeonite’s neighbors attacked them because they signed the treaty with Israel so Joshua had to come to their assistance. Here he finds himself defending the very people he was supposed to destroy – all because making the treaty seemed like such a simple decision that he didn’t go to God with it. God bailed him out and turned it to good by using the battle to destroy many Canaanite tribes. God even sent hail and kept the sun from setting until they were destroyed.
Now we don’t have to pray and wait for an answer about what color socks to wear in the morning, but we must be careful about quick, simple decisions that seem OK without asking God. Things are not always what they seem, as Joshua discovered. We, too, are open to deception. Be very careful, always run it by God first.
John 8:44, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
John 8:31-32, “Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
- What lessons can you learn from times when you didn’t go to God for advice before making a decision? How can you prevent that from happening next time?
- How can you help someone who seems to be making a poor decision and it leaving God out of it?
Jerry Schmoyer has been a minister in Pennsylvania for over 25 years and has worked with teenagers for 14 years, ever since I became one myself. He authors the weekly Time Out series here at Life in Student Ministry in hopes to spiritually refresh your soul as you continually pour so much of yourself into students. God bless!
Posted on February 16, 2009