Make the Lord Part of Your Daily Life

Oh Man, Israel was busy!

Israel was very busy. Each day they needed to get up and be told by Joshua and the elders where they were moving that day. People had to cook meals. Others took care of the livestock. Tents needed to be packed up. Belongings had be packed up and put into wagons or onto camels for whatever travels were to take place.

Spiritually, every morning a bull was to be sacrificed by the priests from the tribe of Levi. They also had to take care of the tent of meeting and pack the tent for the day’s travels. The Ark of the Covenant also had to be cared for and prepared, only by Levites to be carried only by Levites.

Israel also had to be prepared for battle. They were subduing the land of Canaan that God had promised them. Guards had to always be ready – some ahead, some behind, and some on each side to protect the people. If they came near to a Canaanite town they had to prepare to capture that town.

Since they were in a traveling and in constant readiness for battle they had equipment to repair. They had wounded to care for. They had to constantly be prepared for whatever unexpected event might come their way.

The “plates” of Israel were full of tasks, events, troubles, needs, emergencies, long range planning, and general, everyday tasks.

One More Problem on the Plate

One day a small caravan of emissaries came from a far off land. The first troops that saw them and met with them were polite but wary. The people of the caravan might be friendly or dangerous.

Joshua and the other leaders were called to the discussion. They learned that the travelers had come from a far off land to make a treaty with Israel. The travelers had learned that God was with Israel and was giving them fantastic success against their enemies. The emissaries wanted Israel to know that they were friends not foe.

Joshua and the leaders were skeptical but wanted to give their guests the benefit of the doubt. To check out their words, Joshua had the caravan inspected. The camel’s hooves showed wear from a long journey. Their food was old – some was hard, some was moldy because of the length of time they had traveled. The clothing worn was also old and travel worn. Even their wine skins showed signs of old age and use. All of the signs agreed that this caravan had come from a far-off land to make a treaty of friendship and peace with Israel.

Joshua and the leaders were confident that they had done all they could to check out the story of the travelers and everything looked good. So Israel pledged friendship, mutual respect, and they pledged that they would have peace.

The travelers thanked Joshua and the leaders, and left for home to tell their people the good news.

Opps! We Goofed!

Three days later Joshua, the leaders and the armies of Israel came to the area of the Gibeonites and their four main cities. Israel learned that the emissaries from the so-called far-off land were the Gibeonites who had come from “next door.” Israel would honor their treaty with the Gibeonites, even though, as Canaanites, they should have been defeated like all the others in the land.

The writer of Joshua summarizes Israel’s mistake very simply and accurately. The men of Israel sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord (Joshua 9:14). Rephrasing that verse –

“The men of Israel did all they humanly could think of to verify that they should make a treaty with the Gibeonites, but they did not take it to the Lord. They did not invite the Lord into their life through prayer to guide them.”

We Have Full Plates Too

We could discuss whether our lives are more hectic than those of Israelites as they took control of the land. We could discuss whether, like them, we are doing everything humanly possible to live our lives in a godly fashion. As with Israel, our plates are full.

Invite the LORD to be Part of Your Daily Life

Yet, also, like them, we better address the truth about whether we invite the Lord to take part in the day-to-day workings of our lives. We are spiritual people like them. We have a sinful nature like them. We live seriously and strongly using what the Lord has given us. Yet with that said, honestly address whether you, personally, invite the LORD to be a part of your life daily.

  • Do you take the serious issues to the LORD in prayer and expect and look for his guidance? Or doesn’t that make sense because you are a capable, talented person?
  • Do you take the emergency matters to the LORD in prayer? Many would answer “Yes.”
  • Do you take the mundane, every day things to the LORD in prayer? Many of us must sadly admit, “No” we do not. After all, daily matters only require a daily response. It is not necessary to “bother” the LORD.

In all of the three points preceding, invite the LORD to take part in your daily life, no matter how large, small, normal, or mundane the task may be.

Students, every day you have normal things to do. Logically, we would think that God would not be too interested in those things. Yet, take them to the LORD in prayer.

  • If you have trouble in a class, do you take that to the LORD in prayer and apply your talents trusting that the LORD will bless your studies?
  • If you have a great class that comes easily, do you thank the LORD and pray for his continued help with that study?
  • Do you pray that the LORD will help you mature with wisdom and growth throughout all your young life?

Parents, you have much to take to the LORD in prayer, or do you live in such a way that Sunday is the primary or only day that you take much time for Jesus? Do you also pray for all the things we have suggested as examples listed above in the lives of your children?

Many of us commute, a mundane, normal task. Yet do we take that to the LORD in prayer daily, even though the task is normal and boring? Or do we only pray about commuting when the weather or traffic is awful and dangerous.

These Arrows Can’t Work

Too often we approach our daily relationship with the LORD as did Jehoash when he visited Elisha. Elisha was dying and King Jehoash came to pay his respects. The LORD wanted to give Jehoash one final blessing at the hands of Elisha before the prophet died. Jehoash was to take some arrows and stick them into the ground at the command of God. Stick the arrows into the ground as often as he wanted for the defeat of your enemies.

We will “read between the lines” and picture Jehoash at that time. Jehoash wasn’t too pleased. He was there only to pay his respects to the prophet. He did not want to stay with him any longer than necessary. Frankly, he was too busy to play “prophet games” and stick arrows into the ground. After all, the arrow chore was just a useless, symbol conceived by a prophet whose days of usefulness were over. Picture Jehoash with a bored and unbelieving look on his face, using only the least amount of energy to stick arrows into the ground. It is no surprise that he would strike the ground only three times.

At the heart of Jehoash’s exhaustion was the truth that he really did not believe or trust all this God stuff. He believed in good diplomacy and statecraft. If diplomacy and statecraft seemed ineffective, then he believed in a strong and well trained army, riding well trained horses or riding in armored chariots.

The text says, The man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times.” (2 Kings 13:19). Paraphrasing Elisha’s admonition …

You are so foolish and untrusting of the LORD! You should have trusted God. You had the promise of the Almighty God, who never breaks his promises, to give you victories over your enemies. You then hit the ground only three times. Having His promise you should have hit the ground 50 times, 100 times. You have wasted the promise of the LORD.

Trust the LORD. He Wants to be part of Our Life

Taking all things to the LORD in prayer is an aspect of faith in action. Jesus loves us greatly and especially showed that love when he died for us. With such great love for us, take all things to him in prayer, whatever is placed upon your heart. Then, trust the LORD to help.

The LORD is powerful and wants to help, but if we shun the LORD and act as if we don’t need him, he will stay away from us and let us work through events ourselves. If we invite him into our life he will help us because we have asked. It is true that the LORD will only let anti-christian events go so far and then he will step in with action. Yet, why wait for God’s actions in times of disaster. God’s love encourages us to daily look to him in prayer.

The LORD has promised his blessings to his people. Trust that he will help and take all things to him in prayer.

The LORD has promised his blessings to his people. Trust that when bad things do happen, that he will use them for our good (Romans 8:28) and has a plan as to how they will work out for our good.

At times the Lord wants us to wait and will not give us a full answer quickly. Then, trust the Lord and know that he will bless his people. As David said, Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14). As we wait act in a righteous fashion.

Our homework is to pray for five or ten mundane things every day for a while. Then, 1) see what happens regarding them, and 2) see how your heart and faith “feel.” And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

 

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