Remember the last time you did something you knew you weren’t supposed to do? You had a plan, but you knew that carrying it out was wrong? Or maybe you had a sense that God wanted you to wait on something in His time, but you forced the issue and carried out your own plan? Yeah, me too.
I struggle so much with waiting on God sometimes. I want something, often something that is actually a good thing, but God tells me to wait. Then I have that crazy tough decision to make; do I wait and trust Him, or move forward on my own schedule? So many times I’ve moved forward on my own, and pursued whatever it was in my sights. Again, often it’s a good thing. It could be something good for my family, some part of ministry, an opportunity to serve, or a long list of other good things. Sometimes it’s not. But it’s the timing that is the big issue. God says “Not now”, and I say “No, now”.
It always ends up burning me in the end.
I was reading in Joshua 7 today. This guy named Achan is a Hebrew. They move into the Promised Land, march around Jericho, blow the horns, and the walls fall down. Veggie Tales has a great version of the story in one of their videos. I don’t remember Achan being in any of the kids versions of the story, though. You see, God tells them when they capture Jericho to destroy it completely. Don’t take anything out of it. Achan doesn’t listen. He takes a robe, some gold, and some silver. Then he buries it under his tent.
He knows it was wrong to take the stuff. There isn’t anything wrong with a nice robe, or money. But he wasn’t supposed to take it. He did anyway.
Thirty-six Hebrews die because of his actions. In the next battle, they get spanked in the fighting, and 36 people die. Because of Achan.
God shows everyone whose fault it was, and he confesses. But it’s too late. Achan is killed, along with his family, and then their bodies are burned. God really wants us to obey. He’s serious about it. If he let Achan live, he would pull down the rest of the nation.
Here’s the crazy part. They march back to the city where they were beaten, due to Achan’s sin. They attack it, and capture it. But before the battle, God tells them to take the good stuff out of the city, then burn it.
Did you catch that? God says to take the stuff.
Achan missed it by a couple of days. If he had listened to God, no one would have died, and he would have received more stuff. Just a couple of days. Achan couldn’t see down the road, and he decided to not trust God. He did it his way, and he and his family suffered for it. It killed them.
We can be the same way. We simply need to learn that God is really generous, and loves to give gifts to those who trust and obey Him. If we will listen to Him and wait, amazing things come our way.