Reality Check Ahead

o you realize the devastation that can come from them? Do you know how to avoid them? Was the communication clear? Was everyone listening? Did everyone follow instructions? Interesting things to consider as we start today’s reading/devotional…

12Then Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. 13And the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord walked on, and they blew the trumpets continually. And the armed men were walking before them, and the rear guard was walking after the ark of the Lord, while the trumpets blew continually. 14And the second day they marched around the city once, and returned into the camp. So they did for six days. 15On the seventh day they rose early, at the dawn of day, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times. It was only on that day that they marched around the city seven times. 16And at the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city. 17And the city and all that is within it shall be devoted to the Lord for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent. 18But you, keep yourselves from the things devoted to destruction, lest when you have devoted them you take any of the devoted things and make the camp of Israel a thing for destruction and bring trouble upon it. 19But all silver and gold, and every vessel of bronze and iron, are holy to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord.” 20So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city. 21Then they devoted all in the city to destruction, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys, with the edge of the sword.

22But to the two men who had spied out the land, Joshua said, “Go into the prostitute’s house and bring out from there the woman and all who belong to her, as you swore to her.” 23So the young men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab and her father and mother and brothers and all who belonged to her. And they brought all her relatives and put them outside the camp of Israel. 24And they burned the city with fire, and everything in it. Only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord. 25But Rahab the prostitute and her father’s household and all who belonged to her, Joshua saved alive. And she has lived in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho. 26Joshua laid an oath on them at that time, saying, “Cursed before the Lord be the man who rises up and rebuilds this city, Jericho. “At the cost of his firstborn shall he lay its foundation, and at the cost of his youngest son shall he set up its gates.” 27 So the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame was in all the land.
–from Joshua 6
There is a difference between faith and assuming. There is a difference between believing and assuming. Stepping out in faith and trusting God was what the Israelites were going to need to do in order to accomplish the incredible promise God gave them. It required divine appointment and divine intervention to accomplish the divine promise! God’s plan probably confused some! God’s purpose was set! And by the end of the 7 days, there is no one who could deny that God was with them! He even provided guidance on what to do post victory when He said…
18But you, keep yourselves from the things devoted to destruction, lest when you have devoted them you take any of the devoted things and make the camp of Israel a thing for destruction and bring trouble upon it.
–from Joshua 6
And because of they listened and obeyed God’s instruction that they had seeked and followed! But did they follow through on everything God commanded? Remember what God said about what they were to do! Could anyone have gone astray? Or do we just assume everything is ok and that everyone did what they were told? Do you assume God is with you and press on or do  you turn back to God every time in case He has something different He desires? Like David did, He asked each time and there were times when God changed the plan of attack because He knows best!
Today’s reading continues…

1But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. And the anger of the Lord burned against the people of Israel.

2Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, “Go up and spy out the land.” And the men went up and spied out Ai. 3And they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not have all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not make the whole people toil up there, for they are few.” 4So about three thousand men went up there from the people. And they fled before the men of Ai, 5and the men of Ai killed about thirty-six of their men and chased them before the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them at the descent. And the hearts of the people melted and became as water.
6Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the Lord until the evening, he and the elders of Israel. And they put dust on their heads. 7And Joshua said, “Alas, O Lord God, why have you brought this people over the Jordan at all, to give us into the hands of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would that we had been content to dwell beyond the Jordan! 8O Lord, what can I say, when Israel has turned their backs before their enemies! 9For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it and will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will you do for your great name?”
–from Joshua 7
Oh oh! Something has gone wrong! Only God knows everyone’s hearts! Without seeking wisdom from God, our actions based on the advice of men may lead us astray! If we assume God is with us rather than checking with Him for wisdom, we just set ourselves up for a fall. Sin comes before the fall! We need to check daily! We need to check throughout the day! Remember how we are to pray without ceasing? Let’s not make assumptions and try to get things our own way, but let’s be purposeful and follow after the directions and instructions and wisdom of God!
Today’s reading continues into Psalm with this advice…
3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. 4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.
–from Psalm 37
We need to trust Him! We need to put ourselves in the middle of God’s will and God’s plan! Make them the desires of our heart! Then He will give us the desires of our heart! Let’s do it His way! Let’s put all our hope and trust in Him! Let’s walk in a way that will glorify Him when He acts!
Today’s reading continues into Isaiah with…

8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

–from Isaiah 55
We can’t just assume because of the way something happened in the past that is how it will be in the future! We can’t just assume that because God did it that way in the past He will do it the same way the next time! We need to stay connected with Him! We need to be in and build up our relationship with Him! We need to walk each step, have each conversation, and capture every thought in alignment and in agreement with Him and His will! We don’t want to assume! We want to know in faith, believing because we have checked with Him and have His instructions for what to do! We can’t assume success! We need to make sure to include God in and through it all! He will teach us through our victories and our defeats! He will show us the faults of our assumptions! He will heal and restore us to if we turn back to Him! We need to give God the wheel to drive!
The other day as I told the story of how I get to hold the wheel but how it isn’t to steer but it is to make sure we don’t capsize, the person provided me the perfect visual I needed to describe this. It was actually not a boat, it is a fire engine like this one that has a steering wheel in the back. God’s is in the front, and mine is in the back! And as long as I stay in alignment with Him, the truck ride will go well!
Assuming that the front is going left or right without talking to the driver could lead into a big accident! So we need to stay in constant communications because we can’t see what is coming up.
Today’s devotional (day 3) provides some insight about today’s reading…
  • “Assumptions are dangerous, especially when we attempt to manufacture what we think God will say or do without actually seeking His instruction.”
  • “When we become over-confident in our own abilities, experiences, and talents, we can be easily deceived into thinking that God will take the passenger seat while we charge ahead. “

So how can we avoid trying to make assumptions?

  • Stop trying to follow or make our own agenda out of a desire to be in control or out of pride and arrogance!
  • Stop thinking we are or know God ‘s perfect plan because of how He did it in the past!

So let’s avoid pride and pray for humility so that we always go to God!

Let’s be willing to ask questions, rather than make assumptions of what others think or what God thinks! So let’s take a hold of the fact that God knows it all and so to ensure we make good choices, that we include Him in and through it all!


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