One of the heroes of the Bible is Joshua—a great man of faith and obedience. The only mistake I can find recorded in the Bible about Joshua was when he agreed to make a treaty with one of the nations he was supposed to destroy—-they deceived him. The leaders of this nation fooled Joshua and the Hebrew leaders into thinking that they were from very far away, when in fact they were quite close and a part of the “promised land” that God told the Hebrews to conquer. The error was made because Joshua and the elders did not “inquire of the Lord”, but trusted in their own instincts. That foreign nation that they signed a treaty with would always be a thorn in the side of the nation of Israel.
But do I inquire of the Lord about important decisions or do I trust my instincts and wits? As I look back to the biggest mistakes of my life, I can with certainty say that I never inquired of the Lord before making those fateful decisions. I may have prayed for God to bless me regardless of what I did, but I did not abandon the matter to Him and wait on Him. And each time I have found myself realizing that this or that was a bad choice, it’s because I did what appeared smart, but was fraught with poor judgment and insight. Oh to be able to go back and undo the bad selections I made
The only smart thing to do now is determine to inquire of God before I make any other choice that has the potential of bringing me or the ones I love, heartache—-or hindering His work.
It helps me to also look at the times that I did inquire of Him, because I am humbled to admit that He never led me wrong or let go of me. More than once His response to my inquiry disappointed me—a few times it broke my heart! But looking back all I can say is, “thank goodness I listened to Him!” What a mess (or more of a mess) I would have if I had not listened and responded.
But one reason I think that I don’t inquire of the Lord is the secret, hidden fear that He might say “no” to what I am preparing to do. Now, I am not saying that this is what He said, or even what was revealed to me in a dream or vision in the past—I know better than to blatantly disobey Him; but I do wonder if all along, deep down, I had my doubts about the doomed project or adventure or new venture but was nervous about Him throwing cold water on it. How foolish to not beg Him to drown my bad ideas before they drown me!
A better way to go about life is simply to admit that even the most exciting projects or relationships might represent His tests: Will I once again jump in head first and then check the water, or will I first admit to Him that I am but a child and I His permission before I make a fateful leap?