In the book of Joshua we read about Israel entering the promised land. They begin with a great victory over Jericho, but then they are defeated at Ai because of sin in their camp. This is resolved, and they go on to defeat Ai. It is after this that they falter again. In Deuteronomy 7:2 Israel is instructed to not make a covenant with any nation in their new land. They are to completely destroy them. Yet in Joshua 9 Israel is tricked into making a covenant with the Gibeonites. It may seem unfair to hold them accountable for this because they were tricked. Then we read Joshua 9:14:
“…but they did not ask counsel of the Lord.”
That little phrase speaks volumes. Israel disobeyed God’s command because they did not seek Him first.
This is such an important lesson for us. There are times when we don’t seek the Lord on an issue or decision because the answer seems obvious or insignificant. What we fail to understand is that the Lord is interested in every aspect of our lives. There is not a part of our life that is separate from our spiritual life. Our entire life is to be under Christ’s authority. This may sound extreme, but it is vital that we understand this. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
These verses show that God wants to be glorified in every part of my life. It is easy to think of this on the large scale, but I think it is much harder to live this out in the daily grind of life. Do I really need to seek the Lord about running my errands? I am going to work like I do every day, what is there to seek Him about in that? I’m just working around the house today, why do I need to pray about that? These are questions that may be popping into your head as you read this. Yet it is this mindset that keeps us from walking in victory and seeing God move daily in our lives.
When we stop and ask the Lord to direct our steps for the day, we are acknowledging that we want Him to be in control. We are actively asking that He be part of the daily grind, and then we are setting our minds on Him instead of just moving mindlessly through the day. We give Him opportunity to bring peace to our home, to open a door to share with a co-worker, or to minister to someone we encounter on our errands.
What would have been different for the Israelites if they did not make a covenant with the Gibeonites? We’ll never know. We do know that if they had stopped and sought the Lord they would not have broken His command. What will change in our lives if we stop and seek Him first? We have a chance to find out. Instead of meandering through life seeking Him when we have a big decision to make or when we’re struggling, let’s seek Him now and find out!