Monday, July 9, 2018
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O.K., I'll admit it, I'm often in a hurry to get where I'm going. More than once, you know, when Karen and I were traveling in the crew configuration that my wife and I used for years – me pilot at the wheel, her navigator with map. We'd be clipping along at a healthy rate of speed, believing that the purpose of the exercise is to be there, right, not to spend a lot of time getting there! Right? And even though my beautiful navigator may have announced that a turn was coming up soon, I maintain my "got to get there" speed. Then, suddenly, I hear those words, "This is our turn!" Zoom! We blow right past it – sometimes without an opportunity to turn around for several miles. So much for me trying to make good time, right? Too often, I've ended up on the wrong road – just because I was going too fast to turn.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Going Too Fast To Turn."
Actually, that's how a lot of us have ended up on the wrong road – going too fast to turn when God was telling us to turn. King David knew how important it was to listen to God's navigation instructions. Our word for today from the Word of God is in 1 Chronicles 14 and 15. In 1 Chronicles 14:10, the Philistines are moving against the Jews and "David inquired of God: 'Shall I go and attack the Philistines?' . . . The Lord answered him, 'Go, and I will hand them over to you.' So David and his men went up." And, of course, David's army was victorious. When the Philistines invaded another time, the Bible says, "David inquired of God again, and God answered him, 'Do not go straight up'." Again, David checked with the Lord, the Lord gave him a different strategy this time, and again David prevailed.
But it wasn't always that way. Just before these incidents of David allowing God to navigate, 1 Chronicles 13 tells about one of David's good ideas that turned to disaster. He had the wonderful idea of bringing back the Ark of God – getting it back to Jerusalem - that holy gold box that enshrined the presence of the Lord. But as it was being moved on an ox cart, it started to tip. A man tried to grab it. He died on the spot. No one was supposed to touch the Ark.
What went wrong here? Well, David had been working on a noble cause. But the Jewish Scriptures spelled out God's way of transporting the Ark – only Levites, only with poles through the rings on top of the Ark. Later, as the Levites are preparing to move the Ark God's way this time, David tells them what went wrong when the same mission led to disaster. He said, "We did not inquire of Him about how to do it in the prescribed way" (1 Chronicles 15:13). David says, "We blew it because we didn't check with God on how to do this."
See, David's mistake was one you and I repeat all too often. We're speeding ahead with our great idea, our great plan, and we blow right past our divine Leader. God's telling us to turn, and we're just going too fast to make the turn or maybe even hear His voice. So we end up on the wrong road or ahead of God and ahead of His perfect timing. All because we didn't inquire of the Lord. We didn't slow down long enough to see what God wanted and where God wanted us to be. So often we start out headed down a road that the Lord wants us on, but then He makes a turn while we're still speeding in the direction He was going.
Which simply means, we need to be submitting our plans to the Lord at least on a daily basis; checking with heaven before acting on earth. And not resisting the Lord when He is urging us to make a turn that we're unsure of.
Those of us who are high-energy, hard-driving, make-it-happen people, we're in the greatest danger of speeding right past the Lord on our way to this noble destination. But we'll save a lot of grief, a lot of wasted time, and a lot of trouble if we go when God says go and turn when God says turn.