Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Inquiring of the Lord
I selfishly write this blog more for myself than for readers. It's a way for me to process some things and especially to keep a record of how God works along the way--what He does and doesn't do; what He says and doesn't say.
These large packing parties often have difficulties and the challenge for us is to decide what God is saying in the midst of those. It's been a few years now since I've had this much problem discerning whether God wants us to proceed with a large packing party this year.
You've been reading how He's provided a storage container full of items to fill boxes, and He's still providing. You'd think that would be confirmation that this packing party should happen in September, but I'm still not sure.
The past week has brought three major challenges that make me wonder. The first is the report of relationship strains in our team. Only God knows how to fix that and we'll be talking about it at our next meeting.
Second is the announcement that the boxes provided for the packing party will be the ones pictured above--traditional GO boxes without the printing. There's a good reason for this. The pop-up ones we've been using the past few years, though easy for us to handle, aren't as strong and make it hard for the children who receive them to reuse them to store their items. The GO boxes will be stronger BUT we have to go back to folding them, and that creates a huge logistical challenge.
Third--I just learned there is a scheduling conflict on the September 22 & 23 dates we set for the packing party and the church where we hold the party may not be available for us. We'll know in a day or so.
Here's the thing. IF God wants us to hold this packing party and IF we are united as a team, then none of these issues is insurmountable. God will always make a way.
This morning I opened my Bible to 1 Samuel 23 to continue reading. I certainly didn't expect to get any wisdom from 1 Samuel to apply to this packing party issue. But, wouldn't you know--God spoke to me through this chapter.
As 1 Samuel 23 unfolds David is in hiding from enemies--fearing the Philistines but fearing even more his own king, Saul, who wants to kill him. When David hears the enemy Philistines are attacking again, the first thing he does is "inquire of the Lord" asking whether he should attack. And the Lord said, "Go and attack the Philistines and deliver Keilah."
But David's ragtag army of misfits and malcontents were afraid to go to battle. So...what did David do? He didn't berate them or listen to another leadership TED talk, or give them a motivational speech. David "inquired of the Lord once more." And...the Lord answered him (again) and said, "Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will give the Philistines into your hand." The next verse (23:5) matter-of-factly states, "So David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines...thus David delivered the inhabitants of Keilah." It doesn't say how David got his army to follow him or what his battle plan was, but once He knew God was ordering him to go David simply went into battle and won.
The chapter's not over yet, though. After his great victory David hears that his king, Saul, is plotting again to kill him. What does David do? He asks Abiathar the priest to bring the ephod and He asks God, "Will Saul come down just as Your servant has heard? O Lord God of Israel, I pray, tell your servant." And God tells him that Saul will come and that David will be surrendered to him. I'd love to know how this happened. Did he hear God audibly speak to him? My inquiring mind longs to know but Scripture doesn't say So...following God's advice David left Keilah and stayed in the wilderness "And Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand."
David had foreign enemies and domestic enemies and God had a plan to protect him from both. In one case God clearly led him into battle and victory. But in another God had him retreat into the wilderness and protected him there.
We need to go back to inquire of the Lord. We need to ask Him if a large-scale packing party this fall is a battle He wants us to fight. Because, my friends, it IS a fight. Will you inquire with me?
Posted by Kathy Schriefer at 5:42 AM