Have you ever felt like you were doing the right thing, but in the end realizing you didn’t really think the whole process through? This is what happened to Abram in Genesis 13. God had called him to leave everything and everyone behind, and go to the land he was directing him to. He should have taken a moment to think why God had specifically said to leave everyone and move on and even if he couldn’t see the big picture, he should have trusted God. Instead, he didn’t fully obey the directions, and now has found himself in a argument with his nephew Lot over land.
I feel like this sort of thing happens to me more often than I would like. (the thinking the whole process through...not the arguing over land) I’m the type of person that is more spontaneous rather than analytical. In 1994 my husband and I were in our twenty’s with no children yet and just married for a little over a year. We had seen a commercial for a brand new Toyota Celica and we just loved it. Then one day as we were driving on the on-ramp to the freeway, that same new Celica sped past us like a racecar. I can’t really remember who said it, but one of us said, let’s go look at the Toyota lot just for “fun”. (Ok, it was probably me, being the spontaneous one.) We walked onto the lot just looking for “fun” and three hours later we were driving off the lot with our new Toyota Celica and a lease that we would later regret. You see we hadn’t really thought it through. We didn’t take the time to even hear that still small voice inside of us saying, “Hey, you might want to think about the big picture here.” –Oh and if you don’t know already that still small voice is in each one of us and it’s called the Holy Spirit. That car was fun until we wanted to buy a house. Now it looked like a massive debt, and it ended up causing a lot of stress and delayed us from getting a house when we wanted to. The path we chose to walk was our own way, without any concern for the leading of the Lord.
Here’s another story much more recent, my daughter was in a Girl Scout Troop and they were planning an over night trip. I spontaneously said that my daughter and I would both go, then wrote a check for $80.00. As I wrote the check, I felt like maybe I should think about this a little, maybe I shouldn’t sign up for this, but then I dismissed it. After all, it was just one night away, why would I need to think about this? A day before the trip, I got really sick and since my daughter didn’t want to go without me, I had to cancel. When I asked to get my money back, it was too late and there was no way I could get a refund. I spent $80.00 for nothing. Looking back, God was trying to tell me not to go. He knew that I would get sick that weekend and that I should just save that $80.00. I didn’t listen, I didn’t obey, and I suffered the consequences for my actions.
God isn’t asking us to just listen for his direction in the big decisions in life, but in the little ones too. Whether you are buying a car, moving to a new home, going on vacation, or just out to dinner. God cares about the little details in all of our lives. He is looking after us like a father looks after his children. I am still learning to listen and obey trusting the path that God is leading me down, even though I can’t see the whole path, I know that he has my best interest in mind –and he has yours too.
As far as Abram and Lot are concerned, they now had another path before them to choose. How were they going to resolve their conflict and go on with their lives in peace? This time Abram was going to listen to all of the instructions.
Choosing a path for our own lives comes daily for all of us. It comes in the form of attitudes towards the people and the situations around us. It comes in the little ways we act toward others and it also comes in the way we respond to the leading of God. What path are you choosing today?
(This is an excerpt from my book, “Path of the Blessing.”)