In the book of Joshua, a few ambassadors from the Gibeonites are sent to the Israelites.  These men are sent to trick the Israelites into a peace agreement.  The Gibeonites are a local tribe who have heard of the great devastation the Israelites brought to other tribes.  So, the Gibeonites want the Israelites to believe they have traveled a long distance.  They dressed in ragged clothes and worn-out sandals, use weathered saddlebags, fill old and patched wineskins for the journey, and pack moldy bread.  All physical proof of a long journey.[1]  It is a sellable scam to convince the Israelites they live a long way off.   Pure subterfuge in an effort to obtain an agreement that would counter what God told the Israelites to do. 

When these Gibeonites arrive at their camp, the Israelites listen to the false story of the long journey and examine the moldy bread.  The miss step is this – the Israelites do not ask the Lord for direction.  This is a rather large mistake.  It is also one we can make today as we journey in God.  

I have noticed that when God calls me to something, frequently there is a moment when that call is tested.  The physical evidence is compelling.  What is the next step?  Return to God.  For example, prayer time.  Daily time set aside for God and you to be together.  One might say, “It feels like a waste of time when I pray.  I don’t think I need to pray.  The evidence says not much happens because I pray.”  Yet, God invites us to spend time apart from the culture and be with God.  

Here is the invitation: As we grow in faith, we may find the physical evidence to be different than what God asked us to do or what we expected.  Then what?  It is necessary to consult, circle back to one who called you – the Lord.  Without this check with the who calls you by name, you may miss the spiritual mark based on the physical clues you see before you. 

If we really believe that God’s ways are not like the ways of humans, then focusing on only the physical evidence may invite us to miss a spiritual manifestation.  Circle back to God.  Circle back to the One in whom you live and breathe. 


[1] Joshua 9.

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