all i got was a stupid My Little Pony

4.27.2012 |

good afternoon, reader. today is my university reading day before finals begin next week, and how very thankful am i for this day of recess.  i have been going nonstop for the past few months and just one day of freedom feels like a vacation in the caribbean.  i slept in for an extra hour and then dragged my lifeless self down the stairs to brew a cup of instant happiness.  i picked out on of my favorite mug that i painted.  i ate a bowl of cereal and a sweet little cutie.  what a satisfying breakfast.  after breakfast i walked outside and did some much back porch sittin' and bible readin'.   while sitting on the back porch gazing over the lake and feeling the sunshine kiss my skin, i did a lot of back porch thinkin'.  i don't know if you have ever done much back porch thinkin' in your life, but some of the greatest trains of thought are formulated there. 
here is what i have been pondering over the last few days: decision making

let me catch you up to speed with what i have been reading lately.  in the old testament book of joshua in the bible, the israelites are moving through the middle east conquering land just as God commanded.  though, in some cases, the israelites were out numbered and defeat looked inevitable. God commanded the israelites to destroy every town in a given area.  however, the israelites continued to disobey the Lord. the Lord told them to destroy everything in town after town, God was faithful and promised them victory, and victory they received.  God has promised great things in the lives of the israelites if they submitted to God wholeheartedly.  
"they (the gibeonites) answered, 'we are from a very distant country.  we have heard of the might of the Lord you God and of all he did in egypt.  we have also heard what he did to the two amorite kings east of the jordan river.  so our leaders and our people instructed us, 'prepare for a long journey.  go meet with the people of israel and declare our people to be their servants, and ask for peace.  this bread was hot from the oven when we left. but no, as you can see, it is dry and moldy.  these wineskins were new when we filled them, but now they are old and cracked.  and our clothing and sandals are worn out from our long, hard trip.' so the israelite leaders examined their bread, but they did not consult the Lord.  then joshua went ahead and signed the pace treaty with them, and the leaders of israel ratified their agreement with a binding oath.  three days later, the facts came out–these people of gibeon lived nearby!" 
–joshua 9:9-16
what is important about that blurb in history?

to me, what sticks out the most, is what i have highlighted.  "but they did not consult the Lord."  the israelites took it upon themselves to sign a peace treaty with the gibeonites in such a haste.  as it says, the israelites did not pause to hear the advice and wisdom of God.  instead, they signed a treaty which allowed the gibeonites and their sinful ways to persist.  

what can we learn from their mistake?

plans without God fail.  plans made and executed without the advisement of the Lord causes limitations in your life.  before making any major life decision or any small step that would cause a progression of other motions, consulting the Lord is crucial.

i can not say that i have ever given much thought to the act of asking God whether i should move right or left, whether or not i should take a step forward or quietly stand back.  that is just not something that i have ever actively pursued up to this point in my life....until now.
"we can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps."
–proverbs 16:9
as you, reader, may or my not be aware, my life goal is to forever guard my heart above everything else.  to guard my heart from the ugly penetration of my selfish ambitions, selfish desires, and outside forces that cause me to remove my armor.   for the past 5 months, i have seen huge transformations in my life from this seemingly simple commitment.  let me tell you though, reader, this commitment is so much harder to do than it is to simply mutter.  i have had set backs and been a failure, but when looking at the big picture, i am proud to say that only through the wonderful transformation in me by means of the Holy Spirit, i am NOT who i used to be.  
"'for i know the plans i have for you,' says the LORD. 'they are plans for good and not disasters, to give you a future and a hope.  in those days when you pray, i will listen.  if you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me.'" –jeremiah 29:11-14

what happens when we make plans without seeking earnest advice from our Jesus?

we limit ourselves to fully attaining what God had for our lives at that moment in time.  i shutter to think what my life could be like at this point in my 22-years of existence had i sought the Lord.  not that i don't believe that God still can't and won't do incredible things through me for the rest of my life, but what opportunity i have wasted in the past.  when we don't seek God in what university we should attend, who we should date, where to live for the next 20 years, etc, we could be missing what God desires for us.  i fully believe that whether we move left or right doesn't ultimately change what he has planned for our lives because he can use any circumstance for his glory, but i think it breaks God's heart when we don't call on him for advice.  like a parent, he wants the very best for us and never wants to sell us short.  but when we refuse to ask, we refuse to get. when we walk without Light, we end up in darkness.  when we take matters into our own hands, we end up like the israelites and make peace treaties with those who were meant to be destroyed. (ok, i'm not saying we are to go kill other people or neglect investing in people's lives, but instead, we are to kill our selfish motives and desires, but we fail to do so when we are heedless in consulting our Maker.)  

i don't know if i am stating this effectively or even making sense at this point, but i shall continue.  when we put our faith in our own hopes and decisions, we confine God to a dimensioned box.  though nothing is outside the relam of his using, he wants so much more for us than we want for us.  

analogy, if you will.

i wanted nothing more than my very own Barbie horse.  

but instead i got a 'My Little Pony,' which could not have been more disappointing.  that was for babies, and i was NOT a baby.  all my friends had Barbie horses and i didn't.  the Barbie horse was grandiose in my eyes, it was the best i could ever attain.  
but what i failed to see was what God really wanted for my life.  he had planned to give me a living, breathing, trotting palomino.  my very own stallion.  but i limited myself to just wanting a Barbie horse and then became insanely disappointed when all i received was a My Little Pony. my plans failed me.  though i still received a horse of sorts, it's not what i personally wanted but neither is it what God wanted me to give me.  but did i really deserve to get my Barbie horse in the first place? i mean, i never even asked for it. i never asked God if having a Barbie horse was what HE wanted for me life.  so therefore, i was humbled with a My Little Pony until i was mature enough to handle the gifted and graceful stallion.  still, through all of our short comings, God is faithful, will continue to provide, and will always keep his promises.
i'll leave you to sip on that analogy, reader.  i challenge you to consult God before you move left or right, before you take a step forward or backward.  i know firsthand that this is not always the easiest to discern what God is saying, but guard your heart and be made right with the Lord through meditation on the blood of Christ.  

don't be like the israelites who limited themselves, don't restrict yourself life decisions to a Barbie horse, don't confine your God to a scanty box.  

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