Our Understanding and God’s Plans

We’re a culture of knowledge, and strangely, even though we’re compulsive and crave instant gratification, we also value a well-made decision. If we want to buy a new car, we peruse the consumer reports. If we receive a diagnosis, we research pros and cons of treatment methods. I read Birds & Blooms, hoping to lure more avian creatures to my backyard. My husband reads reviews of outdoor gear before purchasing new camping equipment.

We value being informed, and wisdom abounds in knowing. There’s nothing wrong with preparedness, but sometimes our need to know is more about control and less about wise decision making.

When was the last time you made a decision without feeling “ready”? As in, well-prepared, well-read, and information-logged? I like to play things safe. I need space and time to make a decision. Spontaneity is not high on my list of valued traits.

So how would I have responded if I’d been amongst the armies of Israel that day when the Ammonites, Moabites, and Meunites came against Jehoshaphat? The Bible tells us that all Judah fasted and came together to seek the Lord. Jehoshaphat prayed, “We do not know what to do but our eyes are on you,” (2 Chronicles 20:12). Then all men, women, and children, stood before the Lord waiting. When the Holy Spirit came upon a Levite, the answer wasn’t what Israel expected:

“You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.'”

(2 Chronicles 20:17)

They went out obediently (and maybe that’s the real miracle?), sending first, not their fiercest warriors or most strategic brains, but the singers and praisers. Truth-proclaimers. And “as they began to sing and praise” the Lord won the victory for Israel.

What would I have done? I mean, this isn’t exactly your well-researched battle plan. This is not the most intimidating front I can imagine. The Philistines sent out a nine-foot giant; Egypt sent out their top chariots, but Israel sent out singers?

Yet, I get it. The Lord inhabits the praises of His people and what more powerful weapon can there be then the presence of Almighty God? The Lord of hosts fights on a different plane of reality than we do. And if we look to him, if we silence our frenzy of well-intentioned information gathering, if we pray, “I don’t know what to do, my eyes are on you,” he’ll show us His way. He’ll fill us with praise and thanksgiving.

Next time I’m not understanding something completely—and I won’t have long to wait for such a time—I’ll remind myself that my knowledge and expertise is limited. Ultimately, it fails, for all knowledge will pass away. But the Word of the Lord stands firm forever. If I don’t feel “ready” for a decision, but instead feel “Spirited” for a decision, then I’ll take that step of faith. I’ll move in the midst of the blindness, knowing that the One who is leading has perfect eagle vision.

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