Tag Archives: crossroads

30: Deceived

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However, when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they resorted to a ruse: They went as a delegation whose donkeys were loaded with worn-out sacks and old wineskins, cracked and mended.” Joshua 9: 3-4 NIV

The verse that we looked at yesterday was all part of a deception that the Gibeonites enacted upon Joshua and the Israelites, in hopes that their nearby lands would not be taken over. And it was very successful. Having tricked been tricked into making a treaty, the Israelites could not then break their oath. But the scripture is clear on why the ruse worked so well. The Israelites did not enquire of the Lord.

How often do we make the same mistake! It is so easy, when things seem obvious and the facts and way forward are laid in front of us, to carry on regardless, and forget to pray. I think this is one of the reasons I loathe phrases like “God helps those who help themselves,” because for me the path of following Christ is always more and more of him and less of me. It is always more dependence on his grace lived out and prayed for in every circumstance (big or small) and less self-reliance. In fact, I might go as far as to say that relying on my own wisdom can get me into all sorts of trouble.

Following my God-given instincts prayerfully and relying on the truth of scripture is good practice in life. And all decisions need to be taken with him and not on our own running to him later and saying, didn’t I do well? The longer I live the more I ask the Lord into everything and although there is a confidence based on knowing his ways, this too is founded on trust that he knows best and I don’t. This is probably why I don’t always have confidence when I write theology, because I have no training, but that very fact (though sincerely a weakness and not a strength) means that I can and must lean into him for the wisdom I do not own.

Getting out of our own way, letting him shine, enquiring of him at every crossroads, these are staples of Christian discipleship and growth we should nurture, lest we find ourselves bound by treaties we should never have agreed to.

 

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

Photo from Morguefile.com

 

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162: Crossroads

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The light of love streams in from the left and the living water bubbles through on the right, and the twain meet over my bare earthed toes. And here I am Lord, listening for your voice, waiting for your tap on the shoulder, the peace in my heart, to tell me which is the best direction. And all I hear is a third way. Why choose a path? Why not stand here and grow? The world says hurry, the world says pick one, the world says keep moving, the world says go.

Why not stay? Why not stand? Why not look about you? Why not grow deep down roots and tall swaying branches and reach for more sunlight and brooks of lapping light? Where is it you have to rush off to? Where are you journeying, except towards death, who will find you sure enough here on the forest floor when the time comes? Why not meet her here on your own territory, on your own terms and turf? When she sidles up, you will feel her footsteps in the soil, and the weariness in your sap, and you will be ready, after a life wisely lived, not spent searching out the inevitable.

Stand in my love-light-life and be a tree. Grow and spread, dive and delve. Be the marker of meeting, the embodiment of encounter, the tree of my trysting. All is here.

 

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2016