I used to be the queen of the “fresh start”.
It all starts with setting a date. If it’s not the first of the year, it’s my birthday, or the first of the month, or a Sunday.
It’s the day I’m going to start over. I’m going to eat right. I’m going to exercise. I’m going to work on my projects in the evenings and not just sit on my phone.
And come Sunday, or May 1st, or New Years’ Day, I do!
I get up early. I check all of my tasks off of my to-do list. I feel so good!
But if you were to check on me on Thursday, or May 9th, or January 6th?
It’s a completely different story.
But what happened?
“What happened?” is the question of the day after reading Joshua 9. After the huge victories and miracles God gave His people at the river Jordan and Jericho, the nations nearby are scared.
So scared, in fact, that they send in ambassadors to make a deal with the Israelites: “Please don’t destroy us or our land”.
The only problem is that they throw in a bit of deception to sweeten the deal.
They claim they’re from a city so far away that the Israelites wouldn’t even want their land! But in reality, they’re right next door, squatting on the land God promised to His children.
And Joshua completely falls for it.
What happened? How did the new leader of the Israelites, the man appointed and helped and encouraged by God, make such a huge mistake?
The last resort
We actually don’t have to look very far to find out what happened. Joshua 9:14 shouts it loud and clear:
“The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord.” (emphasis added)
It doesn’t make sense.
It seems to me that if you were alive and present for not one, but two miracles done by God?? You’d get hip! Anytime you have a problem? Boom. Ask God for help.
I mean, duh, right?
Right, except for that pesky little thing all humans have in common: pride.
The “I got this” gene.
The “I’m in control” instinct.
The “I’m going to do what I want” mentality.
And, unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how Christian we look or claim to be or even are, we all slip back into this as soon as we get comfortable.
It’s just like any other relationship. We have our mountaintop moments, moments where we feel so in love with God. We read our Bibles regularly, and it’s really fun! We talk to God all the time – telling Him everything, asking Him for help literally every day. We might even share our faith with someone and feel really good about it.
But check back in with us in a few weeks or months or even years, and it’s a different story.
We’re still Christians. We still believe in God. But that connection isn’t there. We aren’t talking to God the way we used to. We aren’t spending time with Him the way we used to.
We’ve gotten too comfortable. Our relationship with Him has dropped in priority. We’ve started to rely on ourselves again.
God has stopped being our closest Friend and has turned into our last resort.
And we might not even notice it! Until, like for Joshua, things go wrong and suddenly we remember that we don’t got this. That Someone else knows best. That God should be the one in control.
So what are we going to do about it? Are we going to learn the hard way, like Joshua, or the easy way?
“I will never give up on this relationship. But what about you?”
There’s fundamentals, and then there’s fundamentals.
There’s things like math fundamentals, stuff we can use a calculator for, stuff like long division that you probably haven’t revisited in a while.
But most fundamentals are things you never stop doing.
You never forget how to tie your shoes. You never drop bathing for weeks on end.
In the same way we should never stop praying. We should never stop reading our Bible.
We should never stop being honest with God. We should never stop asking Him for help.
We should never stop thinking about God. We should never stop telling people about God.
Because this relationship is more than a fling, or a one time thing. It’s forever. We want to be with God forever.
And people go on and on about how relationships are hard, relationships are work. They’re not wrong. Relationships do take effort.
But a relationship with God is different.
Because it takes effort, but you’ll never be the only one trying.
And it takes sacrifice, but God has already made the utmost sacrifice for this relationship.
And it takes commitment, but the rewards are immense and overflowing.
Because while you may think you can have a decent life without God, you will always be doing much better with Him by your side.
What do you think? Are you getting too comfortable in your relationship with God?
One thought on “Read this if you’re feeling comfortable (Joshua 9)”
Yes. In spiritual things it is better to be uncomfortable than to be comfortable. That’s why Solomon says, “It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting…” Ecclesiastes 7:2
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