Do you remember when you were a little kid and saw something that you just had to touch? Like a pan of chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven…you would reach your hand forward and just as you were about to grab one of those cookies someone would yell, “Stop!”
Would you stop? No, of course not. You’d pause and then…
You didn’t listen. You burned yourself. Whoops. Hopefully you learned your lesson: when things come out of the oven, they are hot.
Our parents, grandparents, neighbors and friends all help us learn these lessons as we grow older. We learn that some things are safe and some things are not. God also teaches us these lessons along the way.
Sometimes, He tells us, “Stay away.” Sometimes, all we hear is a still, small voice that says, “Be still and wait.” We may pray over and over again, but we find ourselves still wondering if we will ever be able to move forward. So, we may think to ourselves, “If I could just help him along a little bit by…”
And we decide to intervene. Maybe we pursue a relationship with someone who is not going to lead us closer to God. Maybe we invest our time in a project that distracts us from our relationship with God. Or maybe we try our hand at a job that God did gift to us.
Whatever the case may be, I’m sure we’ve all been there. But we can look to Joshua 7 for a clear-cut reason not to: it’s a sin.
The Lord said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I have commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies…” -Joshua 7:10-11
In chapter 6, the Lord commanded the Israelites to keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction (vs. 18). However, one man, Achan, chose to blatantly disobey God. As a result, the Israelite army experienced an overwhelming defeat in the city of Ai.
God has a purpose and a path set out for each of us. However, we must be willing to settle in to where we are now and wait until He tells us, “Touch.” Taking things into our own control can have dangerous consequences.
Have you burned yourself recently by touching something God told you not to touch? How did you react? How did you grow?
During the waiting and the stillness, how have you been pursuing God?