Next to him was Shammah son of Ageethe Hararite.
When the Philistines banded together at a place
where there was a field full of lentils, Israel’s troops fled from them.
But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field.
He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the LORD brought
about a great victory.
– 2 Samuel 23:11-12
Following God closely involves your ears and your will.
Our family’s first airplane flight was from San Francisco to Chicago, with our three young kids in tow. We then rented a car that conveniently included a GPS feature. With a voice telling us when to turn and how far to travel, how could we go wrong?
Our destination, Iowa, was entered into the program and we began to carefully follow the verbal instructions. Have you ever had that troubling sense in your stomach that you are heading in the wrong direction? And it increases with each turn? I wanted to ignore that feeling, trying to convince myself that we could not be that far off course. Fortunately, my wife verbalized her concern (although I was not excited to hear it at the time), and her intuition was correct.
Exhausted parents navigating through the third largest city in our country late at night (with faulty directions and a backseat of very tired kids) is not an ideal start to a family vacation! There was the additional stress of knowing we still had four more hours of driving ahead of us once we were back on track. I swallowed my pride and pulled into a gas station to ask for directions. Who would ever want to do that? Yes, the GPS had led us astray. Has this ever literally happened to you? Or have you ever followed well-intentioned advice that was misleading you?
Every day you make choices about which of the competing voices will capture your attention. A man named Shammah was following God when the crowd was following their fears. The Philistines had the Israelites on the run when Shammah sensed he needed to defend his field of lentils (2 Samuel 23:11-12). Confidence in God grows when you know you are acting in alignment with His Word. Determination increases when your cause is worth the effort.
Do not be surprised when God confirms a new direction and asks you to persevere. No one had more sheer determination and perseverance than Jesus (2 Thessalonians 3:5). Rely on Him when you feel like giving up prematurely or taking a destructive shortcut. Jesus is the One we imitate and is the source of our strength.
What are the most helpful adjustments to your routine during a time of transition?
Looking for more encouragement? You might also like An Expression of New Life.
Excerpt republished with permission from A New Season by Jesse Bradley c. 2013.