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Cart - Horse, not Horse - Cart

I have to ask this question, mostly because I have to ask it of myself from time to time, but how many times do you actually need help with something, but refuse to ask for it? We all have times when we feel ready to face the world head on, then in a moment's flash of time, our brains begin to ask the question, "Who's gonna go with me?" "Will there be anyone there to help me if I go this direction?"  We falter for just a moment or two as we realize if we go it alone, we are a sitting duck and may quickly realize we are not well prepared for the things we will encounter. If we have someone at our side, we are less likely to have to share the brunt of anything "negative" or "too hard for one person" on our own. The opposite is also true - when we are accompanied on our journey offering a helping hand along the way, we share the joy and glory with the one accompanying us! We all need someone to be there from time to time with just the right tool, answer, or support - the fight is just made a little easier by the companions we choose in the battle!

Who will take me to the thick of the fight? Who'll show me the road to Edom? You aren't giving up on us, are you, God? Refusing to go out with our troops? Give us help for the hard task; human help is worthless. In God we'll do our very best; he'll flatten the opposition for good. (Psalm 108:10-13)

Take me and show me. Two very descriptive actions. Who's going with you and I into the very thick of whatever fight or challenge we face right now? Here we observe David, a great warrior, being directed to take his troops into battle against the nation of Edom - a huge nation of raiding and highly skilled warrior nomads. They had fiercely resisted the people of Israel upon their entry into the Promised Land - forbidding them to pass through their rather large territory, making the nation of Israel take the long way around to get to their destination. David knows it is time to deal with Edom - but he doesn't want to go it alone! I can imagine his concerns because I have faced fierce opposition myself and the furthest thing from my mind is 'going it alone'! David describes it as a "hard task" - one for which he needs help. I think we all face those moments when the task seems a little daunting - we just don't want to rely upon our own efforts - doing it alone surely means defeat! We are always wise to recognize the difference it makes to have God directing our steps, giving us the wisdom for what is to be encountered and dealt with.

Look at the assurance David has - in God we'll do our best! I have had days when I have felt I was not "at my best", much less "doing my best". I don't think God is subject to those kind of days - he is always at his best! It is his "best" which gives us the ability to always be at our best! God delights in his children asking for his help. The timing is what we need to see here. David did not wait until he was smack-dab in the middle of the battle to cry out for help (something I am known to do from time to time). He asked before the task was undertaken (something I forget to do more than I'd like to admit). He wants to know God is going out with the troops - directing their steps, not just "involved in" them. "Involvement" isn't bad, but "direction" is much better! We see this example repeated throughout David's reign - get God's directive, then act. If we begin to recognize the value of this pattern, we will indeed be wiser by the moment! It is indeed a matter of timing - seek God first - THEN move. Get his agreement for the steps ahead. Too many times we take all the steps and then ask God to bless them. I think they refer to this putting the cart before the horse! God's goal is to get us to seek him first, then....all these other blessings are added.

This is more than a "bless this God" kind of seeking. It is a committed "I am not gonna make a move until I know you are with me in this" kind of seeking on David's part. His armies might be ready, but he needed to be assured God was leading his steps and guiding his actions. Now, let me just say, this requires some effort on our part, doesn't it? We have to still the forces that rage within us long enough and well enough to actually stand still long enough to hear from God. Indeed - harder said than done! Yet, it is the pattern which assures us of the best companion and plan for the venture ahead (and maybe we will realize it is not the venture we are supposed to be taking)! Hard tasks lay ahead. Have you consulted God for his direction? Are you committed to not make a move unless he goes with you? If not, maybe it is time to just stop and listen. Stop long enough and you will get the direction you need. Then, make the move - just know, you are no longer going it alone - God is with you! Just don't get the cart before the horse like I do at times! Just sayin!

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