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Gonna just breathe for a moment or two

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 MSG)

Sometimes facing the world head on isn't all that easy. There come moments when things just get a little messy and out of control. In just a short flash of time our brains begin to ask the question, "Who's gonna go with me, is there anyone with me in this?" We falter for just a moment or two as we realize if we go it alone (or have already tried to go it alone), we are sitting ducks just ripe for the plucking! If we have someone at our side, we are less likely to have to share the brunt of anything "negative" on our own, right? The opposite is also true - when we are accompanied on our journey, we share the joy and glory with the one accompanying us! We all need someone - the fight is made a little bit easier by the companions we choose in the battle!

David asks a similar question - who's going with me into the very thick of this fight I am about to enter into? He has been directed by God to take his troops into the battle against the nation of Edom - a huge nation of raiding nomads. They had resisted the safe passage of the people of Israel upon their entry into the Promised Land when coming out of Egypt - forbidding them to pass through their rather large territory and making them go the long way around.  Perhaps they were strategizing to take the Israelites when they were are some weak spot, such as when their resources were depleted and they were growing weak in their hunger, but that never happened because God maintained those resources. Now is the time to deal with Edom - but David doesn't want to go it alone!

David describes it as a "hard task" - one for which he definitely 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 alone - but I wonder how many times we don't ask for the assistance we need? 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 along the way. David has a defining assurance - in God we'll do our best! I have had days when I have felt I was not "at 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 most important, though! David did not wait until he was smack-dab in the middle of the battle to cry out for help. He asked before the task was undertaken. He wants to know God is going out with the troops - directing their steps, not just "involved in" them.

We see this example repeated throughout David's reign. First 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 we'd call 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. Now, let me just say, this requires some effort on our part. We have to still the forces which 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 this pattern of action which assures us of the best companion and plan for the venture ahead! 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 sayin!

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