Episode #35 Navigating Noisy Life Seasons- Know Who You’re Listening To
From Today's Episode:
Welcome! We're in our Know Who You're Listening To Series and today's topic is Navigating Noisy Life Seasons.
God, what message do you have for me?
Here's the episode transcript
Hey friends. Are the circumstances of your life loud? With all the things you have going on in your day, the priorities, the people, the responsibilities, how loud are your circumstances right now?
Maybe you're going through a unique season, something unexpected or something, especially difficult. Are those circumstances loud?
Do they capture your attention or demand that you take care of things in a different way than is typical or even just different from what feels like your normal capacity?
My circumstances are often pretty loud, just in the normal day to day. I'm a wife. I'm a mom of two young boys. I'm an entrepreneur and a ministry leader, and the circumstances of my life often demand my attention not to mention all of the unique circumstances and seasons that I might walk through.
As we're looking at the importance of who we give our attention to, sometimes our circumstances can take up too much of our focus. They can demand attention in ways that aren't helpful. So today we're talking about ways to identify the bandwidth or the space that we're giving our circumstances. And if our environment or the things going on around us are demanding too much of us, we'll talk more and we'll talk with God about what we can do about it.
The Bible story we're talking about today comes from the life of Joshua. Joshua is leading the Israelites into the promised land and we're getting to the point in the story where the Israelites are in front of the fortified city of Jericho.
Now, if you're familiar with the story of Jericho, you know that the Israelites marched around the city for six days, and then on the seventh day they marched around seven times, just as God had directed them and the walls of the city collapsed in front of them.
We know in hindsight what's going to happen with the city of Jericho, but we're picking it up here in Joshua 5, and God hasn't told Joshua yet what the plans are. Joshua has no idea. I'm going to read for us from Joshua 5:13-15 in the NIV. It says:
"Now, when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, 'are you for us or for our enemies?' 'Neither' he replied, 'but as commander of the army of the Lord, I have now come.' Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence and asked him, 'What message does my Lord have for his servant?' The commander of the Lord's army replied, 'take off your sandals for the place where you are standing is holy.' And Joshua did so."
In the ESV translation, it says, "Are you for us or for our adversaries?" And he said, 'no, but I am the commander of the army of the Lord...'"
I have loved this story for a really long time because the commander of the Lord's army knows his place, and Joshua is looking, rightly so, at some circumstances that he's facing.
He is the leader. He's leading the people into the promise that God has for them, and there's an obstacle that's standing in the way of them entering and fully taking hold of that promise. It's not an incorrect thing for Joshua to be mindful of the circumstances and the season they're in and what he needs to do to help the people enter into the promise of God. That's all good. But he approaches this man and tries to clarify, are you for me or for my enemies? Are you for what I'm doing? Are you coming along with me or are you going along with them? And the commander of the Lord's army says, no, that's not what's happening here.
This is an invitation for Joshua to respond to God being there present with him. I love how it continues when Joshua says, what message does my Lord have for his servant? And the reply is, take off your sandals for the place where you're standing is holy.
What can I do in response to God? Be mindful of what is happening right here. You, here in this moment with me, God.
So often in my own life, I can look at my circumstances and ask God to come along with me. I can look at times when I've been standing outside my Jericho and trying to assess a situation and ask God, "God, are you with them or are you with me?" And he says, no, no, no. You get to come be with me.
And so our question for God today is really simple. God is here. Our greatest opportunity is to put our circumstances in right perspective. Not that we need to ignore them, not that we need to leave what's right in front of us, or that we have to abandon the plans that we're working, but we get to pause for a moment and be mindful of God as here with us. We get to engage in conversation with him just as Joshua did with God's Messenger, and say, "what message does my Lord have for his servant?"
And so today we're simply mirroring the question that Joshua asked the messenger. Now he spoke to an angel, and we as children of the New Covenant, walking in relationship with God, we get to ask the question of God directly.
God, what message do you have for me?
And then continue to walk according to what he tells us.
Have a good talk.
And if you've been encouraged by this content, please share it with a friend and help them grow in their conversational relationship with God too!
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