Tag Archives: faith

Follow the Leader



“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.”
Joshua 5:13-14

Being the parent of one child, I had like zero knowledge of how to grow another person in a way that makes them easily manageable; there was no older sibling of his that I had already practiced on. I did have a monthly subscription to Parents magazine that I stored under my bed (I’m not kidding – each issue for many years. I always thought, what if I need to know what is in that magazine for how to deal with a 7 year-old, and I didn’t read it because Noah was 3 when I got it? Best to save it for the next four years under my bed just in case. I am SO THANKFUL for how the internet has changed my world).

When we were shopping, after he was too big to happily sit in the shopping cart, basically I was holding his hand all around the store, going where he led me, looking at the things he stopped at, and sneaking in my things as we went from one of his places to the next. This was especially true if it was something my husband was shopping for and Noah and I were just along for the fun.

I’m not proud of this. At all. Even as I type this it sounds ridiculous. Even ducks at the park have figured out how to do this right. The mama duck just goes along her way, with 9 babies all trailing behind – in a neat line, no less. They follow her.

I didn’t see it then, but I was doing it all backwards.

I wasn’t supposed to be following him. My child was supposed to be following me.

I think we get a little mixed up this way with Jesus too, sometimes.

Rather than following Jesus and His plan for our lives, we ask Him to tag along behind with our plans, asking Him to pick up all the things we drop along the way – things we weren’t supposed to be carrying in the first place.

He isn’t supposed to be following us. We are supposed to be following Him.

Joshua was reminded of this in the Old Testament.

New to the job, he had just led the Israelites out of the desert, across the Jordan River, through Gilgal and was nearing Jericho. Scripture says he saw a man (spoiler alert – it is actually either God in human form, Christ, or an angel) standing in front of him with a sword drawn.

“Are you for us or our enemies?” Joshua asked him.

I love his answer.

“Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.”

Joshua got it. He immediately fell down in reverence.

The notes in my Bible tell me this : “Joshua and Israel must know their place – it is not that God is on their side; rather they must fight God’s battles.”

Jesus isn’t following us. We are followers of His.

So many times I pray for God to be with me as I do this thing, or to work that other thing out for me. I make my plans and expect God to be right behind me in case I need help with whatever the next thing is that I am doing, when it should be the other way around.  I should be following God, seeing what He is doing and how I can play a part in it.

Daily, I need to be looking for God’s direction, and I sometimes forget this important detail.

Join me in beginning our days, asking God what He wants from us, being open and willing for whatever He has in store. His plans are always so much better than ours are anyway.

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

Tapes, faith, and Jonathan


“…Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.” 1 Samuel 14:6b

For several years, I worked as a transcriptionist for a mental health agency. I started out in data entry, then the transcriptionist had surgery, so I filled in, then she quit, so I was able to take the position. Perfect! Sometimes I was even able to do my work at home. During the summer, I could stop by the office, pick up the tapes and type them from the comfort of my home in my PJs, not needing a babysitter.

One problem. I didn’t keep up. I would drive to the office to pick up the tapes, sometimes 10 at a time. I might do two of them, then need to pick up more. The stack grew. This resulted in a very large envelope stuffed with untyped transcription tapes and a whole lot of stress. When I finished my journalism degree and was about to begin my internship at the paper, I quit the transcriptionist position and I turned in this giant envelope, with something like 40 untyped tapes, to my boss. She lovingly said something like…”I’m going to kill you…Good luck at the paper.”

I knew how to do the job, but it was too big for me, and maybe for any one person.

I’m so glad God isn’t like that. It’s comforting to know there is no job too big for Him.

In I Samuel chapter 14, Jonathan points this out as well.

Jonathan and Saul were taking on the Philistines with just 600 men, and the only weapons were what Jonathan and Saul had with them. Jonathan and his armor bearer took off for a bit to get a closer look at them, and Jonathan told his armor bearer to go with him to face the Philistines. He said, “Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.”

Jonathan was pretty wise. Not only did he know that the battle is God’s, which is something the Israelites had a recent habit of forgetting, he also knew that no battle was too big for God to win, and that He could use even just a couple of guys to do it.

On a side note, if ever there is a guy in the Bible to have a crush on, for me it’s Jonathan. I’m sure that sounds weird. But if there were a Jonathan poster, I would have it hanging on my wall right next to Taylor Lautner. There’s just something about his devotion to God, his humility, his loyalty to his friend, and his selflessness that really gets me all starry-eyed, like Marsha Brady at the mention of Davy Jones. But I digress.

That day, God caused somewhere around 20 Philistines to fall over when Jonathan came by, and his sidekick finished them off.

Jonathan knew no job was too big for God. That’s the kind of faith it takes. I wish I could always say the same about my own faith in God. I guess know it in my head, but sometimes my heart feels less sure.

God doesn’t guarantee He will fix things our way; however, He will do it the best way. Our job is just to trust Him and look to Him for our rescue.

If there is something in your life that seems too big, know that it isn’t. Like Jonathan, take a peek at your Philistines, and instead of seeing them, see how much bigger your God is than your situation.