My pastor shared with us a profound question this past Sunday and I’d like to continue the conversation… hope that’s ok… Q asked the question about how far would we allow God to take us before we take back control – or to reword with another perspective, “How long will we listen and obey God until we decide to do what we want?”     

When I think of the question in the context of the Joshua 6 & 7 scripture, I come up with a different answer than when the context is changed.  In Joshua the example is one man/family/group choosing to sin, the sin was corrected and things were back on track – all is good.  But when you look at Job there is this Godly man who has a series of bad things happen to him until he’s literally left with nothing – one at a time, over and over, until nothing.  Job didn’t bring these upon himself because of anything he did; God chose to send him down that path. So, when I consider Q’s question in the context of Joshua, I want to jump up and say I’ll follow this “righteous & just” God anywhere He wants me to go.  If I end up somewhere bad, then I need to retrace my steps and make things right so I can get to where God “really” wanted me to be.  This way of thinking leads me to believe that I am in some sort of control and then puts me in the statement making “it” (my life) about me and not Him.    But in light of Job, I have to be honest and wonder how many of my own comforts would I be willing to lose (wealth, stature, companionship, health …) before I start asking like Job, “Why have you forsaken me?” and take back control on my own.  Or maybe worse yet, how many times will I knowingly allow God to lead me down a road that continues to lead to pain and suffering without taking back control?   I wish I could say I’m good for 10 consecutive bad times before I take back control, but it seems like I’m the owl in the old Tootsie Pop commercial (1, 2, 3, crunch… no one really knows how many licks it takes to get to the center of…).  Sometimes I can take my licks and be patient enough to wait for another, but at other times I take back control and crunch to the good stuff.  What I do know is that I want to trust God and walk in faith and each day that I make that choice, I think I’m a little bit closer to where God is leading me… even if that means my journey is to travel down a self-destructive or painful road.  – Mark