Have you ever made a really big mistake? I’m not talking about that extra scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream, I’m talking the kind of choice that you regret years and years later.
I can think of two.
The thing is, I made those two fateful decisions for exactly the same reason; I didn’t really stop and pray and then wait to find out what God’s plan was, I shot up a token prayer and then plowed ahead with what I thought was best. Spoiler alert: I didn’t know best and I paid for it.
In Joshua chapter 9, the Israelites faced a similar scenario. After miraculously crossing the Jordan River into Canaan, and then having a couple of really dramatic victories, Joshua and the other leaders had apparently become over-confident in their ability to lead God’s people.
When the Gibeonites (a group of people living in Canaan) showed up with a very suspicious offer, the Israelite leaders thought that they could handle the situation. The Bible specifically states that they, “Did not seek the Lord’s decision.” (vs. 14)
Within three days, the Israelites realized that they had been fooled.
How much regret might we avoid in life if we simply remembered to stop and pray? Proverbs 3:5 reminds us not to lean too heavily on our own understanding because, like those Israelite leaders, we have a tendency to think that we are wiser than we are.
We will never regret time spent in prayer, seeking the Lord’s guidance, but we may often regret the times that we didn’t.