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Wouldn't It Be Nice If God Gave Us A Map?katie

By Katie Heckel



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. Joshua 5:13-15



“Wouldn’t it be nice if God gave us maps, clear directions about where and when to turn in life?” I have often wondered about this, but it seems that God does not provide maps. He does something far better.



A map takes something we cannot see and shrinks it down so we can comprehend and manage a journey. Perhaps God withholds the details included in maps so that we will trust him, be trustworthy, and move closer to his side.



At times it is often hard to trust God. Even when I am really trying hard to seek a God-given vision I can get caught up in my own plans and dreams. When there are no signs of the dream coming true, God seems distant and I feel alone. 



When I read the beautiful stories in the scriptures, I find myself in good company. In story after story, God gives his people a vision, but he leaves out key details of how to reach or achieve the vision. Even great leaders like Joshua felt fear and loneliness.



God told Joshua to lead God’s people across the Jordan River to the Promised Land. God gave Joshua a clear vision, but he was obviously was confused and fearful. God told him over and over, “fear not…”



Why would our heavenly Father give us visions and general commands, but remain somewhat silent regarding the day-to-day details of us being faithful to the vision?



God desires for us to trust Him. If I have a map that tells me all the right turns and moves, why do I need God? My trust would be in the map and not in God. God wants us to take our desires, questions and our battles and place them at his feet. God wants us trust him fully. Indeed, without him I am doomed to failure.



God’s desires for us to live in community. Later in Joshua 6, we find God giving all the people different responsibilities regarding the capture of Jericho. Everybody had a job, and everyone had to show up. God’s vision requires the cooperation of the Body of Christ. If we had a map, we might not need community. I might seek the vision as a solo act. But we need each other to be faithful to his mission and vision.



God desires for us to seek him every day. Joshua was given a huge vision and command. But God gave them more details as they went forward. This means they had to keep listening. They had to keep asking for God’s guidance. They were obedient to what they heard, one day at a time. Every time we seek God in faith, we are standing on holy ground.



Joshua’s gang had a huge opportunity and responsibility. Because they trusted God with their lives step by step, the walls of Jericho came down. God provided the victory, but God’s children had to do their part.



God’s doesn’t give us a map for our lives because he wants us to trust him, serve in community and seek him daily.



What vision or command has God put on your heart this week? Drawing a blank? Here is one even bigger than the vision given to Joshua.



“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind….[and] love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:36-40).



About the Author 


Katie Heckel serves as Associate Campus Minister of Wesley Foundation at Mississippi State University. She's also executive director of RafikiFriends, an organization aiming to meet the needs of orphan care in Ghana, Africa, by offering the self-giving friendship of Jesus. Lastly, she's a singer-songwriter. Find her music at and iTunes.



A Word From James

Knowing and doing God's will is our challenge and joy God's children. We often focus on our desires. Katie's words are important in that they focus us on the constant God's desires regardless of our situations.





Cruciform Music - This Month's Featured Song

"Pour Out Your Love" by Katie Heckel

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