Seek God First

So the Israelites examined their food, but they did not consult the Lord.

Joshua 9:14 NLT


Our Scripture is part of a section where the Gibeonites deceived Israel because they did not seek guidance from the Lord (Joshua 9:1-21 NLT). I learned this lesson the hard way when I did not seek God first.


While working with Youth With A Mission, I worked on a recruiting project called “Night of Missions.” One year we canceled part of our east coast tour for logistical reasons. Our event coordinator in Virginia Beach, VA. called and said, a few days before the previously scheduled date, “We are really looking for to you coming. We have sent out five hundred invitations and expect a huge crowd.” I don’t remember even telling him we had canceled his event, probably because the sound of a huge crowd kept reverberating in my mind. I just said, wow, we are looking forward to coming also.


I had no audio-video equipment and no staff for a team of about seven. I rented the equipment and begged, bribed, or whatever I had to do to recruit a team from my YWAM training center staff. I assembled a team in just a few days and was off to Virginia Beach. We arrived between 5:30 and 6:00 for a 7 PM event. The church was eerily quiet. Sometime later, the event coordinator arrived with his son, who was eating out of a box of vanilla wafers. The boy plops the box on the dessert table and says, “Here is our dessert.” We planned the night to be a mission’s challenge and fellowship around a nice dessert. 


Nobody showed up, and it was 6:45, and then they arrived, all seven of them. The speakers could have blown them out of the auditorium. We went on that night with a stiff upper lip. The following morning the van had a flat tire, and in exasperation, I asked the Lord, what is going on here.? After a few silent moments, wisdom became a keen sense of the obvious; I had not sought God first. 


Once back home, I said I would start over in a new week. Monday morning, when I opened my office door, there it was on my desk, a box of vanilla wafers put there by one of my staff. To this day, I still do not eat vanilla wafers.


The image is used with permission from Microsoft.

Ken Barnes is the author of “Broken Vessels,” published in February 2021, and “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” published by YWAM Publishing in 2011.

Ken’s Website—
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