Getting The Lay of The Land
“The house of Joseph also went up against Bethel, and the Lord was with them. And the house of Joseph scouted out Bethel…and the spies saw a man coming out of the city, and they said to him, ‘Please show us the way into the city, and we will deal kindly with you.’ And he showed them the way into the city. And they struck the city with the edge of the sword, but they let the man and all his family go” (Judges 1:22-25).
In the summer of 2002 the Lord called me into a TV ministry in the country of Mongolia. I had never been to Mongolia before. I didn’t know anything about it. In fact, Mongolia seemed to be so foreign to me that I wasn’t even sure I wanted to go. So, working with the organization that operated the ministry there, I set out on a week’s journey to visit Mongolia and get the lay of the land. I wanted to find out as much about Mongolia and the TV ministry as I could before I committed to moving my family to that far away country. The Lord rewarded my work and we spent ten years ministering in Mongolia.
The Lord was with the tribe of Joseph. He called them to conquer the land and settle it. But he didn’t’ call them to go in blindly. Joseph set off on a plan to scout out the land so he would know its weaknesses and strengths so he would know how to plan his conquest.
What has God called you to? What opportunities lay before you that you want to pursue? Instead of just going in blindly, take some time to scoot things out. When Jesus called his disciples he didn’t simply send them out in his name. He spent three years training them. When God called Paul to missionary service he spent years training him in the desert. Even today when God calls pastors, most of them go to seminary to be trained, and then visit the churches they are called to before making a commitment. Scouting things out is a wise practice, to see how God might use you.
“It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out” (Proverbs 25:2).
Whatever your situation, don’t stumble into things blindly. Take time to research what you will do and the opportunities that lie before you. Then, make a careful, wise, and informed decision.