“How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:19-21

Many of us are very good at what I call the What-if Game. “What if the situation turns out this way? What if it goes that way?” We plot and we plan. We play the options over and over again in our heads, rehearse what we will say and think of all the possible ways the others involved might react. We might even be confident in our ability to sway other people to our way of thinking in order to get what we want.

The Israelites fell into this trap. When their enemies came, the Israelites ran. It seemed the sensible thing to do. They counted on their ability to run faster than their enemies. The prophet Isaiah warned that if they relied on their own abilities instead of on God’s, they would not be able to outrun the enemy.

God told them through Isaiah that rest and reliance on Him were the answers to their problems. The moment they turned to God and confessed their need for Him was the moment He spoke.

King David wrote, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” (Psalm 20:7) The Israelites didn’t have to be stronger or smarter. They just had to listen to their Creator. God’s protection and guidance was theirs and is ours today if we will be still, resist the urge to figure it out ourselves, and instead wait for the Teacher’s voice.

Lord, help me resist the desire to rely on my own wisdom and abilities. Give me your peace in every situation and give me the strength to wait on your instruction. Amen.

Take Action

Be conscious of where your mind goes today. If you find yourself playing the What-if Game, direct your thoughts back to God and His Word. To help you do that, you could put the following verse on your phone or write it down somewhere handy:

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” Psalm 20:7

Have you given God a blank check about your future?