Sometimes God calls us to leave what we’re doing and go forward into an unknown territory. Like Abraham. Boldly forging into the unknown and bravely moving on from where we are onto something new. The call is clear and we would be disobedient to remain where we are.
But other times, and oftentimes, His word for us is simple: be where you are. Stay here until you hear otherwise.
Isthi. That’s what He told Joseph, the young father, scared for his new son’s life, running to Egypt to escape a bloodthirsty, narcissistic King. Isthi. Stay in Egypt. Be there. Isthi. Until I tell you. Remain in Egypt.
The future is not certain. Many big decisions stand between now and whatever is next. Isn’t that always the case? How else could we live by faith? If we knew when and how and why and where it would be easy to trust. But that’s not actually trust, is it?
Joseph was entrusted with a very significant charge. A small, helpless child is always a large responsibility, let alone a small, helpless child who was born to be the Savior of all. Surely there were questions in Joseph’s mind. “If this is Israel’s King, why are we in Egypt?” “If this baby is truly our Savior, when do we transition from refugee family living in obscurity to a place where he can do his saving?”
Isthi. That was the answer Joseph received from God. Be there until I tell you.
Take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you.” ~Matthew 2:13
It is profound enough to hear this verbal command from the Lord. But further insight of the meaning of that word brings even greater depth. Isthi: Simply translated the word can have the meaning of our word ‘be’. Expanded, the translation moves to the idea of agreeing to, or giving thyself wholly to. Give thyself wholly to your time in Egypt. Stay there fully. Agree to your time there. And be there, until I give you further direction.
Too often we hear the command “stay here until I tell you”, as “stay here and do nothing but wait.” With blinders on we see only what we’re waiting for, and we overanalyze every situation, every conversation, every occurrence, wondering if that was the word of the Lord telling us to move forward. And in all this we are missing the only command we actually were given.
God made sure Joseph didn’t miss any directions. We can be sure that we won’t either.
It is harder than it sounds. Those living normal, average, daily lives know this. We want to be sure that this is really where we’re supposed to be. That we’re not outside of God’s will. We give ourselves stomach aches and anxiety attacks trying to make sure we’re doing things right.
Can’t we release this for just a moment and just be here? Agree that God has brought us here, give ourselves wholly to the task at hand? Try it with me. What would it be like to be here? Today, tomorrow, this week? Could we hear this word, and be here with all that we have, until further notice?