You Can Drive Them Out
Joshua 18:18 – “Though the Canaanites have iron chariots and though they are strong, you can drive them out.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – For most of us, the “Canaanites” that we face are those sins and habits that we want to hold onto, but deep down in our hearts we know that we should not hold onto. The desire to hold on (our sin nature) can be very strong, but not so strong that with the help of the Holy Spirit we cannot drive them out.
My Advice – Never let yourself become convinced that you cannot overcome a sinful habit or sinful nature. While it may seem like you will be going up against an “iron chariot” on foot, He who is in you is greater than any old iron chariot.
How Long Will You Wait?
Joshua 18:3 – So Joshua said to the Israelites, “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you?” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – The Israelites had wandered in the wilderness for forty years, unable to take possession of the land due to disobedience. They had tried, but God did not let them. Now that they were able to take possession they were unwilling or at least hesitant to do so. Not following God’s will has two aspects: doing things He prohibits and not doing things He desires.
My Advice – It is good to wait for the Lord’s direction and guidance before undertaking anything of importance. But once you have the direction, do not hesitate to carry out God’s will promptly.
Is Your Backup In The Cloud?
Philippians 4:6, 7 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV 1984)
Who’s got your back? As much as we want to be independent and self-sufficient, it is nice to know that someone has our back. But not just anyone, but rather someone who is both dependable and capable. For what good is backup if it cannot be relied upon to be there when needed, and also capable of providing the backup without “crashing?” For Christians, our backup is God. Not only is He dependable (always faithful), but He is capable (all powerful).
We also want personal attention. Not a “one-size reply all” type of attention. This too is something that we can count on from God. He knows all about us, every single detail and every single concern. For “[b]efore I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” (Jeremiah 1:5, NIV 1978). I like that.
Step 8: Be Engaged With The Church
In Christ, we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. (Romans 12:5)
A: Discovering the Truth
B. Exploring the Truth
God has characterized the Church as a body. Like a body the Church is made up of many members, yet it forms a whole. If one part is missing the whole body suffers. An ear can, to some degree, compensate for the loss of the eyes, but the whole person will suffer nonetheless for the loss of the eyes. So it is with the Church. It functions better as a whole, if all of the members are accounted for and functioning in harmony with the rest of the members. Continue reading “Be Engaged With The Church”
Until You Remove It
Joshua 7:11, 13b – “Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things. O Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove it.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – As Christians, we are God’s chosen. But just like Israel, who was also God’s chosen; we cannot expect Him to bless us, prosper us or rescue us from difficulties as long as we have unrepented sin in our lives.
My Advice – Do not expect God’s full blessings during periods that you are have unconfessed sins in your life. We may be under grace and the freedom that accompanies it, but we still have a responsibility to obey His moral law. It is unrealistic for us to expect His full blessing when we do not give Him full obedience.
Gathering Manna When You Wander
Joshua 5:12 – The manna stopped the day after they ate the food from the land. (NIV 1978)
My Musing – God makes provision for us in our “wilderness wanderings” to help sustain us. But not just “in,” He sustains us “through.” The wandering may seem very long to us at times, but He will fully provide what is needed to see us through.
My Advice – When you are “wandering in the wilderness” of a difficult time or circumstance, do not forget to gather the manna. God is providing for you somehow, but too often we overlook it or do not look in the right place. But you can be sure that the provision is there and that it will be sufficient to carry you through.
Cain’t Leaves His Mark
“Cain said to the Lord, ‘My [affliction] is more than I can bear’.” (Genesis 4:13, NIV)
The story of our oldest son Joshua, a life that was marked by what he could not or “Cain’t” do.
There comes a time in everyone’s life when only pictures and memories remain. Such is the case with our oldest son Joshua, who died in 1993 when he was only nine. Some images remain clear and some have faded. But memories, and the feelings and emotions that accompany the memories, are all we have left until we are reunited. And those memories tell an amazing story of God’s power and grace. Continue reading “Cain’t Leaves His Mark”