A Generation More Devoted
Judges 2:7 – Unlike their fathers, they quickly turned from the way in which their father’s had walked, the way of obedience to the Lord’s commands. (NIV 1978)
My Musing – It is a sad fact of life that all too often (but not always!) there is generational drift. Each successive generation is less devoted to God than the previous. That is until, like the Judges of Israel, God raises someone up to save the nation (family).
My Advice – Pay attention to your Christian heritage. The family that you came from and their devotion and obedience to God and Jesus. Learn from that devotion (what to imitate) and from those instances where they (meaning mainly me) departed from that devotion (what not to imitate). Make it a goal of your life to be a generation that is more devoted than the past one, and pass it on.
When Failure To Choose Is A Choice
Joshua 24:14, 15 – “Now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves whom you will serve. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – Few Christians would intentionally and explicitly choose to not serve the Lord. But the sad reality is that many do so “unintentionally” and implicitly simply by inaction. Choices that we do not make are really choices.
My Advice – Be intentional about your choice to serve God. Make this a choice not only for yourself, but when the time comes for your family too.
Heart & Soul
Joshua 22:5 – “But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to obey His commands, to hold fast to Him and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – Many serve. Many follow. Many obey. But fewer do so consistently with all their heart and soul. But to serve, follow and obey without heart and soul is essentially meaningless.
My Advice – Be passionate about serving, following and obeying God. This does not mean that you have to be fanatical, it simply means you are genuine, sincere and enthusiastic.
Not A One
Joshua 21:45 – Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; everyone was fulfilled. (NIV 1978)
My Musing – God is trustworthy. He will keep all of His good promises. There are also promises that are not so good for those who disobey. But God is merciful to those who ask His forgiveness. There may be consequences to sin, but there will also be mercy and forgiveness.
My Advice – Do not be discouraged when God’s answers to prayer seem slow in coming. God is faithful and will keep His promises. Only He knows when the time is right. So be patient. Also, be encouraged even when you experience the consequences of sins you have confessed, that God is merciful. He has forgiven and the consequences could have been much worse if unconfessed.
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.
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.