Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Judges 16

We open with Samson sinning before taking hold of the doors of the city gate (weren’t these made of bronze?), uprooting the posts and carring them off on his shoulders. He is then bound with bronze shackles and imprisoned. Closing scene is Samson praying and then pushing down the support piillars in triumph.

Samson was bound by that which he had power over when the Spirit was with him.
Samson thought his power was in externals and observations … in something he did or didn’t do. Or worse that it was from himself as he thought with his newly shaved head.
Lord, help me to gratefully rely on Your power and not my might that I may walk in victory and freedom all the days of this earthly experience. Holy Spirit, may I never be deceived into thinking that what I do or from what I refrain defines me or empowers me. God help me to never be tricked into thinking that it is of me. Grant me sufficient eyes to see where I am about to be enslaved to a thing or idea…that I may recognize and repent of my own prideful folly…especially a thing which You have given me success over in the past. may I never think so much of me that I fail to listen to Your precious Spirit or anyone You sovereignly choose to speak truth to me. Thank You that Your gifts and callings are irrevocable – help me to do it Your way though.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Judges 15

I keep trying to read this story as if I had never heard it, not to have a blah blah blah experience because it is so familiar. The thing which keeps coming before me is that Samson has no concern for anyone but himself. His desires, his expressions of himself, his responces. He is and there is no other. Makes me wonder how he was raised. Did Momma get too bossy with the authority given her in front of Manoah and spoil him rotten? Was Samson always so petulant and with his strength he was unstoppable? What fueled his appetite for annihilation? Just because a kid can bang cows together doesn’t mean you let him.

Lord, I am challenged in my parenting, my friendships, my circles of influence…Help me Father to love rightly and humbly. To be teachable and humble. Help me to graciously receive correction and please give it to me. Lord, where you have placed me to speak to anyone, please grant me courage (because we both know how I squirm at the thought of confrontation) to speak Your words, to love well and to address the issues You call me to.

God, I need wisdom. I want to glorify You in my relationships and my life; but I am a real jerk sometimes – but usually only when I open my mouth. I thank You for persevering with me and not throwing me out of the game. May my mouth be used to glorify You and nothing else. May my words be instructive and true. Help me not respond from my feelings, rather from my faith in You, the Hope of Glory.

Holy Spirit, please subdue my temper, lest it subjugate me. Your way, not mine own. May I walk after my Messiah’s way rather than Samson’s folly. Both had great power, authority, strength and influence; yet Christ conducted Himself in the manner befitting a King. I want to follow Him. And may You be praised all the while.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Judges 14

If you had not plowed with my heifer … I love old testament talk.

And behold, a young lion came toward him roaring. Then the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him.

Thank You God that when danger is coming and roaring You don’t slowly come to my rescue.  I praise You for Your urgency, Your attention to my estate, Your holy rushing on behalf of one of Your servants.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Judges 13

And Manoah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, for we have seen God.” ~Legalism.

But his wife said to him, “If the LORD had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering at our hands, or shown us all these things, or now announced to us such things as these.”
~ Responding with faith and trust to God’s grace.

Father God, You alone are worthy of my worship and my attention. You author and authorize faith. May I walk in grateful and confident response to You – in faith and trust of Your words, Your actions and Your heart. Keep me from being stuck in the law when Your grace prevails; ‘legalista’ is not a descriptor that I desire, ever. Please bring to full-term birth all that You have spoken into my life and all that You have commanded me let me observe. Help me to facilitate these things in the lives of those You have given to me to influence.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Judges 12

Shibboleth means snail and is pronounced: shab-lool’ while Sibboleth, prounounced: sib-bo’-leth, means ear of grain or wheat. I though that was interesting, maybe you did, too.

The Gileadites descended from Manasseh, Ephraim’s brother. So the Ephraimites threaten and insult their cousins. In response, the Gileadites strike the men of Ephraim who had come up against them. Seriously!??! Friendly fire is the way these folks died. Did they not have enough true enemies?

God, Lord and Worthy One, please keep me from responding with pride to anyone. Lord, I am Your servant and as such, I am defined by You. Please help me to remember that when my feelings get hurt, I am tempted to take offense, someone insults or threatens me. God help me to pray for those that call names and please help me to call only edifying and loving names – a clarion call of holiness and faith in the face of difficulty. May I not only be a speaker of faith; but one who walks in faith. Lord, keep me from participating in friendly fire and if it pleases You to use me to help diffuse such situations, that’s okay with me.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Judges 11

Jephthah's beginnings may have not been ideal; but he knew the history, he knew the LORD.  I don't know why his mom was a prostitute - a Hebrew whore?  That doesn't follow from God's directions; so maybe she was of another heritage, part of the forsaking and serving other gods ... but somehow, Jeph got the instruction.  He knew God was the reason they were where they were, he understood the art of possessing the land, he knew the details, someone had made sure this man knew from where he came.  I am encouraged that what we plant in our children (even those who carry other people's names)  does not get taken away.  Even if they run off and draw worthless people them.  Keep me, o Heavenly Father, from planting harmful, hateful, deceptive thoughts; Lord, only that which brings You honor and glory.  Help me, o God, to plant much, to water and tend well the spiritual things in the lives of the children You entrust to me.  May I be faithful and stewardly-wise with the trust You have given me. 

He was a mighty warrior; but one with reason and mediation skills, honest even.  He seems remarkable to me.  But then he promises "whatever comes out from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites shall be the LORD’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.”  the thing is whatevers don't come out of doors, whoevers do ... so who would possibly come out of his house to meet him?  I know that you do not make an oath and back down from it; especially one you make to the LORD.  So why on earth would he make such a statement?  Was it careless, boisterous, prideful?  Fake humility, deceived speech?  I can't imagine what would possess a person to commit to a burnt offering that which proceeds from his doors.  With all of his abilities and reason, his words mystify me ... especially in light of the fact that just prior to this God's Spirit came upon Jeph.  I can understand giving all to God, more so when His Spirit is strong upon you.  But to devote a person to a burnt offering. 

God, Jeph spoke without talking to You, without asking You what You wanted.  God help me to always ask what You desire before I go off pledging and promising.  Did he only know about You and not know You?  Please help me to know You more and more - for knowing You to be the purpose in my life and not any conquest or sacrifice.  Please help me come to You after I do speak out of turn, may I never forget nor stop responding to the cross.  May I bring others to Your very bloody sacrifice which has paid for all matter of sin, rebellion, pride.  Please help my words not cost others.

Lord, I am so impressed that Jeph's daughter would return and submit to her father's (apparent) folly.  What devotion to Your Name.  May I honor You in the same way.  Complete trust, obedience and acceptance of Your words.  I thank You that You have words for me.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Judges 10

And they forsook the LORD and did not serve him.

The Israelites served other gods and then they served the people of those gods.
What am I entertaining in my mind – giving service to in my thoughts or my time – which is idolatrous? Not necessarily a tangible thing like a little golden figure; but something which gets more of my time, my heart, my thoughts, my preoccupation, my tears. Is it a problem which has landed at my feet? A scenario in which I find myself; but can do nothing but pray and wait? Am I more caught up in the thing than the God who sits enthroned forever and forever over all matters?

After the forsaking came the oppression. The children of God became the slaves of the gods’ people.

God, I am so sorry, I am wanting to focus on the thing rather on You. Truth is – and You know it – I just don’t know what to do, say or even how to pray. Help me not pay more attention with my mind, my emotions and my spiritual energy to the circumstances than I do to You – You, the One who allowed these situations to occur. I do not want to be guilty of forsaking You by serving a lesser god. Lord help me to navigate life, and certainly today, in a way which serves You. I do not want to be tricked into being a slave to any one, thing or situation. Thank You for Your word/warning on how a situation can be come an idol. Thank You for Your grace in showing me what a slippery slope forsaking can be. Please be glorified in me today.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Judges 9

Thus God returned the evil of Abimelech, which he committed against his father in killing his seventy brothers. And God also made all the evil of the men of Shechem return on their heads, and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal.

God knew the evil perpetuated by Abimelech. He allowed Jotham to speak the curse and leave. God then allowed the curse to come upon the men. God does accomplish His work. He gives us the privilege of participating; but He needs us not. I am encouraged that Jotham spoke out and left it. He didn’t try to manipulate it, (perhaps he was afraid – but he still did not mess with the situation to accomplish the curse).

I am faced with saying some hard things and waiting on God to know how to say them. I am encouraged by God’s faithfulness in doing His work while using a little, insignificant servant to speak His words.

O, my God, please help me hallow You in what You allow. Show me Your way, the way everlasting. May I respond according to Your words and purpose, even though I don’t know how to begin. I pray that You would reveal the deceptions of the enemy; that You would shatter the lies which accommodate the evil; that You would stir up holy unrest in Your people that they, individually and corporately, would resist passivity or complacency in regard to Your call. That Your people, who are called by Your Name would simply obey. Give us eyes to see even the smallest areas (no small area of disobedience to You) of rebellion and make us miserable until we choose repentance.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Judges 8

exhausted yet pursuing …  If I am never exhausted for Him, what does that say about me?  If I never pursue, how do I ever know His strength and supply - Him?  Oh, Thou who alone is worth pursuing, may I pursue with the same fierceness as one in battle. And may I see You be my Strength and my Renewing.  Help me God to live a life which understands that exhausted (for You) is not mutually exclusive from a life which is in all-out pursuit of You.  And I praise You, God, that You want to be caught!

And Gideon made an ephod of it and put it in his city, in Ophrah. And all Israel whored after it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and to his family. …  God, when You allow me to be a part of the great things You do (and You only do great things!), do not allow a stone of remembrance to You to become my idol – a thing which draws more attention (and adoration) than You. You are the Treasure, You are my Treasure; not any fabulous result from the victory – even though You give great triumphs, liberty and plunder and for those I praise You and thank You. Show me where I have ‘idol-ness’ in my life, my heart and my schedule.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Judges 7

And the LORD said to Gideon, “The people are still too many. Take them down to the water, and I will test them for you there ..."  

Thank You Lord God, that You do the testing, You know what's in the heart, You know Your plans and You execute them perfectly.  May I be found as cooperative as Gidi to the accomplishing of Your Kingdom's strategy.

And his comrade answered, “This is no other than the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel; God has given into his hand Midian and all the camp.”

Lord God, You set up kings and You depose them, You establish reputations - even when there is no history to promote, You give life to the dead and call into existence the things that do not exist, You are the Author and Finisher of our Faith, oh Creator God.  I praise You.  May I look to You alone to establish the work of my hands.  I trust You, my God and my Savior.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Judges 6

Timid Gideon worshiped God and cut down the idolatrous places before the Spirit wrapped him up securely. His first Spirit-led act was a rallying call of unity and rebellion against the oppressors. He then seeks confirmation of God’s word with the fleece. I wonder, since he had the warriors gathered around him, for whom did Gidi ask for the demonstration … himself or all those who answered the call?

God, I praise You for making Gideon such a reserved man. You wired him to not be wild and warlike, then you made him valiant and victorious in spite of his natural inclination. Lord, I don’t know if he believed himself to be smaller and less significant than he was – a lie – and this answer to the cry of Your chosen ones was also an exercise in liberty for Gidi or if he was truly a fear-consumed man; but I ask that You do for me what You did for Gideon.

Help me respond to You, Your words, Your call to holiness, Your invitation to abandon the lesser gods in my life and culture. I pray that I would be consumed with You, my fear would be that awe and reverence which is the product of the right view of Your holiness, i would be all wrapped up in Your Spirit and completely yielded to You, Holy Spirit.

I ask that I may be useful for aggressive acts of rebellion against the enemy’s kingdom, that I would help rally Your people to Your purposes, and that I would have the discernment and courage to ask You for what is needed for the time and trial. To the praise of your very great and matchless Name.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Judges 5

A woman judge who leads into war, a reluctant man going to war and a gracious, rural, blessed housewife – what unanticipated players in this praise. Lord, help and hearten me to fulfill the role for which You have created me; even when it is not traditional, not comfortable, not expected. I want to praise Your Name for the very great things You do; but I have to be willing to be in the mix. Lord, I desire to be in Your mix. And Lord, I pray that where and how You lead me, my obedience will make You famous in my time and introduce peace and rest to those around me.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Judges 4

Having recently read Bishop Pillai’s* treatment of the salt covenant, I am struggling to find a specific message in this text as I keep running his words through my head. He points out the different covenants of protection and loyalty Jael makes with Sisera, (taking him into the tent, covering him with the mantle, giving salted milk rather than just water and agreeing to lie for him) and how Sisera deeded them less than satisfactory by being found in her tent space.

When Jael kills Sisera – who had been given great consideration of protection – he was in her tent, not the common area. According to Pillai, “This space is inviolate; not even the police may violate the privacy of the women’s quarters.” And Sisera deemed it necessary to his safety while insulting Jael and allowing her to deliver the penalty of breaking the salt covenant – death. The fact that she drove a tent peg through his temple speaks to his unbelief in her word …. as she could have exacted the payment in any fashion she desired. “She drove the nail into his head where the unbelief resided. So he died. His unbelief killed him.”

Pillai continues with the parallel of the salt covenant we have from God, and makes the statement “If we cannot believe this (God’s word and promises to us), and remain in the security of God’s word; if we do not believe the covenants He has made with us, then we, like Sisera, will die the death of unbelief.”

All the while partaking of partial provision, we fail to trust completely and are so deceived. Yikes. Lord God, please show me where I am tempted to not believe You, not trust completely, where I am working on any aspect of Your promises to me – as if Your word needs any help in being fulfilled. God, You are enough. I want to consistently rest in the fullness of that truth. To the praise of Your very great Name.

*Light through an Eastern Window by The Right Reverend Bishop Karnam C. Pillai, The Salt Covenant chapter

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Judges 3

God left nations to test or prove Israel by, like Daniel wanted to prove the diet he requested was superior to that which came from the king’s table. A demonstration. Before the paragraph concludes, the Author and Finisher of our Faith reveals the sobering fail of His very precious chosen children. The King of the Universe’s intention was to teach the new generation war, they received it as an opportunity to intermarry and serve lesser gods. And to do evil in the sight of their Most Holy God.

Father, help me to receive that which You give to me in the fashion and form of Your perfect intention. Holy Spirit, please keep me from taking freedom with a test that I might have a worthy testimony … a good example rather than that terrible warning. Your purposes, not mine; Your intentions, not mine; Your glory, not mine. I thank You that You would provide One who would save even a rebellious one as me.

(Just for interest …Shamgar, son of Anath who saved Israel -the names mean Sword, son of Answer who delivers victoriously. That made me smile.)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Judges 2

They did not drop any of their practices or their stubborn ways.

Father God, please help me to drop quickly any practice or stubborn way which does not please You. God I do not desire to go my own way…even when I do, I know that I am deceived. Please keep me from that exercise in foolishness. Keep me from toasting lesser gods that all my strength, focus, and will may be devoted to Your great Name. Only by Your power and grace can I drop anything or break free from a stubborn path.Lord, You created me in Your divine image, keep me from allowing the enemy to recreate me in his.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Judges 1

They devoted the conquest to destruction.

 What am I devoting to destruction …. completely to God … that I work for? That I value? That I could really use? I am challenged that all aspects of my life must be devoted to God’s purposes first and only then may I walk in liberty.

They did not put out the enemy – they put them to forced labor. I am struck by the fact that what I put under me may grow strong and flip me off….leaving me under it. Help me God to not count myself strong enough to subject that which You say to remove. Don’t let me believe the lie that I am strong enough to do beyond what Your perfect wisdom has planned for me to do away with. May I purge all You call me to and cherish Your strength and wisdom over my own frailties -which market themselves as choice, reason, logic and good sense. You alone are strong…show off through my life, my God!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Joshua 24

Then the people answered, “Far be it from us to forsake the LORD to serve other gods! … We too will serve the LORD, because he is our God.”
“Now then,” said Joshua, “throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel.”

Even in open acknowledgement (head knowledge) of what all God had done for the history of their people and even themselves, beyond their strong commitments to serve the LORD God and having lived to possess the promises made, these former-wilderness-sojourners have to be told to throw away the foreign gods that are among them and to yield their heart to their God. It seems that it should be so simple for them to choose God. To follow Him relentlessly. To surrender all of their essence to Him; but it’s not.

Where does the complications come from?
 Why was it so difficult for them?
Why is it so challenging for me?
Why do foreign gods even have a shelf to sit on in my life?
Why does my heart beat so fiercely for being unfettered to God all the while it is enslaved to culture, the world, flesh, the enemy’s wanton use?
Why is this a daily choice for me?
Why doesn’t this get any easier?
Why do the lures still have influence?
Why does the lie still speak?

God help me. May this resistance be used to push back on sin, the disease of deception and whatever sets itself up against the knowledge of the True, the purpose of the holy and the claim of my King. Help me to never forget, to always choose a yieldedness to You and to purge from my camp anything which is unclean, unholy or seeks to draw glory away from You, great and only God of mine. May You alone be praised, worshiped and honored with my life and my choices. May I steward well Your grace, trust, promises-made and promises-kept.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Joshua 23

Do not invoke the names of their gods…

It is no small matter to call out the name of a lesser god. If I am not calling on the One True God Almighty, then I am soliciting His devil – regardless of what name I use. When I invoke, I petition, I authorize, I appeal to whomever I am addressing. I am claiming him/her/it as an authority. I do not ever want to do this, but I think I do…’I have a terrible memory’= god of convenience or laziness or self-absorption. ‘I distract easily’ = goddess of shiny, a.k.a. goddess of inattention or the me-focused idol. ‘I don’t have time’ = Baal of self-importance. Yikes, I am noticing a pattern with the lesser g.o.d.s., the names all have mine as a root.

God help me. I will not capably and consistently choose You while I am so addicted to me. Help me to comprehend the dying with You and the death to the world and its principles and protocols that I may no longer think and reason as a mere mortal. May my thoughts and words, my invoking be done as a resident of the Kingdom of Light and in full response to my great and only King Jesus. May I name only that which You give me words to speak and that which brings You best glory, my God and My Salvation.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Joshua 22

An awesome altar was built and war was almost declared as a result. Both sides were trying their best to honor God and pursue Him. Neither consulted Him. Both were convinced they were right, they’d been comrades in arms just before this. Honorable discharges and praise had been given…and war was hovering in the spiritual and physical atmosphere at the peak of such fulfillment of God’s promises.

God help me to remember that my brothers and sisters are not the enemy, not my enemy. I must always consult You before I react, plan, or move out or on. You are not glorified when I jump to conclusions, help me to pray for others when they do about me. Keep me from responding or planning in fear, as I KNOW You are trustworthy always. May I assume the best and lovingly inquire of others. Lord, I desire that You alone lead me and that Your fame would be known and Your healing would be received. Help me to be mindful and prayerfully investing in future generations to the continuing of Your great and mighty Kingdom.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Joshua 21

Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass.

Sovereign Lord, God of the Universe and me, help me to see that all of Your promises are good, for You are good and what You do is good. Help me to pursue to the fullest the possession and dwelling in of Your good promises. I praise You for all that You say comes to pass. You are faithful and always so. Nothing You do fails. And may I never grow lazy or complacent in seeking what You have promised. Strengthen my heart and my memory. Aggravate my appetite for You that I may seek the harder, press in to the fullest, linger for the whole accomplishing. And may my life bring You glory. Amen.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Joshua 20

He shall flee to one of these cities (of refuge) … and they shall take him into the city to them and give him a place, so that he may dwell among them. Now if the avenger of blood pursues him, then they shall not deliver the manslayer into his hand …

Lord God, a city of refuge, because You know, sometimes, we’ll need such a haven, a place where folks understand what has happened, who know the process, who are setup to “give a place” to one in need. God, atrocities happen in life. Help us at LPC and beyond these walls to live that heart of sacred refuge – for those in need, according to Your plan and provision. Grant us wisdom surpassing our experience, spiritual discernment eclipsing the enemy’s deception and appetites for holiness that we would be pure before You and obedient to Your purpose as we encounter those in need and as we find, perhaps, we are those who need.

Grace, God, we need Your grace, and may we live it out to the praise of Your Name.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Joshua 19

Lord God Almighty, all these details nearly blind me…I don’t recognize these places or names; but these boundaries were critical to these tribes and clans. (I hope they still are to those who bear this heritage.) I praise You as I read and am challenged to fulfill the responsibilty of what territory You have assigned me. Help me to humbly and graciously share with a sister or brother when my assigned lot is too big for my good stewarding. It’s not about me. Help me to humbly and willingly receive from a sister or brother rather than insist on my own portion. Only by Your grace am I even standing. May we each and all fill the lots to the praise of Your Name from boundary to boundary, leaving no place or territory unestablished because it was too hard, too mountainous, too craggy, too wet, too deep, too unrewarding, too close to the border of another’s responsibility. No gaps. And may we join together to stand in faith in any gaps which are allowed by You that we may pray and await Your supply for that area. In Jesus Name.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Joshua 18

The land lay subdued before them.
Cursed is the ground … There will be thorns and thistles … for dust you are and to dust you will return. (Genesis 3)

These verses came together for me today. Lord, I know this is referencing the physical territory, fields and farming and such; but I am also picturing me, pure human condition, in these words. Cursed is the flesh, humanity; my innate desires, knee-jerk reactions and inclinations will be thorns and thistles to me. (Not discounting the enemy and the world, too); I am naturally gifted at growing the piercing crop of weeds and briars. It’s in my nature. In this natural state, I will return to dust ~ apart from Christ, my work and life will be nothing. But if, by the Spirit, I put to death the deeds of the body that I may glorify Him who saved me, I will live. I just need to have the land (ME) subdued before Him.

Father, I confess I do not always want to have myself subdued. Often I just want what I want, when and how I want it. But I do choose You over that. Please help me in my weak flesh to lay still on the altar of living sacrifice that I may, only by the power and grace of Your Perfect and Holy Spirit, assassinate the deadly deeds of my dust-originated form that I may pursue that abundant life You promise and deliver on. May I recognize, physically, supernaturally, emotionally, cerebrally that everything is a choice and may I choose You. Grant me that enhanced comprehension to have Your scope of vision as it relates to the decisions of my days and nights. and the spiritual gumption to stick with the holy in all ways. Lord, I desire that my flesh would lay subdued before You, everyday and every night, that I might bring You glory. And I praise You that You have removed the boundary lines between Thee and me.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Joshua 17

Then Joshua said to the house of Joseph, to Ephraim and Manasseh, “You are a numerous people and have great power. You shall not have one allotment only, but the hill country shall be yours, for though it is a forest, you shall clear it and possess it to its farthest borders. For you shall drive out the Canaanites,though they have chariots of iron, and though they are strong.”

Holy Spirit, help me to receive gratefully from Your hand that which You are pleased to dispense. Keep my mouth and my heart from grumbling or comparing. But also, help me to ask for that which You desire me to request. Lord, I want a heart of thanksgiving and a life of fulfillment. and when You grant me an exploit, strengthen me and give me wisdom and understanding that I may possess all You have promised, to the praise of Your great Name.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Joshua 16

The allotment of the people of Joseph…The people of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, received their inheritance.

The long lost younger son receives a double portion as the firstborn son would have. I had never caught the subtle double portion blessing that Joseph and his people welcomed in the dispensing of the Promise.

God, You are so creative in Your blessing. I appreciate Your reversing the blessing on even Ephraim and Manasseh through Jacob, way back when, too. And the fact that Jake was a younger who superceded the elder…. Thank You for drawing my attention to the work of Your hand. You are not predictable, You are not limited, You do what You want and it is good. Sometimes curious and other times hard to fathom, but You do as You please. I am amazed. Please continue to show me Your handiwork in Your Word and in my life. Soli Deo Gloria!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Joshua 15

She said, “Give me another gift. You have already given me land in the Negev; now please give me springs of water, too.” So Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs.

If I never had a need, I wouldn’t know that you would meet it. I praise You God that You allow me to know needs, that You may meet them. Please help me to ask all that You would be pleased to do. May I not grow passive, lazy, complacent or indifferent to what You have allowed me to know or seek.
(Gen. 15: 18-21: On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates— the land of the Kenites, KENIZZITES (as in Caleb’s heritage!) , Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”)

The LORD commanded Joshua to assign some of Judah’s territory to Caleb son of Jephunneh (the Kenizzite, a descendant of Esau!).

LORD God, this is so precious to me, a child adopted by Your grace. I praise You that You raised up one from not of the ranks of Your specific, chosen line to be mighty for You, to bring You much glory through His faith and choosing You and to partner with Your chosen ones in Your divine plans of Promised Land Possession. He was a witness to Your people from within the group of the doubters and nay-sayers. God, he was from the enemy’s camp and entitled to be driven out. But You exalted Caleb as he yielded to You. He got property in the Promised Land. His kids were established in the Promised Land. Lord, You are not prejudiced, You examine the heart. May my heart beat as fiercely for You and this tireless warrior-believer, may my obedience be as abrupt and complete as Caleb’s, may I believe You as fully as he did that I may take possession of the Promised Land (whatever that is) in my lifetime and that my children will be established and fully occupying it as well. To the praise of Your great Name.
(Deut. 20:17: Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the LORD your God has commanded you.)

But the tribe of Judah could not drive out the Jebusites, who lived in the city of Jerusalem, so the Jebusites live there among the people of Judah to this day.

Lord, where the enemy occupies territory in my life, give me spiritual vision to see, strategies to employ and come to my aid that he would be completely driven out. Please don’t let me co-exist, be tolerant, be passive, even sympathetic to anything the enemy is doing, has done or plans to do in my life or my family’s. Let that holy and righteous anger well up into spiritually-sanctioned battle mode that he may be destroyed. Completely. To the praise of Your exceedingly great and glorious Name. Be famous in my life and my legacy.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Joshua 14

“… I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then. So give me the hill country that the LORD promised me. You will remember that as scouts we found the descendants of Anak living there in great, walled towns. But if the LORD is with me, I will drive them out of the land, just as the LORD said.”

Caleb never agreed with popular opinion, he was ready to take on the giants in the land when he first encountered them, he was not old nor in decline. He, at 85, was strong and battle-ready, even after all the years of waiting and warring; even hungrier for his allotment, the fulfillment of the LORD’s promise. And he desired to go and drive out the Anakim – those that the enemy successfully used to eclipse the favor and faithfulness of the Lord God Almighty amongst Caleb’s peers – that he would possess that prominent land of Hebron. No where have I seen or read of him bemoaning the wait, the wilderness or God’s call on how this thing played out. He has not whined or commented on the fact that he could have been in that land for 45 stinking years. He could have been established, connected, retired. He simply has been Caleb, agreeing with God, believing God and acting on what God says. Holy Spirit, keep me from popular opinion, status quo, trends determined by man. God, I want what You have for me, no matter the time, the wait, the travel, the fight; keep me from caving in to the verdicts of man and the pressure of culture. Your way, not mine. Your thoughts, not mine (or any others). Your fame, not mine. God, be glorified in and through me and my little life. I praise You, Holy One of the Promised Land.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Joshua 13

When Joshua was an old man, the LORD DID NOT say to him, “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid, be of good courageous and vigorous in spirit.”
I praise You, Lord God, that You grew Josh up in You and Your plans accounted for his immaturity and lack. I am grateful You extend the same graces today. Very grateful. May I extend them after Your glorious example, as I need them so much myself.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Joshua 12

These are the kings of the land whom the children of Israel defeated, and whose land they possessed on the other side of the Jordan toward the rising of the sun …

The enemies were defeated and the land possessed. God, I want this testimony to be true for me. God, help me follow You into triumph over our enemies, and let me P.O.SS.E.SS. the land, not merely inspect it or know about it. God I want to dwell in victory and fully occupy that which You have for me and to the praise and glory of You. Be famous in my life and the land.

On the other side of the Jordan. Now that they are in the Promised Land, the former familiar is now ‘the other side’ ~ God, keep me from trying to bring the other side with me. Focus me that I may view everything in the perspective of Your glorious and risen Son.