The Promised Land was not taken without a fight. And, it was lost because the fighting stopped.
Repeatedly, throughout the book of Judges, you read where the Israelites would defeat their enemies as they gained strength. But, they refused to completely annihilate them as God had said. Instead, they would enslave the conquered people who would now serve Israelites. Bad idea.
Eventually, the now enslaved made slaves of their captors. This was done, not through fighting, but through compromise. They stopped fighting and started following the idols of their captives. The Israelites exchanged the victory giving God for the gods of the losers.
Scripture says that “it is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Jesus defeated our enemies. We are free, but not from fighting! Galatians 5:1 goes onto say that we are to fight from going backwards into slavery.
Lasting freedom from all our stupid choices with their negative consequences, has been given to us. This freedom, though, is maintained by continuing to fight by faith with the truths Jesus gives you in His Word. We are to wipe out our enemy…entirely! Compromise leads to slavery, just like it did with the Israelites.
In our current culture, fighting is becoming a by-word and compromise the vogue thing to do. Not when it comes to your freedom in Christ! Compromise in any area of your life will only have disastrous results. Just ask the Israelites of old.
“A ready person never needs to get ready.”
A friend of mine has what’s called a go bag. It’s filled with the necessary items she’d need if she had to leave her home or to go on a trip on short notice. She’s prepared.
Jesus scolded the leadership of His generation for not being prepared. He said they were able to read the signs in the sky (red sky at night sailors’ delight) to be physically prepared. Yet, they couldn’t read the signs of the times to be spiritually prepared, even though God laid it all out in advance.
God did this for at least two reasons. One, it’s a way to show that He’s God. And two, it allow us to express our love for Him through each choice to trust His Word.
God wrote about Jesus’ first arrival. The leadership should have known this and been ready to bow down to their King. They weren’t. And they didn’t.
Will Jesus scold our generation for not being ready for His next foretold arrival? Signs are being painted all over the world and written about in your local paper. Jesus tells the story of ten virgins. Five were ready. Five were not. Is your go bag ready?
Here’s how to be ready. First, choose to surrender to Jesus as your King and make Him the Lord and Savior of your life, if you haven’t already done so. Second, choose to love Jesus each day through every decision you make to listen and follow Him (Jn. 14:23). And third, choose to share Jesus and what He’s done in and for you with those around you.
Don’t be caught by surprise. Have your go bag ready!
“Learn from yesterday, live in today, hope for tomorrow.”
A very famous mountain climber once said, “And now I’ll just go, and only worry about the events that lie ahead of me. Day by day, one by one. It is the here and now that counts. What comes next is uncertain in any case.”
This caught my eye as a novice climber myself. You don’t look down, as your next hand hold isn’t there. You don’t worry about a previous foot placement, as you have to make another one if you’re doing to reach your destination.
We all have “stuff” we can’t solve right now. All we have are our choices in the moment. Here is simple action plan. Write down those issues. Put them all in a box. Ask Jesus, “What do You want me to do in this moment?” Then go forward through Spirit empowered faith.
It doesn’t matter if it’s something in that box or not. He’s the only who can fix what’s inside! He is God and Savior, not you. The important thing is to listen and follow Jesus in the moment.
All you can do is take one step right now. Make that one choice in the present moment. As you do, soon you’ll arrive safely where Jesus wants you to be – like and with Him.
Heaven awaits; but life here still goes on.
You’ve seen the t-shirts and the back window and bumper stickers proclaiming the truth – Not of This World. Since this is true, why do we act all surprised when crazy stuff happens?
We don’t belong to this world, why are we then so upset when people don’t act like Jesus? Or when decisions or laws go against Scripture? Or when life isn’t like the good old days? (Didn’t the generation of our good old days get upset at how the world was going while wishing for their good old days?)
Scripture tells us who runs (not owns) this planet and where it’s headed. No surprises there! Therefore, keep letting The Spirit change your life and sharing what Jesus has done in and for you with others. Only Jesus can straighten out this world’s mess!
A Lawless One is coming. But so is the King of Kings! It was He who said, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Stay tuned. More crazy stuff will happen. So keep doing the good work you were created to do in Christ Jesus.
Your worst day can be a source of hope for others.
This is an Acacia tree or as the KJV translates it in Exodus 25:5 שִׁטָּה or Shita/Shittim. It produces a fruit that contains 19-20% protein – a powerful source of life when eaten by wild animals.
Around the seed within that fruit is a wax like substance that must be melted away before that seed can reproduce more fruit. This wax is removed by the acids in the animal’s stomach. Thus, when the animal eliminates that seed, it is now ready to reproduce another tree with more fruit. Notice the process: The seed can’t simply fall from the tree and reproduce. It must first go through an animal.
You can see where I’m going with this. We must choose to taste and see that the Lord is good by putting the Word of God into our hearts and minds and then allowing the Spirit to empower us to make Jesus choices using it. This leads to life-change that not only gives us hope for today, but for a whole lot of tomorrows as well.
We often, though, feel unworthy to share this Jesus story with others. Yet, even when we step in it, the Spirit can use what He’s already done in our lives to plant more fruit producing seeds into the lives of others.
We carry the seed of hope, Jesus (Lk. 8:11; Rev. 19:13), within us. God wants to use even our crappiest days to get it out of us and into the lives of others to make their lives better.
For this to happen, we must take our eyes off our challenges/bad days, put them onto Jesus, our hope for today and for tomorrow, and be ready to share Jesus with those the Spirit gives us opportunity. Your worst day can become their best day for eternity.