A Fitful Rest

Rest means fighting with peace of mind.
God “saved” the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. He did it all by Himself. Yet, entering and staying in the Land would be much, much different.
Joshua didn’t bring the Israelites into a land of perpetual siesta. They wouldn’t just kick back and eat bonbons all day between breathtaking sunrises and eye-popping sunsets! No, the Israelites would have to fight.
Yet, God told them to enter His rest as they did. This rest was more about their mindset than it was their physical bodies.
Rest meant peace of mind. Why be nervous going into or while fighting with a shield in one hand and a sword or spear in the other? Victory was already assured despite the literal arrows flying by their heads.
Jesus assures each one of us that we are victorious no matter who the giants that we’re facing are.
Have a fitful rest, my friends. Keep fighting with the weapons of truth and the power the Spirit gives to wield those truths knowing that you’ve already won!

Shared Journey

You can walk further in a group.
I faced a huge challenge this weekend. I appeared to have hurt my knee. There was no pain, but soreness and a lot of clicking.
It was the type of injury that could knock me out of the program God put me it. And, I’d only been in it a week! I know He wants me here. But, if the knee didn’t get better, I’d be gone.
Being transparent, I was a little worried and a lot fearful. I’d let people know at this program that I was a chaplain. How would it look if all of a sudden I was gone? I struggled all weekend long, until I finally had enough.
I texted fellow believers who are sharing this life journey of loving and becoming like Jesus with me. I asked them to pray for a miracle by way of a complete healing or at least to take the clicking away. I knew Jesus wanted me here. Therefore, He had to do something.
A friend of mine likes to say, “When someone lays something at the feet of Jesus, we should be there helping.” I gave it to Jesus and whole lot of people were there praying for me to keep it there!
I like to say, “We come to faith individually, but we walk together.” We cannot love or become like Jesus on our own. As Scripture says, “Encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” Folks, the you is plural.
This walk with Jesus is not a solo act, but a shared one. Who are you being transparent with? I’m so glad I have fellow sojourners in my life. I ran 3.3 miles without pain or clicking because they were at Jesus’ feet with me!
Oh yeah, please keep the encouragement and prayers coming!

Fail Foward

Don’t waste time rolling your eyes.
I heard a teacher once say, “I expect my students to fail. In fact, I hope they do.” He now had his audience’s full attention.
He went on to explain that he uses the word fail as an acronym. It stands for First Attempts At Learning. He stated we should learn from our mistakes, not be afraid of making them.
We are humans. We will fail. But the key question is, will we make better choices next time?
I was recently in a training situation where I failed miserably. Instead of quickly regrouping and learning from the mistake, I wasted time by rolling my eyes and getting frustrated at myself.
The instructor gave me a ration of “motivation”. He was right. I should have used that time to correct it instead.
Jesus will not finish the job of perfecting us until we see Him face to face. Obviously, He knows we will make mistakes from today until that point in time. He also knows that He covered those mistakes at the cross.
So, don’t be afraid to fail! Instead have the mindset to Fail Forward. Learn and keep walking with Jesus with the next choice you make. At such time, you’ll put that mistake to good use. You’ll build Jesus character that will last eternally.

Peace Through Preparation

To walk in peace, one must be prepared.
When I saw the words Krav Maga in an article, my interest piqued. A friend of mine had trained in this style of self-defense.
I learned it was originally developed to “combat the gangs of thugs in Eastern Europe” who hassled Jews in the 1930’s.
The mindset behind it, though, was that you never looked for a fight, never started a fight, but were always prepared if you had to fight. This way one could walk in peace.
Believers need to have this same mindset: walk in peace through being prepared to fight.
You might be saying, fight? Yup. Think about the following. Why didn’t Joshua take out all the cities and giants before turning the Land over to the 12 tribes? He certainly had the faith to do it.
Scripture gives us the reason. The Lord wanted to teach each generation about warfare. Satan didn’t want the Israelites in the Land…at all. He knew Who would be born in the Land if they stayed – Jesus, the one who would crush him.
Even if all the giants were gone, he would bring other nations to get rid of them. Therefore, they would need to know how to fight if they were to live peacefully in the Land.
We live on a planet where the prince is a thug. And the only way to walk in peace is to be prepared to fight him using your Spirit-given tools, specific truths (see Ephesians 6).
Most of your battles will be emotional, intellectual and spiritual. Are you armed with the specific truths the Spirit is waiting to put into your shield of faith?
Peace of mind, despite trying times, comes through preparation. Stay in and with the Word of God – Jesus. He knows your future battles. Let Him prepare you for tomorrow’s fights today.