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Feet on the Beach

When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.  Genesis 5:21-24

 

our pastor, peter morton, preached an excellent message this morning about walking with God, from the genesis text above. these are my notes taken during the message.

 

he begun with a surfing illustration, sharing with us how you have to suck at something before you can be good at it, how you have to be patient at being bad so you can learn to be good.  like his surfing.

 

and like walking with God.  its a learned practice. and there may be good days and bad days in the experience, but as we practice it we will learn to walk with God. 

 

its interesting to note the pattern in chapter 5. 

someone is born.  has kids.  lives some more.  then dies.

enoch breaks the pattern.

he is born.  has kids.  lives some more. 

but the difference is that enoch walked with God and then was no more.  he didnt die. 

 

God can break the cycle in your family line. 

 

enoch is the first man recorded in the bible to walk with God (apart from adam and eve walking in the garden)

 

in genesis 4:26 it says that men began to call on the name of the Lord. 

how often do we call on God when we need Him? in an emergency? during an exam?  in traffic?  in a crisis?  He is our 111 God.

but enoch walked with God every day – not just in emergency moments, not just visiting God.

 

enoch had no bible, no law, no mentors to model how to do it, no dvds, no podcasts, no worship music on cd… BUT he walked with God!  (challenging to us who have everything at our fingertips!)

 

 

 

how do we walk with God?

1/ practice the presence of God

2/ pursue His priorities

3/ pour out for His people

 

 

 

1.  practice the presence of God

 

be God conscious, throughout the day turn your heart and mind towards God. think about Him as often as possible.

 

 

 

 

2.  pursue His priorities 

 

the interesting thing is that often His priorities are different to ours. eg we would choose bitterness and slander over His ways – forgiveness and love

 

the plans for our lives look like they bring life but they bring death, but the plans God has may look like death but bring life.

 

matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

 

 

 

3.  pour out for His people

 

enoch continued to be a father as he walked with God.  he had more sons and daughters. 

we dont hide away to walk with God but we live our lives in our real world.

how do you walk with God in the places you walk the most aka work, home, school???

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A certain man of Zorah, named Manoah, from the clan of the Danites, had a wife who was childless, unable to give birth. The angel of the Lord appeared to her and said, "You are barren and childless, but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son. Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean. You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines."  Judges 13:2-5

 

i have to confess that i find the account of Samson, the last judge of Israel, baffling.

yet even though Samson sinned, God still loved him, and used him to accomplish a task.

Samson is a flawed human.  he has issues with women, even visiting a prostitute.  he is vengeful and deceitful and doesn’t seem to regard his calling as something to be obeyed or to live a life worthy of it.

YET God uses him to bring deliverance from the philistines.

 

Samson’s life begins as miraculous child, longed for by his barren parents, with angelic visitations and signs of proof.

He was a man of destiny.

He was born to be a Nazirite, with restrictions and boundaries for how he lived his life.  this wasn’t a kill joy thing by God but because Samson was to be consecrated and set apart for a special task.   i also always see it as a character forming thing – you stick by the vow and CHOOSE obedience to it because you honour God above all else and CHOOSE to follow His life guidelines, and that there is reward in obedience.   Samson was to be set apart for God.

 

but time and and time again we see Samson choosing his own ways over God’s ways.  He went to parties where people probably drunk wine.  He touched a dead body.  He married foreign women.  He didn’t live a life worthy of his calling.  Samson made choices to indulge in what made him feel good instead of surrendering to God in obedience.

 

Ephesians 4:1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

 

i often wonder if Samson had lived obediently to God, if he had been more “righteous” it he would have accomplished more?

Yet at the same time i know that our own righteousness is not our own, but we are righteous based on the death of Jesus, the sacrifice of Christ, who covers me and redeems me and makes me innocent and righteous. 

in the same way then, i am like Samson.  a woman of destiny.  a flawed human.  living for my own ways.  called to serve God.  called to accomplish great things for His fame and glory and purposes.  i am so glad for the forgiveness of Christ, the one who has set me free and who has made me acceptable.   my walk is only worthy because of Him – because He gives me His righteousness as a free gift – and i then attempt to live worthy in response to Him.  I choose Him.  and when i fall, His grace covers me.

 

i must say after doing this devo i am profoundly moved by the account of samson, the flawed hero, and God’s grace poured out upon me.

 

 

But Samson’s hair began to grow again. Then Samson prayed to the Lord, "Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes."  Judges 16:22, 28

 

i love the BUT SAMSONS HAIR BEGAN TO GROW AGAIN…  its not just about hair, but about grace.  the “secret of his strength” (apart from the supernatural part!) was his long hair.  the philistines cut it and captured him, but it begins to grow again.  God is the God of second chances.

 

at the end of his life, Samson prays.  He turns to God.

 

The Bible calls Samson a hero of faith;  faith,  not pain.   In his mighty death it sees the promise of an even greater salvation. Reading the Bible website

 

 

Samson has hit his bottom. He is at his lowest. He literally flirted with his downfall and fell hard. But even before his last prayer, it says in verse 22: "But his hair, though cut off, began to grow again." God is NEVER done with us. EVER. Our anointing, calling, ministry, that which makes us different from those who do not know God- that is inside of us. It is more powerful than any sin, hurt, mistake and backslide. His spirit is greater than any deed or word uttered by us or toward us. That’s why when he stood there between those two pillars, alone probably ashamed, broken, full if regret sorrow— his hair had already started to grow back. God’s hand on Him still. So he prays… Look down on me once more! Hid look down on me once more. Thank you for mercy, grace. Thank you fir hair growing back. Thank you for being the type of God that NEVER LEAVES our side! youversion note

today i am priv’d to service lead our 10am service, which includes the offering message. 

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for me, today, the offering is about 2 things:

 

 

 

1.  trust in God

 

we live in uncertain times… 

 

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18

 

money is temporary.  our security in this world is temporary.  but God is faithful forever – and He – though there is much evidence of His work in our lives and in others – is unseen.  Lets be a people that fix our eyes on God and put our trust in Him.   He is our provider.  He is faithful.  He is the one that opens doors.

 

in uncertain times it can be hard to give away, but by giving we’re declaring (and responding) that we trust God, its a token, or a physical evidence that we trust Him to provide and to be there.

 

This is our God.

 

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them— the LORD, who remains faithful for ever. He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.The LORD reigns for ever, your God, O Zion, for all generations.   Praise the LORD. Psalm 146:5-10

 

2.  love in action

 

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.  If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.  1 john 3:16-18

 

i read this last night and thought it was such a good challenge – as christians we ought to lay our lives down for each other.  giving is love in action.  we give to our church because our church is loving people actively, not just our own members, but the community and the lost.  our giving contributes to the things our church does.

background

Early in the morning, Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) and all his men camped at the spring of Harod. The camp of Midian was north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh. The Lord said to Gideon, "You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’ Now announce to the army, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’" So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained. But the Lord said to Gideon, "There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will thin them out for you there. If I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go." So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, "Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink." Three hundred of them drank from cupped hands, lapping like dogs. All the rest got down on their knees to drink. The Lord said to Gideon, "With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home." So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites home but kept the three hundred, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others.  Judges 7:1-8

 

i love how God works.  just as He had an out of the box victory plan for Joshua at Jericho, He has an out of the box victory plan for Gideon.

its not usual battle strategy to send most of your men home. most military advisors would advise to man up, weapon up and that there is strength in numbers.  they would seriously question sending ANYONE home.  let alone reducing their army to just 300 against such a formidable enemy.

Realistically, numerically, logically and physically, Gideon’s army was not going to win the battle.  However, when you bring God into the mix, the normal is pushed aside and the supernatural comes into being.  

 

but it was God’s strategy and Gideon was obedient to listen to it and to do it.

Obedience isn’t some mysterious thing. It is saying “Yes” to the things God asks us. They may be things from The Bible. They may be more direct and personal things that God asks of us… to go here… to serve there… to give this… to not do that… to read this… to sacrifice that… Sometimes obedience doesn’t make sense… well not to our eyes, or the eyes of those around us. But to God who knows our steps and the perfect path to walk… it makes perfect sense and is part of the jigsaw of our life…

Obedience can be painful. Obedience can strike at the heart of the things we want to hold onto the most. It can cause us to walk in a direction we hadn’t planned on, and maybe even don’t want to. Obedience can put you in a circumstance and place that stretches your heart and faith.  Obedience is an expression of my faith. I believe and trust in God, therefore i obey Him and go where He leads and do what He says.

 

 

”You will never attain to the mountain of internal peace If you govern yourself according to your own will. This self nature of your soul must be conquered. Your directions, your judgement, your disposition to rebel must be subjected and reduced to ashes. How? In the fire of obedience, for it is there that you will find out if you are truly a follower of Divine love or self love.

One of God’s servants once said:

It would be better that you gather dung by obedience than be caught up into the third heaven by your own will.

What is true obedience? Obedience, to be perfect, must be voluntary; it must be pure and cheerful. But most of all it must be internal. I would add that it must also be blind and preserving.

Molinos from 100 Days in the Secret Place

 

His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of a man;  the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.  Psalm 147:10-11

 

and when you look at who left: it was those afraid and those who “drunk unwisely” – those who were not aware of where they were or their purpose as an army, those who were not alert to the seasons and times.   those that positioned themselves properly stayed and were part of this amazing victory.  their lives were changed from that point as they were the men God used to bring deliverance to their people. 

 

this passage also reminds me that whatever enemy i face in my life – what every opposition or trial – that God has a strategy for me to get through it victoriously.  it may take some change and some sacrifice and some surrendering and some obedience, but if i follow Him, He will lead and guide me. 

 

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 NIVUK

 

It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights.  He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. psalm 18:32-34

 

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When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior." "Pardon me, my lord," Gideon replied, "but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian." The Lord turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?" "Pardon me, my lord," Gideon replied, "but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family." The Lord answered, "I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive."  Judges 6:12-16

 

 

 

There are some people in the bible that you just want to take by the shoulders and shake them or give them a slap… right? 

We KNOW the end of the story and if only THEY knew what we knew eh… We have the hindsight, or the foresight… since it hasn’t happened to Gideon yet to know the great things that God is going to do to and in and through and for Gideon…

 

As much as I want to slap Gideon – I also love him! He is an ordinary man living in difficult times that has an extraordinary encounter with God that changes his life. And it shows each one of us that we can trust the Word of God and that we can trust the promises of God and that with God we can do all things!

 

In fact I think Gideon would describe himself as even less than ordinary… in his first conversation with God he calls himself the least of his family, which is the least in his tribe, which is the least in all the tribes of Israel. He is threshing wheat hiding in a shallow pit instead of out in the open so the chaff blows away… Israel is oppressed and subdued by the Midianites and life is really really hard. In order to stay alive you didn’t stick your neck out and children were taught to survive, not succeed…

 

All of us hear the Word of God in the context of our life and the challenge is to not respond out of context but to take the truth of what God says and make that real in our lives…

 

Gideon heard the word of God – heard God calling him a mighty man of valour and he put it in the context of hiding in a shallow pit and calling himself a useless weakling.

 

Again God calls him a strong warrior, promising to be with him.

 

That is the key – God with us. In ourselves we are just us… human. Ordinary. Gifted yes, unique yes. But still human.

 

  • 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.

 

  • 2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us;

 

One God plus one weakling is always a majority in any fight. ‘I will be with you’ God tells Gideon, and that is all that we should ever need to know.

Remember Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

 

Gods word is truth. Truth. Nothing changes that. We cant dumb it down to our context. We need to lift our faith and experience and live it out, trusting God. God sees all and he knows all. He sees the past and the present and the future. He works in us to complete his plan and purpose.

 

The challenge for each of us is to not look at what God says in context of our lives and even the way we feel about ourselves, but to fix our eyes upon HIM and his truth… the God with us part. It is him that makes us succeed and overcome.

 

We need to know that God is with us and when God is with us we can do all things! We need not self-confidence but GOD CONFIDENCE – confidence in who God is and that he will act exactly as he says he will! We can have faith in God! Today we need to put our hope and our trust in God and step out and be all that God has called us to be. We need to believe His Word and what He says about us. We may feel small and insignificant but God takes our lives and demonstrates himself through us. Nothing is impossible with God and that means that when he is with us nothing is impossible for us! All things are possible because of the might and glory and power of God. Have confidence in God. Go and change the world!

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It’s not wrong to feel fear.  It IS wrong to let that fear have the last word in your life. The people who accomplish the most astounding things for God’s glory aren’t the people who feel the least fear.  Often they’re the ones who deal with the most intense fear.  But instead of letting that fear disable their dreams, they start increasing their capacity for faith.  Steven Furtick

 

It’s all about perspective i think.  How BIG is God to you?  How POWERFUL is God to you?  The BIGGER He is the more we will trust Him and the more we will step out.  The more it’s all about Him and His power empowering us the more we’ll step out and be a jar of clay for Him to demonstrate His love and power through. The more we realize that it’s His power through us the more we’ll step out in faith to do the works He has called us to do.  The more we trust Him and have faith in HIS ABLENESS the more we’ll really live the adventure we’re called to live.

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These are the nations the lord left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience): the five rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the Lebanon mountains from Mount Baal Hermon to Lebo Hamath.They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the lord’s commands, which he had given their ancestors through Moses.  Judges 3:1-4

 

One reason God let Israel’s enemies stay in the Promised Land was so that each new generation would learn to fight … in the heat of the battle.
God allows struggles in our lives not to punish us but to give us the opportunity to develop our character.  Patience isn’t learned when times are peaceful. Patience is learned in times of stress.

 

The Lord used the Canaanites to test and build Israel. They taught the future generations about warfare. They also tested their loyalty to God. Whenever times were good, they drifted and lost their faith. God would allow them to be overrun by their enemies until Israel cried out for deliverance. Being a merciful and loving Father, He would deliver them. We will endure many trials in life in order to build up our faith. When we share our testimony of what God did for us during the trial, He is glorified. youversion note

 

As Christians we have victory over the enemy because of Jesus – He came to destroy the works of the devil.  We live in a war zone.  we are saved and sent.  redeemed and recruited.  we are part of God’s glorious plan to see people come to know Him.   anyone that wants to be used by God will face contention and battle.  the war zone touches every area of our life.  the great strategy of the enemy has always being the same, right from the beginning.  God isn’t who He says He is, and He doesn’t mean what He says.  He aims to distract and dissuade us from knowing God and living for Him.  he hates that we are children of God. 

 

his goal is the same as it was in the garden.  he exists to silence God’s message of hope and genuine relationship with His children.  don’t pick up the lies the enemy is putting down.  @stickyjesus

the enemy knows that if he can capture your thought life, everything else will soon tumble down around you.  Christ died to give you holiness, but the enemy aggressively and enthusiastically bets against your holiness before you’ve even had your first cup of coffee.  life on this side of heaven is hard.  @stickyjesus

 

but in this war we are not unarmed or weak.  we are not the losers.  we are children and heirs of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who one day will return and breathe upon the enemy and destroy him.  the enemy is defeated already at the cross.   we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to stand and overcome. 

 

God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.  Colossians 2:13-15

Greater is He in you than the one who is in the world.  1 john 4:4

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.   Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Ephesians 6:10-13

remember the cross and how it defeated the sin in your life for good.  you are no longer the underdog or a slave tot eh strongholds that left you helpless.  jesus came as your escape route from all of the things you fear.  @stickyjesus

 

part of the strategy we need as christians to have victory – in the big picture – and in our own personal lives as we live out for jesus is to be intentional and aware.    we need to know we’re in a battle and that we are fully armed.  we need to know WHO we are serving and WHY.   we need to be watching and alert.

 

Be self- controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 peter 5:8

 

this isnt just a observance mode.  its not just a looking out for danger but its a choice to live our lives aware and living according to the Word of God.

every choice is a choice between light and darkness, between obedience and disobedience, between the flesh and the spirit, between the world and the Kingdom of God.  choose God.  choose obedience.  choose to pick up your cross and deny self and follow Jesus.  this is your offensive attack.  make choices to avoid evil.  make choices to not compromise.  make choices to overcome.

 

we also are in a war zone against ourselves:

 

1 Peter 2:11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.

Romans 8:5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

Romans 13:14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

Galatians 5:16 [ Life by the Spirit ] So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

Galatians 5:17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.

Galatians 5:24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.

Colossians 3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.

 

the good thing in this war is that Jesus has won this victory too.

we are fallen flawed sinful humans but in that state of rebellion Christ died for us to make us holy, righteous, innocent and acceptable.

 

2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Colossians 1:19-22 God himself was pleased to live fully in his Son. And God was pleased for him to make peace by sacrificing his blood on the cross, so that all beings in heaven and on earth would be brought back to God. You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things. But his Son became a human and died. So God made peace with you, and now he lets you stand in his presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent.

Ephesians 2:1-9 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,  in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions— it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith— and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no-one can boast.

 

Just as the israelites had to clear the land of their enemies so in my life i am clearing the land, or allowing Jesus in me to clear the land of my faults and selfishness and sin. 

Jesus makes us righteous and by the work of the Holy Spirit in us He transforms us and conforms us into the image of Jesus, into the character of Jesus, into the holiness of Jesus.  Because of His great love for us He has rescued us and now empowers us to live obedient lives, surrendering to His will and ways.  We are forgiven and cleansed and God’s mercies are new every morning. 

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have you ever been in one of those situations where you wish you could help but the situation is too big?

my family are going through “something” at the moment that doesn’t directly affect me but directly affects my sister and parents and will in fact change their lives from this point onwards.

dad called last week to let me know the news and i could tell by his voice that something was up. 

its been a good time to pray.

and as it has unfolded i realized there is something i can do.

in fact something i am gifted in.

i can encourage.

i can send texts saying “hang in there” and let them know i am praying

i can send cards.

i can phone and just support.

and in fact as its been unfolding the encouragement has been a real lifeline to my sister and parents.

its making a difference.

giving courage.

our words can speak hope and life and compassion and support and love and grace.

i’m glad i can do something.

i’m glad God gave me this gift.

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After Joshua had dismissed the Israelites, they went to take possession of the land, each to their own inheritance.  The people served the lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had seen all the great things the lord had done for Israel.  Judges 2:6-7

 

 

earlier in our E100 readings, in joshua, we were reminded how important it is to REMEMBER and how important it is also to PASS ON that faith and the great things of God onto the coming generations, so they also remember and have their own alive current faith.

 

Psalm 78:7 Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

Psalm 103:2 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits

Psalm 119:93 I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.

Psalm 77:11 I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.

Psalm 53:5-7 My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

Psalm 78:9-11, 41-43 The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned back on the day of battle; they did not keep God’s covenant and refused to live by his law. They forgot what he had done, the wonders he had shown them.  Again and again they put God to the test; they vexed the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember his power— the day he redeemed them from the oppressor, the day he displayed his miraculous signs in Egypt, his wonders in the region of Zoan.

 

 

many times also in psalms it instructs us to make known the great things of God and His reality and goodness to our children and the generations following us – to pass onto the NEXT GENERATION what we know about God to be real.

 

Psalm 78:4 We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.

Psalm 78:5 He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so that the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.

Psalm 71:18 Even when I am old and grey, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.

Psalm 79:13 Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will praise you for ever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise

Psalm 102:18 Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD:

Psalm 145:4 One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.

 

something that has been impressed upon my spirit for a few years now is the intentional decision to REMEMBER – to NOT forget the great things God has done, the prayers He has answered, the encounters I’ve had, the things He has spoken, the wisdom He has revealed, the blessings He has blest us with.  The Israelites, though they saw the red sea parted, though they saw the great deliverance from Egypt, though they had the miracles of mana and quail… they forgot God.  though the had tangible visible evidence – a firey column by night and cloud by day to guide them… they forgot Him.  and their forgetfulness resulted in defeat and disobedience.  because they did not make God a priority and remember His ways and who He is they allowed themselves to compromise. 

you will follow what is highest in your heart – self or God.

 

make it a priority to not forget Him.  spend time in the Word.  keep a journal or blog the great things He has done in your life.  stir up your memory – so that you may walk faithfully and have victory.  stir up your memory so you know your testimony and can pass it on, so you can pass on your life story – HIS STORY in our lives – to those coming after us, be it our children or younger people age wise at church or younger christians.  something pivotal that i believe caused growth in my own christian life was reading biographies and talking to people at my church about how God answered prayer or how they encountered God and how God was real in their life.  it made me hungry to know Him more and gave me determination to seek Him.

 

i read the beginning chapters of judges with a sense of sadness and pray that i would be faithful at passing on faith to my children and also the young adults at church that we minister to, that they would have their own relationship and faith in God, and that they would continue to walk with Him and their will be a legacy left from my life (not because i am great but because God is great!)  i pray that my life would demonstrate that God is real and that there would be evidence in my life that would promote faith and trust by others in God. 

i pray that those following me wouldn’t rest in my testimony but that they would see the great things of God with their own eyes.

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Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. Then the Lord said to Joshua, "See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets.  When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in."  Joshua 6:1-5

 

 

the word i love in this passage is SEE

SEE I HAVE DELIVERED THE CITY TO YOU says God.

pre battle God says SEE

pre the walls falling God says SEE

pre victory God says SEE

 

i LOVE that!

 

what things in my life is God saying SEE about?

what things has He accomplished and promised for me to SEE

 

2 Corinthians 4:18  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Colossians 3:1  Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

Ephesians 1:3  Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

 

 

and yet though God had said SEE THE VICTORY joshua and the israelites still had to walk out in obedience to God in order to see the victory won. 

sometimes obedience and faith go hand in hand.  God promises and by faith we receive and have the victory but by obedience we receive it and experience that promise. 

 

 

Life is filled with challenges that test our determination and our faith in God.  there are cities to conquer, walls to overthrow, sin to overcome, relationships that are strained, temptation to resist, flaws and shortcomings that threaten to derail us.  we are our own worst enemies, wanting to follow God but wanting to satisfy our flesh.  Yay that we have victory and forgiveness and acceptance and righteousness through Christ Jesus, who calls us to walk the walk and to follow Him in the way we live our lives.  He begins by renewing our hearts, and then from that flows our behaviour.  We are saved by grace, and then we respond with obedience.

 

 

for joshua the outwalking, the process of winning the victory, also looked, maybe, honestly lets say BIZZARE to some people.  walk around the city, SILENTLY, for 6 days, then give a loud shout?  how would THAT work?  that’s not normal battle strategy? 

yet this was the PROCESS that God ordered.  

and joshua chose to obey it.  i wonder if everyone was happy with the plan?  i wonder if there were doubters or haters?  i wonder if there were people who thought they had a better way, a smarter way, a cooler way, a more efficient way…?  not to mention the retaliation and response from the people inside the walls.  choose to follow God.  remember, He is eternal and wise.  His ways are higher and He is omnipresent, omnipowerful, omniawesome.  He knows the beginning and the end. 

 

 

is God calling you to follow Him and choose His ways?  to do something “different” and out of the box?  to obey by seeing the unseen first rather than seeing an outward evidence?  The key is to keep trusting God, even if you don’t understand. There is no such thing as trusting God without unanswered questions, but when you push ahead, despite your doubts, He will build you up and make you strong.

 

 

this passage reminds me that God is faithful to His promises and He has the power to make any wall fall down, no matter how formidable it is.  it reminds me to trust Him and to follow His commands because His way is greater.

Jesus Christ gives me victory, He is my Saviour. 

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