April 21, 2016
Who do you think is responsible for the victories in your life, and what is happening when there are defeats?
Joshua came to the end of a long, fruitful life as the faithful understudy to Moses and the leader of the conquest of the Promised Land. He gives his most important address to the people in Joshua, Chapters 23-24.
After 40 years of battle and deliverance, he recounts all that has happened. It’s telling that he does not praise the people for their great battle plans or military expertise. Instead, he reminds them of the only way these victories have been won.
""And you have seen all that the Lord your God has done to all these nations because of you, for the Lord your God is He who has been fighting for you. (Joshua 23:3)
""The Lord your God, He will thrust them out from before you and drive them from before you; and you will possess their land, just as the Lord your God promised you."" (vs. 5)
""But you are to cling to the Lord your God, as you have done to this day. For the Lord has driven out great and strong nations from before you; and as for you, no man has stood before you to this day. One of your men puts to flight a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, just as He has promised you."" (vs. 8-10)
""If you ever go back and cling to the rest of these nations...know with certainty that the Lord your God will not continue to drive these nations out from before you...(vs. 12-13)
Pretty obvious, right? In our pride, we all want to take credit. But Joshua was wise enough to know (for He had seen both sides of this equation) that, without God's direction and help, nothing would have been victorious. Just look at the battle with a small town called Ai to see what happens when the Lord does not fight for His people.
What is the application for us?
You are helpless without the intervention of Christ through your humble dependency upon Him. You may think you can win, but the enemies you face will devour you without His help. In fact, some of your failures right now are the result of your lack of dependence upon “the Lord your God.” The minute you forget this is the moment of your downfall.
This is true for an individual, a family, a church or ministry, and . . .
AS A NATION
We think we are so powerful. We boast in our might and the strength of our military, economy, and political power. We swell in seeming invincibility. But, without God, our might can be destroyed by the smallest nation in a single moment. Cuba could destroy us, for instance. You might laugh at the thought, but you will not scoff at this in the future if we do not repent.
Pharaoh thought he was unconquerable, and God cast the greatest military force in the world into the sea right before his eyes.
God has not changed. His eyes ""move to and fro across the earth to strongly support those whose hearts are completely His"" (2 Chronicles 16:9). He longs to help those who will fully love and trust Him and give Him all the glory.
But remember this sober warning from a General who had seen it all: without His intervention, we are utterly defenseless against our foes.
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January 22, 2020
The omnipresence of God is a reality (that God is everywhere all the time). “Where can I go from Thy Spirit?” David said (Psalm 139). And, since the coming of Christ and Pentecost, which was the sending of His indwelling Spirit to all who believe, the true follower of Christ is assured that Christ will never leave them nor forsake them personally. Once the Spirit comes to reside in the believing heart, He is there permanently.
But, it is possible to have our head turned by the world, the flesh, and the devil. We can quench and grieve the Spirit who lives within us. We can ignore Him or resist His leadership. If we do so, we will lose the conscious awareness of His presence. We will begin to operate on our own, not walking by the Spirit, and the results are always disastrous. We get what our humanity brings. Like an unseen guest standing in the shadows, He is still present, but not prominent.
January 21, 2020
January 20, 2020