Do you not know? Have you not heard?The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earthDoes not become weary or tired.His understanding is inscrutable.He gives strength to the weary,And to him who lacks might He increases power.Though youths grow weary and tired,And vigorous young men stumble badly,Yet those who wait for the LORDWill gain new strength;They will mount up with wings like eagles,They will run and not get tired,They will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:28-31
704 steps up the Eiffel Tower to a beautiful view … 1 step + God towards possessing the promises of a lifetime
Built to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, the Eiffel Tower stands as the symbol of Paris and a spectacular monument to the technical expertise of the 19th Century. The tower was built to stand for 20 years; 126 years later, it celebrates freedom with light shows and spectacular panoramic views of Paris. Approximately 7 million visitors gaze upon this 300 meter-high tower. Some climb the 704 steps to the top; others take the elevators. Some stand at the base of the tower, gaze at the 7,300 tons of iron, take a few photos and move on to the next tourist attraction.
Keith and I met a lady in The Walking Company this weekend stocking up on walking shoes.
“I heard that the view from Notre Dame is better than the one from the top of the Eiffel Tower. I think I’ll just go to the top of Notre Dame and not climb the Eiffel Tower.”
“Nooooo! You have to go to the top of both!”
How often do Christians choose to go right up to the fullness of God, stop and admire the view, and turn around and walk the other way?
To the Reubenites and to the Gadites and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said, “Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, ‘The LORD your God gives you rest and will give you this land.’ Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle shall remain in the land which Moses gave you beyond the Jordan, but you shall cross before your brothers in battle array, all your valiant warriors, and shall help them, until the LORD gives your brothers rest, as He gives you, and they also possess the land which the LORD your God is giving them. Then you shall return to your own land, and possess that which Moses the servant of the LORD gave you beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise.” Joshua 1:12-15
Forty years through the wilderness, battles in the Promised Land, home beyond the Jordan. They agreed to fight the battles, so that their brothers could possess the land that the Lord had given them, but they chose to live outside the Promised Land, and God honored that.
We see God at work in the lives of people in the Bible. We may even recognize God at work in our lives. We read the promises God has for us in the Bible. We nod affirmatively and read the next chapter. Sometimes, we work to possess a promise. Sometimes, we decide the battle is too difficult, and like the Reubenites, we cross back over the Jordan to what we think is a more comfortable life. God honors our decisions.
Like the lady in the shoe store, sometimes we take the word of others that it’s better atop Notre Dame, so we choose not to huff and puff up the 704 steps of the Eiffel Tower. We miss the satisfaction of conquering those 704 steps, AND we miss the spectacular view.
And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you? Joshua 18:3
It takes effort. It takes sacrifice. It takes courage. It takes faith.
It takes you plus God.
Won’t you step out and possess the fullness that God has for you?
Father, show us the fullness and the promises that You have for us. Remind us how You have worked in our lives to prepare us for the time that we are to possess Your promises. Prompt us to step out and watch You fight the battles it will take to possess all that You have for us. Thank You, Lord. Jesus, we love You!
704 steps to a beautiful view. One step + God to start possessing the promises of a lifetime.
What promise are you going to step out and possess?
God is the artist working in our marriage and in our lives – to create a love that never fails. He takes the rough stones and polishes them. He carves the designs and inlays the stones.
He inscribes His words, and dyes the letters, so that all can see.
My Beloved, you are an artist working in my life. You have given me a treasure chest as you have picked up my rough stones, polished them, and inscribed your love upon me.
Thank you for your love. I cherish you.
Father, thank You for my Beloved husband. Through him, You have given me a glimpse of the intimacy of heaven. What a wonderful gift You have given to Your children and Your church. Thank You for Your love, a love that is so amazing that I cannot understand it or imagine it.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Then the sons of Judah drew near to Joshua in Gilgal, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know the word which the LORD spoke to Moses the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh-barnea. “I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought word back to him as it was in my heart. “Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt with fear; but I followed the LORD my God fully. “So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land on which your foot has trodden will be an inheritance to you and to your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God fully.’ “Now behold, the LORD has let me live, just as He spoke, these forty-five years, from the time that the LORD spoke this word to Moses, when Israel walked in the wilderness; and now behold, I am eighty-five years old today. I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out and coming in. “Now then, give me this hill country about which the LORD spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the LORD will be with me, and I will drive them out as the LORD has spoken.” So Joshua blessed him and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance. Joshua 14:7-13
Caleb waited on the promise of God for 45 years. He counted on that promise and walked fully with God for those 45 years knowing that one day he would possess God’s promise.
Forty-five years of manna. Just as God said, his generation died because they did not believe that God would deliver the promised land into their hands; only Joshua and Caleb remained of that generation.
As strong as when he was 40, Caleb asks for the hill country, Hebron, where the giants live. To possess Hebron, Caleb will fight fierce battles.
“Perhaps the Lord will be with me, and I will drive them out as the LORD has spoken.”
So Joshua blessed Caleb and sent him into the battle to possess the promise from the Lord and to regain a sacred land. Hebron, meaning “fellowship,” is where Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Rebekah, and Leah are buried.
But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it. Numbers 14:24
Caleb prepared to possess the promise.
- Caleb followed God fully.
- Caleb believed he would possess God’s promise.
- Caleb kept his body strong.
- Caleb set his eyes on the land of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
- Caleb asked for the land of the giants, the land of the fierce battles.
Father, thank You for Caleb. Give us the spirit of Caleb, an unshakeable faith in Your Word, Your promises and what Your best is for us. Empower us to see what You have in store for us, and show us how to prepare to possess what You have established for us from the foundation of the world.
What are the promises you’re preparing to possess?
If God is sovereign and has predestined our lives, then how does man practice free will, or meaningful choice? In hand in Hand, Randy Alcorn takes the reader up the mountaintop to experience Arminianism (man’s free will) and down the mountain to brush against Libertarianism and a few other “isms.” On the way up the opposite mountain, the reader encounters Determinism and finally Calvinism (God’s sovereignty).
A thoughtful approach to a difficult subject, hand in Hand clearly demonstrates that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and God’s ways are not our ways.
Alcorn recognizes the value of each of the theories while acknowledging that they are man’s wisdom and not God’s. He encourages readers to be good Bereans, studying the Scriptures, opening our minds, and letting God teach us His truths.
“When I think of the examples of Paul, Elisha, and Daniel, I can’t help but marvel at the beauty of the unequal but real partnerships forged when we submit our choices to God and walk hand in Hand–His the strong and sovereign Hand lovingly reaching down, ours the weak hand eagerly reaching up.” Randy Alcorn
Whether Arminian, Calvinist, or somewhere in between, according to Alcorn, each position has “snags.” He recommends that the reader study the Scripture “unguarded, shield down,” to let God lead where He wants to go.
Complete with pithy pull quotes that have Tweetable qualities, Alcorn has created a beautiful gift for thoughtful small groups to go deeper with God. Small group study questions are included in the book.
Although some might think that God’s sovereignty and man’s meaningful choice are contradictory, if we consider them from the eternal perspective, they are “Yes,” and “Amen.”
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
Sovereign Father, thank You for revealing Your nature to Your children. I revel in the fact that Your thoughts are not my thoughts, for You are my God. Thank You that You have taken me by my right hand and lead me into Your ways. I love You Lord.