Is God asking you to step into the unknown?

River2Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over ahead of you into the Jordan. … And it shall come about when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, and the waters which are flowing down from above shall stand in one heap.” Joshua 3:11-13

Camping, circling in the wilderness for 40 years.

Stepping into the Jordan River, waters standing in one heap.

Walking on dry land.

Carrying the ark of the covenant to the middle of the river.

Scurrying past the ark of the covenant and the priests.

Reaching the Promised Land.

Returning to the middle of the Jordan.

Heaving stones on shoulders.

Remembering God’s work.

Creating a memorial.

All the Israelites who had escaped Egyptian slavery and crossed the Red Sea on dry land died in the wilderness, except for two, Joshua and Caleb. The Israelites born in the wilderness lived under the coolness of God’s cloud by day and the warmth of God’s pillar of fire by night. They ate God-supplied manna and drank God-supplied water. All they knew was the provision of God.

Now was the time for the priests to take up the ark, put their feet in the water of the Jordan and walk out to the middle. The Israelites scurried to the other side, the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey and inhabited  by giants.

Forty years earlier, Moses led their parents across the Red Sea on dry land into the wilderness. Now, Joshua led them on dry land to the Promised Land.

The Israelites had a choice that day. They could stay in the land they knew, or they could obey God and step into the unkown–with the promise that God was with them and would provide for them. They chose to step into a land where they would encounter battles, a land where they would work to eat, a land impossible to possess without God, a land of promise with God.

Is God asking you to step into the unknown? He’s with you. Jesus promised never to leave you or forsake you. God showed the Israelites the path they were to take in faith, and He will do it for you.

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11

My prayer for you:

Provider of all that is good and right, please guide us into all that You have planned for us, for we know that Your plans for us are filled with eternal pleasure and joy. Empower us to step out in faith, so that through Your great strength and power, we will point others to You.

Meditating on God’s Word – As Important to Us as to Joshua

rocking chair“One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple.” Psalm 27:4

After Moses died, God gave the Israelites time to mourn in the wilderness, then He said to Joshua,

“Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them to the sons of Israel. Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. … Only be strong and very courageous; …This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” Joshua 1:2-9

By meditating on the Law, the Word of God, and obeying all that is written in it, Joshua was promised success. If we were to read the complete story of Joshua, we would see that he had success when he obeyed God. Sometimes, he did not go to the Lord for direction, and he failed. Even with that very clear direction from God, Joshua was unable to obey completely.

That’s why we need Jesus. He was the only perfect man, the one and only man who kept the Law in its entirety. He was the only man who was qualified to take our sins upon Him and pay the price of that sin–death on the cross. Because He became sin and hung on that cross for us, we can look to the cross, and cling to Him for forgiveness of our sins, past, present, and future. God looks at us through the blood of the cross and finds us clean, calling us His sons and daughters. As sons and daughters, we are heirs to the kingdom of God and eternal life with Jesus.

This gift is free, and yet, it costs us everything. When we unwrap the gift, we unwrap our lives and bare ourselves to Jesus. He becomes Lord of our lives and gently transforms us into the people He intended us to become from the foundation of the world.

Our responsibility? To surrender our lives to Him, to learn of Him, and to abide in Him.

The Bible contains His love letter to His followers. Through His Word, we learn how much He loves us, and we gain practical insight in sojourning through this world.

What we learn is that meditating on His Word is as important today as it was in Joshua’s day.

Jesus prayed to the Father:

“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” John 17:17

If God’s Word is truth and we are sanctified (purified and consecrated to God) by truth, we must study this Living Word that is

“sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

Paul writes:

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”
Philippians 4:8

My prayer for you:

Abba, Father, You dwell in all the universe, for You are its Creator. In You we live and move and have our being. In You, we find truth, salvation, and all that is pure and holy. Grant us, dear Father, the Holy Spirit’s guidance as we meditate on Your Word, Your truth, Your holiness. We are so amazed at Your love. Thank You, Father.

Pain, sleeplessness … 5 tactics from Psalm 77

My soul refused to be comforted…
You have held my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak. Psalm 77:2b-4

Have you experienced pain so deep, so intense that you could not be comforted; you could not sleep, and you had no words to express your pain? I’ve been there. I’ve cried out to God and wondered if He heard me.

I’ve asked like the Psalmist, “Has God forgotten to be gracious, or has He in anger withdrawn His compassion?” Psalm 77:9

During those nights of pain, I turned to the Psalms to help me refocus. There are five tactics that I learned from the Psalmist that brought hope to a hopeless condition.

  1. Remember the past. “I shall remember the deeds of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.” Psalm 77:11 As I focused upon past storms in my life, I was able to see God working in my marriage, in my work, and in my family.
  2. Think about the meaning of the past. “I will meditate on all Your work, And muse on Your deeds.” Psalm 77:12 I thought about those times that God had moved, and I meditated on how those times had prepared me for what I was facing with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.
  3. Refocus from the pain to God. “Your way, O God, is holy; What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples.” Psalm 77:13-14 I moved from thinking about my problems and thought about who God is, awesome in power and wonder-working.
  4. Praise the Lord. “Your way was in the sea And Your paths in the mighty waters, And Your footprints may not be known. You led Your people like a flock By the hand of Moses and Aaron.” Psalm 77:19-20 Although I sometimes do not recognize the footprints of Almighty God, I can trust that He is there, leading me by the hand as He led the Israelites in the time of Moses and Aaron.
  5.  Rest in the Lord. Although the pain was still with me, I often would be able to rest in the Lord and find sleep. Sometimes, I could even see a slight rainbow in the storm.

My prayer for you:

Our Heavenly Father, You are the God of all Comfort, and You are the Great Shepherd who leads Your people. Comfort Your people as only You can. Provide great peace and restore their souls and bodies as they remember Your awesome works and think about what Your works have meant in their lives. Turn their focus upon You, and graciously bring them to praise You for who You are. Finally, Father, bring rest to their souls and restoration to their bodies. Breathe upon Your people Your perfect peace, a peace beyond all comprehension. Thank you, Father. You are an awesome God!

Please share how God has worked in your storms and the tactics that you use to gain peace.

America’s veterans and soldiers … Thank you for freedom!

Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, D.C.

I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous.  Joshua 1:5b-6a

After the Israelites had mourned the death of Moses, God commanded Joshua to lead the people from the desert through the Jordan River into the Promised Land that the Lord had given to the Israelites as a possession.

The Israelites faced giants; fought battles, and some died, but God gave them the land. The battle was the Lord’s. The Israelites fought for land, for freedom to worship their God, and for their nation.

America’s soldiers, past and present, fought for a land to live in freely, for freedom to worship Almighty God, and for their nation.

Although America has slipped from its Christian foundation, there are still many Christian soldiers serving our nation.

Thank you veterans, soldiers, and your families for the sacrifices you have made to preserve our freedom. Sacrifices of life, limbs, sight, mind, and families. You have given the ultimate for freedom.

My prayer for veterans and their families

Almighty God,

The battle is Yours. We know that You use even the difficult circumstances for good to those who love You. Bless America’s veterans and soldiers with the saving knowledge of You and Your ways. Wrap Your love and protection around them. Go before them and prepare their ways. Bless their families and give them Your peace.

Thank you, veterans, soldiers, and your families!

Let FREEDOM Ring!

What’s it take to possess your promise?

Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous;  Joshua 1:6-7a

Joshua had been to the Promised Land almost 40 years earlier to spy out the land. Joshua and Caleb had reported to Moses and the Israelites that it was a land flowing with milk and honey. But the other 10 who inspected the land with Joshua and Caleb reported that the men were giants and were fearful that the Israelites would be defeated. Consequently, the Israelites trusted the 10 rather than the 2 and refused to enter the Promised Land. Instead, they wandered in the wilderness a total of 40 years.

Now, Joshua, Caleb, and the next generation of Israelites were ready to enter the Promised Land. They were ready to take possession of the promise.

I wonder how Joshua felt when God told him to “be strong and courageous.” Didn’t God tell him that Joshua would give the Israelites possession? Again, God, repeated the admonition and added a “very” to the command: “only be strong and very courageous.”

When I began to take hold of God’s promise to heal me, it took courage to step out and act as if I were healed.

I was asked by a co-worker, “Aren’t you afraid to tell people that you are healed? What if you’re not healed?”

“That is exactly why I must tell people that I am healed. I must not let Satan deceive me that I am not healed. God told me that I was healed. My doctor says that I could be healed, and we’ll know after we have acted as if I am healed.”

I had to be strong and very courageous. I stepped out and started reducing my medications, with the assistance of my doctor.

When Satan put doubts in my mind, I thanked the Lord for my healing.

Today, I am not taking fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue medications. I work out, and I lead a very active life with no fibromyalgia pain.

Our Father has given us many promises, but we must possess the promises. We must be strong and very courageous as we walk in His power.

Jesus promised that He would never forsake or leave us.

What’s the promise you must possess? Be strong and very courageous!