Walking in The Holy Spirit’s Stunning Power

Gate Beautiful

The Beautiful Gate or Eastern Gate where the lame beggar sat was the largest gate to the temple and the most beautiful. In Hebrew, the name of the gate means “Gate of Mercy.” It took 20 men to move the gate. The gate faces the Mount of Olives across the Kidron Valley. It was sealed shut, and a cemetery was placed before its entrance to render anyone who walked through the cemetery unclean. Jewish tradition says that the Messiah will come through the Eastern Gate when He comes to reign. Ezekiel writes of the glory of God entering the temple through the Eastern Gate.

Look at him! He’s walking. He’s jumping. He’s prancing around and praising God. Wait … he’s going into the temple with those men. He can’t do that; he’s unclean. Hasn’t he been lame since birth? I’ve seen him begging every day for decades. What happened?

Continue reading Walking in The Holy Spirit’s Stunning Power

704 steps up the Eiffel Tower to a beautiful view … 1 step + God towards possessing the promises of a lifetime

Eiffel Tower Night

 

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?

My prayer

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?

Giants between you and God’s promise? With God, take it!

Israel

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.

  1. Caleb followed God fully.
  2. Caleb believed he would possess God’s promise.
  3. Caleb kept his body strong.
  4. Caleb set his eyes on the land of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
  5. Caleb asked for the land of the giants, the land of the fierce battles.
My prayer:

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?

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.