Friday, January 21, 2011

Backpacking Through Joshua - wk 3

Here we are in week 3. I had a little more steam this week. Conviction will ^hopefully^ do that for you. I say "conviction" not "guilt".

Focus: God is our leader

= More to read
Follow God
Week 3 ~ here we are at the banks of the Jordan river "at the time of harvest, when the Jordan overflows all its banks" (Joshua 3:15). God says, ' okay guys, its time to get this done. See that overflowing river? The Levites are going to carry the Ark into that river and stand in it while you all cross to the other side. Get clean. GO!' (paraphrase strictly mine). I'm a visual sort of girl so I wanted to SEE what I am reading about to have an idea of how big their following-faith would have to be. I found this picture of the Jordan River, although I don't think it is yet overflowing its banks.

'Sooo, You want us to step in and then stop? In that river there? And be still? While holding the Ark?' I don't know about any of you, but I have had a couple of unpleasant experiences with being swept away or pulled under by water that otherwise seemed fairly benign and I have a little idea of what it can do. I can already tell you that I would have a really hard time with this instruction. I can feel the fear taking over and causing me to list all the reasons why this is a bad idea.

v. fol·lowed, fol·low·ing, fol·lows
To come or go after; proceed behind
To go in the direction of; be guided by
To accept the guidance, command, or leadership of

Aha. This is not God telling the Israelites to go into the Jordan River. This is God telling the Israelites to proceed behind Him, to be guided by Him, to accept the leadership of Him.

Also, let me make this clear ~ this is not ME telling the Israelites to follow ME into the Jordan River. That would be stupid. Plus, I really would be frozen at the banks. We have already established that the God who is leading the Israelites is a God who keeps His promises and is worthy of our trust. The Israelites already know that God can stop a mighty water from flowing because He has already proven it. I suppose I could make the argument that the circumstances of the Israelites' faith in the time of Joshua, and the circumstances of my faith are very different. I do not have God, through a cloud, leading me and I do not have manna showing up daily for me to pick up and eat and I did not SEE the Red Sea parted, blah blah blah. I HAVE however chosen to believe in God and, through His Son Jesus Christ, receive forgiveness of my sins and live in eternal relationship with Him. I believe that God is who He says He is and does and has done what He says He does and has done. Therefore, my faith should be no less equal than that of the Israelites. If God led them, He will lead and is leading me. Now where's that river??

P = Putting it out there

1. Are there some areas in your life in which you allow God to lead more than others?
  • Most definitely. To be perfectly and, well, embarrassingly honest, I do not ask God to lead in most areas of my life. Sure, the big stuff I go to Him about. And I do mean, BIG. We're talking crisis level. The rest of the time(and the reason I am in this study) I ~working on that~
2. Tell of a time you followed God's leading into an unfamiliar territory.
  • Several years ago I was asked to pray about taking on the role of Worship Leader for our military women's Bible study. So, I laughed. Then I agreed to pray (although, I really felt that the answer would be a resounding "You are not qualified!"). You know what? I prayed and God said, "You are who I want to be there at this time." (notice the period? end of sentence?) You know what else? I WASN'T qualified. I couldn't even read music OR play an instrument. How does one LEAD worship in these circumstances? You don't. You step aside and let God lead. I heard once that God does not call the equipped but that He equips those whom He calls.
  • Ps ~ where my journal pages started for week 3, the scripture quote is this, "For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared." Proverbs 3:26
  • Thank You God.

Worship =

By His hand He leadeth me. Ahhh.

Where You go, I'll go. Where You stay, I'll stay...

Blessings on your day,


Gretchen said...

Wow. Feeling such a kinship, S4J. His plans for us. His leading. His creation (me). In His image. Not a whole lot of "I" in that. Lurve your post...

whimzie said...

LOVE that you included a picture of the Jordan, because I was wondering and didn't take the google time to find a picture for myself. And now I have a good picture of what was happening because of you.

Love your focus on the word "follow." And this paragraph: "Aha. This is not God telling the Israelites to go into the Jordan River. This is God telling the Israelites to PROCEED BEHIND HIM, TO BE GUIDED BY HIM, TO ACCEPT THE LEADERSHIP OF HIM."

And then you go and stir up my Southern gospel roots with some sangin'? Girl, you're good.

Thank you muchly.

His Girl said...

geez... I had a comment all done in my head and then I scroll down and WHIMZIE DONE STOLE MY COMMENT!

One of the things that I am loving about hiking this trail with people this time instead of all on my own is personified in this post... the skills and gifts you bring in your pack paint such a beautiful picture for those of us who would otherwise have missed the good stuff!


God's Guitar Girl said...

I'm with Gretchen about feeling that kinship in that sometimes I'm not always really praying about being led to make the right choice, etc. It's so my nature to handle things myself (a survival skill that can be a mixed blessing). Good junk.

And look atchall tawlkin' suthern'! Nex' thang I know Amber's gonna be sayin' stuff like "braw"! LOL!

RosieRed said...

Thanks for the picture of the jordan river...what a great idea to google pics of places in the Bible! Love it! Great post..I'm totally there with not asking God to lead me enough..working on that too! I love your story about being asked to lead worship..and not playing an instrument..and yet trusting in God enough to let him :o)

lisasmith said...

Needed the visual... Crossing the Jordan is not for wimps. It takes following a very big God.

I always tell people who ask me "how do you do it with four kids?" that God has always given me just enough to stress my need for Him. Just too much to leave me totally dependent!

PS I'm loving Texas' cold today; I've been snuggle under a really big pink prayer shawl. :)