Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Backpacking Through Joshua - wk 6
This week we read through Joshua chapter 6. Now here's some fun. So, up until this point, the Israelites have been working pretty hard to gain ground in life. Fighting or struggling through every forward motion. Well, except at mealtime. Now, they have crossed the Jordan River and are ready to take the city of Jericho and all that is in it. This is a mighty city with mighty warriors in it and it is shut up tight like a bank vault. How on earth are they going to even get through the fortifications, let alone taking over the city itself with mighty warriors protecting it.
"No worries Joshua ~ just walk around the city once a day for a week, blowing horns. Then on the last day, go around 7 times, blow horns and yell. The city is yours. done."
I imagine the people of Jericho, although they have heard about God and the blessings He has bestowed upon Israel, are watching from atop the wall on the first day, turning to each other in disbelief, "This is what we've been afraid of? Have they had too much wine?" "Seriously? They're making a parade and that's how they're going to defeat us?" I also imagine that at least some of the Israelites felt silly presenting this 'attack' and must have wondered if God wasn't just trying to humble them or even have a laugh at their expense.
What I find really really cool is that they obeyed anyway. At least there is no mention in chapter six of naysayers or ill-behavers.
Our focus this week is that God is omniscient. He's a know-it-all. No, not like S4J is a know-it-all, or your teenage son is a know-it-all. He is THE Know-it-all. He really does, know.it.all.
having infinite knowledge or understanding
God knows, understands infinitely. So when He is prodding you, or even giving you very clear, step-by-step directions you can be assured that He already knows everything that will follow. He already knows how my seemingly strange and useless actions will affect the circumstances and people I am surrounded by at any given time. So that's the big stuff - God knows how to win wars, take down walls, stop rivers.
And He knows the small stuff. Be still my heart. He knows every grain of sand on the shore. He knows every star in the sky. He knows every time my heart has been broken. He knows my secretest secret dreams. He knows my strengths and weaknesses (He made me!) and how to use them to His glory.
Who do you want in charge of your life? Someone who read, "Being in Charge for Dummies" or someone who knows every word of every book ever written? I'll take door number two.
Uh oh, here comes application. If God, the greatest kindle of all times, is in charge of me, then I have to submit to His leading. When He asks me to do something outrageous or completely ridiculous in my mind, I can and should obey in full confidence knowing that He's 'got this'. The best part of applying this truth is the comfort I can take in knowing that, along with the big stuff, He knows the little stuff too.
P = Putting it out there
What's the most ridiculous thing you've ever done for God's glory? Washed the dishes. Yes, I think washing the dishes is ridiculous. But, to glorify my Father in heaven, I will do it.
Have you ever NOT done something you knew God wanted you to do? Yes. God wanted me to apologize and ask forgiveness of someone who had tortured me for nearly my entire adult life. He wanted ME to apologize. ME to ask forgiveness. Um. No.
What was the result?
For a couple of months I refused. I stopped taking communion, I nearly quit music ministry. I knew I was wrong, I knew I was being a hypocrite, and I knew that I could not serve in that condition. But I was willing to live the consequences rather than be the one to say, "I'm sorry." What a mess. I 'knew' doing so would not change any behavior on the other end and felt I was justified in the things that God was asking me to confess and repent of. What a mess. Did I say that already? Then God said this to me, "I suffered a horrible, excruciating, death on the cross for you and you cannot say two simple words to someone I love?" Um. Yes.
So I did.
It went down pretty much like I had expected but the thing I have to remember is that I do not see everything. I do not hear everything and I do not know everything. God knows how He is working in this person's life and how He used me in it and I certainly hope it brought Him glory that one who professes to know and love Him, put down her pride and humbled herself before someone who does not.