Joshua 8: 1-2 "Then the Lord said to Joshua, "Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land. You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king, except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the city." (Emphasis mine).
Have you ever wanted to do something and the Lord says to you, 'wait'. Or, 'not yet'?
A while ago, I wrote about how during the wait, God's doing something significant that we may not be seeing with our natural eye.
Sometimes we may think that because it's taking so long or because we don't see what we are thinking it should be like, that its reason to settle for something less, but we all know that that's not what God wants for our lives, He wants to give us His best. We know that there are many reasons He asks us to wait, but because we are His child, waiting is for our benefit, and it creates opportunity for a new thing in our lives, and all to the glory of God. Amen.
I had the opportunity to read this verse in the Book of Joshua.
This verse became important after reading Chapters 6 and 7, which I recommend you read as well to get the full context.
Briefly, in Chapters 6 and 7, the Lord had told Joshua that he had delivered Jericho into his hands (i.e. given him the city). He was then commanded to march around the city once with all the armed men, for 6 days. On the 7th day, they were to march around the city 7 times. In Joshua 6:18 the Lord says to Joshua to keep away from the devoted things as it would bring trouble. Later in Chapter 7 we see that a guy named Achan had hopped on along and taken that which was devoted, when it wasn't the time to.
We know it wasn't the time to take these ''good things'' from the land yet, as in Chapter 8, from what the Lord says to Joshua after He tells him to go into another city: "Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.... You shall do to Ai and its kind as you did to Jericho (the place of the previous battle), except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves..." (Joshua 8:1-2).
The New Living Translation says, "But this time you may keep the plunder and livestock for yourselves...."
But this time...
This time. The event of going into another city had occurred before, but it was this time, it was thee time. This particular time. Outside of that time was the wrong time.
Waiting. It can be a tough one eh?
We all make mistakes and may do something we're not supposed to at the appointed time. Even if you're a leader, you're going to make mistakes. It's just about being real with yourself and not allowing yourself or others put you on an untouchable pedestal. It's about how we handle it after the mistake that counts, i.e. did we learn something, did we grow from it? Are we getting closer to God now because of it? Are we now ready to do what God's asking us to do? etc.
I've already told you about how I started this whole website and went ahead of God, put all these sections to the website and I was all super jolly about it, only to have Him ask me to only start with one blog post. *Ouch* :) I smile about it now, but yes it was majorly humbling at the time. I can only boast in the Lord: but since then, I've never had to sit down and think: "what is the next blog post going to be?" but more of waiting on God until He told me what to say next; He's had the lead. It's a waiting process as well because I would sometimes see other sites doing 'more' stuff or had more sections, but had to wait on God's voice, and then proceed. Not only that, but we don't know other people's story or journey as they did their work, so it's unfair to judge by what the human eye can see. Amen. :)
God's timing is so perfect, when you see it happening, you'll be so content that you'll forget about past experiences or wonder why you went ahead before! He has it all under control.
Waiting on God teaches us to submit to Him, and to let Him take the lead.
This time, the Israelites had the joy (hallelujah!) of carrying the plunder and livestock, as the Lord said they could do. You too, will be able to enjoy what He's asking you to do. He had opened the door to enjoy this wonderful gift.
Let's remember that when God says 'not yet', it's 'not yet'. When He says 'go', 'go'. There's a time for everything :)
So here are the questions: Is the Lord telling you to go? Is He telling you that NOW is the right time? Enter the doors to which He is telling you to go. Why don't you have a nice heart to heart with the Lord tonight? He's with you all the way, as He's leading you to go where you wants you to go. Amen!
"...How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing" (NIV) - Matthew 23:37
“..How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!" (ESV) Matthew 23:37
Prayer: Lord, you are a marvelous! Show me what you are saying to me in this verse. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen!
What a verse! It's amazing how God continually shows us through Scripture how loving and kind hearted He is.
The thing is, fam, if we wanted to paint a picture of God as this big-mean guy waiting to say something or be mean to us, we'll definitely find it when we read Scripture because we'll be picking out what we want to see.
There are two things I'd love to share with you before we start:
1. Please read my last article about Scripture being God-breathed. There, I encouraged you to start reading the Word like a love letter. God is for you and not against you!
2. Also, when you read, pray first and ask God and the Holy Spirit to come lead you, help you, and to speak to you (i.e. give you revelation). We do have a flesh so sometimes we can go to Scripture and interpret it in our own way, when really all God is showing us is that He loves us. I guess my point here is this: be faith-based, not fear-based when you read the Bible. Each time I head to Scripture and it's something that brings fear, I'm like..hmmm okay God, this feeling is not from you, i.e. I'm not interpreting this right, you are not here to condemn me / put me down / this isn't your nature so I'll ask You about it instead. Like I said last time, if there is any discipline from our Abba, He does so in a loving and kind way. He is a God of grace, doing so to help you, and to build you up.
K! Now onto the message!
I have to confess, I felt like this really needed to be said. I felt a heavy burden to tell people that God loves them very much and wanted them to know that He is a gentle God. God hears you when you cry out to Him.
This verse is one out of a ton that demonstrates God's nature.
The Savior is always showing His tender love to us.
Tender means showing gentleness and concern or sympathy.
He is gentle, tender and sympathetic with us. He empathizes with us when we hurt. He is not here to hurt us or condemn us.
Looking at the definition of tender, the dictionary also defined it as 'not rough'.
Jesus is not rough.
If anything, He is the most gentle person you will ever know.
Think of Someone who was pushed in a crowd, touched, used, abused, and still in the end lay there saying no harsh words or continued with what He promised to do.
That's the awesome God we serve. :)
Also, remember when Paul continued walking and got back up in Acts 14:19-20? Paul was telling the people in Lystra that God never left Himself without testimony. Some Jews came and stoned Paul. They even dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead - it was brutal. But what did Paul do? He got back up and went back into the city, and the next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe (another city).
Those were qualities of Jesus. That was Jesus in Paul!
We know it's Jesus because no one in their carnal mind would ever get stoned and STILL get back up and continue the work of spreading the message of Jesus Christ! It's a miracle! We praise the Lord!
It's stuff like this that's all around us.
There are qualities of Jesus all around you. He manifests Himself to you in every way possible to show you kindness, and love. He manifests Himself to show you that He is capable, He is able, He is yours and His promises are so true and will never stop demonstrating them to you. And that includes comfort - comforting you.
Allow God's tender Hands to let the eyes of your heart be opened.
Dear child, stop hurting.
Jesus wants to show you that He loves you and He cares for you and that He wants to protect you through it all. He wants to protect you through it all.
Like a hen protects her chicks, the Father protects His, under His glorious wings.
Do you know who your Father is?
He is a gentle God, a gentle God waiting to show you that He loves you.
"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10). Amen
Challenge: For the next 30 days, could you read a verse a day about God's love for you and meditate on it? See what it says and ask God to speak to you through it. :)
Life's circumstances will come and go, but God's love will remain the same. :)
Jesus loves you no matter what.
Song: Listen to: "You Are For Me" - by Kari Jobe
You might be wondering what Scripture is for? (I.e. what is the text in the Bible actually for?) Well, hopefully this verse can help us learn some more!
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work" -2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV)
It is breathed out by God. How amazing is that! It can be used for a number of things: to teach, to reproof, to correct, and train in righteousness.
It does this for a number of things:
1. For Profit :)
It is to profit you. It's not here to condemn you or 'catch' you at every mistake. If anything, any type of 'catching' is for good discipline, as the Lord says, He disciplines those He loves (Proverbs 3:12). We may not like it at the time, but in the end we'll rejoice and know why! (Remember how God is sovereign?)
We also remember that God only knows how to give good gifts to His children, so He won't let anything fall by you or come to you that's not going to profit you or the situation (and even if the enemy tries anything, God will still use it for good: "all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them"-Romans 8:28).
2. So we may be complete, equipped for every good work.
This reminds me of David, who, before he was to go face Goliath the giant, acknowledged that the armor Saul gave him (although seemingly strong from the outside) was not what he was used to (1 Samuel: 17:39). In that moment, and instead, David used what was in front of him, and what he knew best).
Connecting this in the context of The Bible, the Word is what is in front of us, and from it we have our own armor that has been proved to work best (Ephesians 6:10-18).
Fam, along the way, it will help us make good choices, especially for that good work ;-)
"Oh breath of God come breathe within."
Maybe this song from Hillsong will guide you as well :)
Prayer: Thank you God that Your Word is this powerful! I know that you will guide me throughout the way, but help me to soak up in Scripture so I may be diligent, equipped, complete for every good work. Thank you Father, thank you. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.
P.S. Will you read your Bible like a love letter to you? Try it this week! I encourage you! :) Tell me how it goes! God bless you!
Is a girl who fell deeply in love with Jesus,