Thursday, March 10, 2016

March 11, 2016

God fights for you!

He fights for you with His presence!

For over 40 years God's presence had been very real and visible to them following 400 long difficult years of doubting His presences.

Every day as God led His people away from Egypt and toward Canaan He appeared before them in a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire through the night. When the pillar moved they moved and when it stayed they stayed!

Finally, God was able to lead them back to the Jordan ready to lead then through the river and in to Canaan. As the prepared to enter over and possess the Land of Promise Joshua needed a fresh assurance of God's presence. God gave him that.

“No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.  Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them”  Joshua 1:5-6
My guess is that Joshua wasn't having as much of a problem trusting God's leadership as he was struggling to trust his own! He may have had thoughts like this and I can can imagine God's response to those honest doubts:
  • I have never led before and there are 2,000,000 people – but I am with you!
  • But there’s the Jordan River at flood stage – I know but I am with you!
  • Those walls around Jericho are very thick – but I am with you!
  • The Amorites are fierce and they have a home-field advantage – but you have me!
  • All five nations have united against me – but you have me!

“But I’m not Joshua, you say” – But God is the same God! And God still is present to protect His people!

You have all the same promises Joshua had PLUS many more through Christ!

You are crossing the Jordan or conquering Jericho but:
  • You’re stuck in a job that demands too much and pays too little – but you have Him!
  • Your out-go exceeds your income and the pressure’s mounting – but you have Him!
  • You’re trying to overcome that harmful habit and it feels like a boa constrictor crushing the life out of you – but God is with you to release you!
  • You haven’t been the greatest marriage partner but you want to do better – God is with you!
  • You’re haunted by your past even though you know you shouldn’t be – God is with you
  • You know where you came from and it just doesn’t seem compatible with where God wants to take you – but God is with you!

David was just a shepherd stuck out in the lonely remote hillside when he wrote:

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.   Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.” Psalm 23

I’m sure this is what the Apostle Paul meant when He wrote:

“Don’t be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,” we can boldly quote, God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what. Who or what can get to me?”  Hebrews 13:5-6
“help” = two Greek words – “He runs to you shouting”


March 10, 2016

"You yourselves have seen everything the Lord your God has done to all these nations for your sake; it was the Lord your God who fought for you." Joshua 23:3

Joshua spent 40 years in Egypt and then 40 years in the wilderness and now he was nearing 90 years of age. Their Glory Days were ending and so was his leadership.

In his farewell speech he reminded them they could count on God to fight for them because God had always fought for them. All they needed to do was show up at the right address with the right attitude and God would do the rest.

God had fought for them when they were in Egypt by sending the supernatural plagues. The Hebrews walked out of Egypt with a lot of Egyptian riches without having to raise a hand against the Pharaoh.

God had fought for them at the Red Sea! He opened it wide for them and they walked through it without getting their feet wet! But when the army of the Pharaoh tried to cross behind them God closed it over them.

God fought for them at Jericho when the walls of that fortress collapsed like power at their shouts. And that was after He had stopped the Jordan at flood stage to allow 2,000,000 people and all their livestock to cross over into Canaan.

God fought for them with His presence. The Ark of the Covenant led them wherever they went. A cloud had led them by day and a pillar of fire by night. Never in 40 years had they been out of His presence!

God fought for them with His power. Pesky plagues, seas opening, rivers stopping,  water flowing from a rock, manna appearing from heaven each morning and impenetrable walls crumbling were undeniable demonstrations of His power.

God fought for His people then and He will fight for you, too!

If you will stop fighting Him and begin trusting Him at your point of trouble, weakness or need, you will experience His presence and power too!

I'm sure that's what Paul was thinking when he wrote to the Roman church, "If God is for us who can be against us?"

Ready to find out?