Get up! Purify the people and get them ready to come before me. Tell them to be ready tomorrow, because I, the Lord God of Israel, have this to say: ‘Israel, you have in your possession some things that I ordered you to destroy! You cannot stand against your enemies until you get rid of these things!’ (Josh. 7:13 GNT)
Last week I was reflecting on a particular area of my life that I’ve been battling with. One morning during my quiet time, I was reading over a familiar story in the book of Joshua 6 in which the city of Jericho was conquered. It’s an amazing story you should check out when you have a moment. However, as I read further down in chapter 7 about the preparation for their next battle in Ai, there was a verse that really stood out to me.
You cannot stand [victorious] before your enemies until you remove the things under the ban from among you.” (Josh 7:13b AMP)
You see, unfortunately a few of the sons of Israel kept and hid some of the items that God specifically told them to destroy. And now their disobedience caused God’s anger to come against the camp and was preventing the entire army from moving forward and defeating their enemies. Sheesh!
Have you ever felt like you have been stuck in a battle, unsure of why you can’t move forward? Perhaps it’s because we, like the sons of Israel, have things in our midst that God has specifically called us to get rid of.
It made me think about security lines at airports. TSA is very specific with items that are not allowed through the checkpoints. So we know that when we get to the front, we’re not getting through that gate if something alarms the guards. Similarly, I’m inclined to believe the same applies in our lives. Can we really get to the gate of our next destination if we have things God has specifically said no to? Is holding on to it worth the destruction it could cause in our lives, or even those around us? The decision of the sons of Israel didn’t just impact them, but the entire camp. Continue reading
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
A few weekends ago I went on a much needed getaway with a few friends to the beach. One morning while just hanging out in the room getting ready for the day- one of my favorite topics came up: Chocolate Chip Cookies!
One of the young ladies who was with us loves to bake. So me being me, I asked her if she knew how to make them. Being a true baker, she did, and she started telling me about a recent batch she made. Surprisingly, while baking, she added what she thought was the wrong ingredient, but it actually turned out to be one of the best she had cranked out in a while. She even got a request from the recipient for more later. I should’ve put my order in! 🙂
The moment she said it, I immediately thought about Romans 8:28:
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good…”
Everything? Even the bad? Even the stuff that I didn’t think I needed?
That’s right my loves. Everything.
“….a Father to the fatherless…” Psalm 68:5
Most of us are probably familiar with or have heard the ever popular Lord’s Prayer. The beginning verses in Matthew 6 start with:
Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be your name.
I realized at one point in reading this passage, that though my mouth was verbally saying the words, my heart was having a hard time connecting with it.
God? My Father?
Leading up to this weekend I have been reflecting on what fatherhood has meant to my life, and how it had impacted me over the years.
You see unfortunately, I was abandoned by my earthly father. He was faintly in and out of my life during my early years, and I haven’t seen him since. So while it was easy for me to connect with God in the wonder of His holiness, His power, and His grace – during the beginning stages of my Christian walk, relating to him as my Father was difficult because my concept of a father was skewed.
Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD. (Psalm 27:14)
For many of us, some of the hardest seasons of life are those in which we have to wait. Now of course I know in one way or another we must “wait” every day. Whether it be in traffic on the way to work, for an order to arrive in the mail, or in line to be checked out at the store. But that’s not the waiting I’m referring to. I’m talking about those seasons of life when you’re waiting for the deep-seated desires of your heart to come to pass. However, for some reason… it… just… hasn’t… happened…yet.
A godly mate.
Your business to kick off.
A relationship to be reconciled.
A new career opportunity.
If you’re anything like me, sometimes waiting can be very difficult. Proverbs 13:12 says “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” And if I’m honest, even though I know God has a greater plan for my life and His ways are always better than anything I could ever imagine, waiting for the things your heart longs for can at times can make you feel like God has forgotten about you and that your dreams may never happen. Yet in faith- I still must wait.
I thought about something recently that my mentor shared with me a while ago. She mentioned that when we’re in a season of waiting- we shouldn’t just be sitting around doing nothing- rather we should be actively waiting. But what does that practically look like? What things can I do when God is calling me to wait on His direction, His timing and His voice? As I thought about it a little deeper, an acronym came to mind that gave her comment new meaning to me. And I‘m hoping it does the same for you. Continue reading
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23)
I remember a few years ago, as I started growing in my relationship with Christ, I had this deep conviction that I needed to evaluate some of the things that I was still exposing myself to- more specifically the things that weren’t edifying my soul.
As this lifestyle shift occurred and I begin implementing the changes, I remember feeling a little weird because I wasn’t familiar with the popular reality TV show, know the latest songs, or have the desire to go places that I used to crave for the opportunity to be in. I was concerned about what others might think regarding these changes I was making and didn’t want to be perceived as the “holier than thou” girl. Nevertheless, I was willing to continue taking the necessary steps the Spirit was impressing on my heart and I noticed the difference I was seeing my life –in my speech, my thoughts, and my actions.
It was at this point I started to understand the value of what it meant to guard my heart.