Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Be Very Strong!

While I was sitting in our International Ministerial Association board meeting in Branson, MO last week, God dropped this little thought into my heart.

Israel was on the doorstep of entering into Canaan after an exhausting and troubling forty years of wandering in the wilderness. The people were eager to go into the land of promise which had been told to them by their leader, Moses. They had been without a homeland and served as slaves of the Pharaoh's of Egypt for 400 years. God had made a promise to Abraham centuries before He would make his descendants into a great nation and give them Canaan as a homeland on condition that they remain faithful and obedient to Him. (Genesis 17)

The Jewish people did remain faithful, though imperfectly, to the one true God and had clung to the promise He had made to their forefather, Abraham.  Now they are at the threshold of experiencing the fulfillment of that promise in Joshua!

BONDAGE - FREEDOM - WARFARE

Egypt is a type of sin and bondage which makes slaves out of people. Israel is called out of slavery and was baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. (1 Corinthians 10:2) This is a type of our baptism into Christ and freedom from bondage to sin. (Galatians 3:27)  Israel then was placed in the wilderness where they learned God’s ways and learned to believe and trust in Him.

After our salvation, God takes us into a time of learning His ways and learning to believe and trust Him in all things. (Ephesians 4:15) He prepares us to be ready for serious battles and conflicts in the spirit.

When Israel crossed over Jordan to receive the promised land they would inherit through God’s promise, they were met with a lawless, brutal, and depraved culture that was governed by a very divided and immoral, politically corrupt government. The stage was set and the land ripe for conquest. It was time to go to battle! Joshua led the warfare to possess the land for Israel’s inheritance for 25 years. Ephesians 6 tells us that every believer must be prepared for spiritual warfare. But we are not fighting all alone. In Joshua 1:5 God provided Joshua with the promise of His ever-present Holy Spirit just as He promises His Holy Spirit presence to be with us in every battle and in every storm. (Hebrews 13:5)

God’s thought to me was to encourage God’s people to “be strong and courageous” in battle. Don’t relent by the things that you see around you. Joshua told the people that they were ready for this. He said, “Be strong and courageous.” Joshua 1:9

You are ready for this too! Our strength is in the Lord. Stay on the offensive with the two-edged sword (God’s Word) in your hand and God’s high praises in your mouth—for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go!  BE VERY STRONG TODAY!