Standing on God's Promises

He Gives Me Directions

“And Joshua fell on his face…and said to him, ‘What has my lord to say to his servant?'” ~Joshua 5:14, NASB

We discussed the falling of Jericho yesterday, and with it, the purpose for the nation of Israel. They were a people of God’s choosing, a people set apart for His purpose. His glory. His revelation.

They were to show who the true God is to the world. And God worked in and through them to reveal himself. Pretty well, too, despite the Israelites many, many flaws. Consider Rahab, her response to the Hebrew spies…

“…our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.” (Joshua 2:11)

She had heard about the Red Sea. About the wilderness, and the mighty kings the nomadic wanderers had taken out. No doubt she’d heard about the crossing of the flooded Jordan river…and now these people, whose God was clearly THE God, were coming.

Notice what she didn’t hear about…How amazing the leadership was among Israel. The awe-inspiring orator who captivated his audience. The unbelievably gifted song leader who could raise a frenzy of praise with his charismatic performances…Sometimes showing who God is to the world around me is as simple as walking. Am I willing to obey-

She heard about God. HIS power. HIS doing. HIS redemption of his people. Were there amazing leaders, great writers/speakers, gifted musicians? Yep. Among many other extraordinary people, there were such in Israel. Gifted and called by God himself. But Rahab’s faith didn’t sprout from them. She planted herself into the conviction that God was sovereign over all–people, nature, nations. All.

So, what does that have to do with the felling of Jericho? Well, we know Rahab was saved from that destruction. We also know that her legacy wasn’t restricted to her soiled past. Boaz, her son, was quite a good man, you know. And God saw fit to include Rahab in Jesus’s genealogy.

Anything else?

Well, we circled around to this question: “How do we, like the Israelites, show who God is to a godless or idolatress world?”

Perhaps the answer is found in this part of the story.

“I have given Jericho into your hand…. You shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days…then on the seventh day march seven times, and the priest shall blow the trumpets…and all the people shall shout…”

What? Not only is that a very strange string of directions, it’s actually quite terrifying. March around the fortified city walls? That is a completely vulnerable position. And seven times? Not only is it vulnerable, it has now become predictable. A recipe for slaughter.

Here, maybe, is the key. Obedience. God said march. Just walk. No shooting. No secret attack. Nothing fancy, cunning, or brilliant. A simple walk around the wall–easy directions that are leg-shakingly difficult to complete. But the obedience is visible, so when Rahab and her family ask “why did you do that?” the people would say, “because God said to.” So when the nations around heard about the walls coming down, the only bit of strategy that they could gain from studying that victory is, “they obeyed God.”

Sometimes showing who God is to the world around me is as simple as walking. Am I willing to obey?

Standing on God's Promises

He Completes Me

I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. ~Phil. 1:6, HCSB

I’m a writer–I write fiction. At any given time, I have at least three manuscripts sitting on my hard drive waiting to be finished. I thought of this yesterday as I read through Philippians one. Quirky, I know, but I can actually hear my characters call to me “finish my story…I’m not done yet!”

One story I’m working on now particularly came to mind as I pondered Philippians 1:6. I’d left my MC in a bad place. Lonely, desperate for love, for belonging, she cries out to her writer, “please, don’t leave me like this forever!” And I hear her. I promise, “this will make sense in the end. Just wait and see.”

Our Father, the Writer of our souls hears our cries. The thread of our stories is not yet complete, and He, who writes beautifully and knows the beginning from the end, will not leave us forever in our desperate, unfinished scenes. He will bring us to completion. And when the story is fully known, it will make sense. All of it. We will see as He sees, know what He has always known, and will shout to Him who does all things well, “Glory!”

He who began a good work in you will carry it to completion. Your story isn’t over yet.

Standing on God's Promises

Standing On His Promises: He Fights For Me!

Standing in a hurricane

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. – Psalm 42:5 NIV

Why do I fret? Worry devours peace, anxiety robs sleep. Why are you downcast, oh my soul? Where is your hope?

Hope in God! Hope in God!

The year’s been bumpy already, you know? Ever have a string of events that feel like crashing breakers? The fierce waters erode what I thought were solid foundations. But, in the middle of one of these tides, God showed me something amazing.

He fights for me.

Wow. I don’t know if you’ve ever realized that. He doesn’t just protect me, He fights for me.

That changes things. I don’t have to figure out how to do these battles. He fights for me. I don’t have to worry that my strength will fail. He fights for me. I don’t have to lie anxiously scheming out a plan. He fights for me.

Why am I downcast then? There’s not a good reason. Praise Jesus, the warrior who has fought to the other side of death. He fought for me.

Standing on God's Promises

Standing On His Promises: Ever Loved

“As the father has loved me, I have also loved you. Remain in my love….no one has greater love than this; that someone would lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:9, 13, HCSB

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I am the girl in the meadow, plucking the daisy. He loves me. He loves me not. He loves me. He loves me not…

Where will the petals run out? Will I believe the testimony of a flower? How can I determine His love?

See, my life isn’t going the way I had hoped. I wanted something….desperately. It was a good thing, a pure hope and honest ambition. Life is dousing that spark, and the waves of disappointment make me feel unloved.

“Don’t you love me?” I cry.

His gaze settles unwavering on me, but I hear nothing.

“I don’t feel your love.” I weep again.

Still, that soft look holds steady, but His voice does not fall on my ears.

I’m exasperated now, and in frustration I spit, “Why won’t you speak! How can I know that you love me?”

He smiles, the sad sort of smile, like I’ve injured His heart. His soft voice drifts across my anger. “Beloved, I have shown you.”

“But I want to hear the words.”

“I’ve shown you.” He stretches His hands forward, beckoning me to His arms.

I see the evidence, the scars in His hands, my name engraved there. I look back to his face and there is love in His glistening eyes. I know now, I remember. How foolish of me to seek truth in the passing moments of life. Flowers stretch forth from their stems, bloom, and then die all in a matter of months…why would I discern His love from their fading petals?

“Do you believe me?” He asks.

I crash into His arms. “Yes,” my tears fall, this time without anger, “I believe that you love me.”

Standing on God's Promises

Standing on His Promises: Hope

“I will attend to you and will confirm My promise concerning you to restore you to this place. For I know the plans I have for you”–this is the Lord’s declaration–“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. You will call to Me and come and pray to Me and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you.” Jeremiah 29:10b-14a, HCSB

Is hope a vague feeling or a conviction? Where does it come from? Why does its promise seem to stay far off? What is this future and hope that the Lord has planned for me?

Everything in my life, the moments of gladness and satisfaction and the moments of discouragement and defeat, all of these have a purpose… Do you ever hit pause and wonder? Does it always make sense?

We know Jeremiah 29:11 pretty well, don’t we? Use it for inspiration. Comfort. Dare I say that it has almost become cliché?

But what about verse twelve? “You will call to me and come…”

What is God’s plan for my life–the hope and future He has thought out?

“Seek me,” He answers. “Call to me. Find me. I will be found.”

Every moment He ordains is singular in purpose…that I would be driven to Him.

Hope? It’s not a feeling. Hope is a life in His arms.

Standing on God's Promises

I Am Standing on His Promises

It’s been a while. Does the undertow of life ever knock you off-balance? Oh, good. Not that you fall, but that I’m not alone. I don’t like being alone!

I intended to post this at the beginning of our new year…but, well, you know. That’s life, isn’t it? Happy belated new year, by the way. Thank you for visiting our blog over the past year. Our posts will dwindle to once a week–I hope at least that often. My dear friend and blogging-sister-in-Christ has taken on a full-time teaching gig, so we won’t be seeing much of Susan this year. I know, bummer, right? But to everything there is a season. Hopefully she’ll pop in every once in a while, though.

I thought I had this year’s blogging theme all mapped out months ago…intended to turn from who am I? To who is God? Seemed like a continuous study. But then that undertow thing happened. God often works that way, doesn’t he?

As 2014 drew to and end, I was pondering the ups and downs of my very ordinary life, and wondering why this particular wave of events, which really weren’t that significant in the grand scheme of life, took my feet out from under me, and that sweet, calm whisper in my spirit asked, “what were you standing on?”

Silly question! Or not. I stand on God’s Word, right? His promises for very believer, that is my foundation, that is where I plant my feet. Except, well to be honest, I’m not sure which promises I was rooted in. During this conversation with the Spirit I really couldn’t quote the promises I was supposedly standing on.

That’s a problem, and thus my new pursuit. Standing on the promises…now to identify them. That should fill my year with plenty of learning, which I love.

Got any suggestions for me?