Last week I shared that I’m going through something tough. Not much has changed. It’s still hard. Today has been rough.
I’m still reminded on how I should be reacting. Here are a few of the lessons:
One lesson is from a book I’m currently reading, Following God with All your Heart by Elizabeth George. She uses several Bible passages to work through on becoming a successful, courageous, exceptional and humble woman. Her main focus for the first half of the book is Joshua 1:8-9 I’ll share it here.
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Have I not commanded thee? be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.
Mrs. George outlines many lessons from this passage, but here are a few of the main points.
We have God’s law. We are to know it and obey it.
He has commanded us to not be afraid. He’s with us.
She wrote this “each step taken in the power of God’s word, in spite of a multitude of challenges, moves you to a closer relationship with God.” (pg. 20) We need to read and learn and study and KNOW God’s word.
Something else I needed to hear/read again is “The Lord’s very nature couldn’t and wouldn’t allow Him to go back on His promises.” (pg. 69) He will keep His promises.
In one chapter, Mrs. George shares 7 habits for gaining strength and courage. These those habits:
1. Know God
2. Embrace God’s plan for you (deciding on when to say “no” based on His plan)
3. Be around older Christian women
4. Don’t listen to the world
5. Recite “someone has to do it or no one will do it…” and do it
6. Study God’s Word (See His perspective on life!!) Charles Swindoll calls it having a vertical perspective. See life in light of eternity and focus on God, not the impossibilities or the struggles, but push through the struggles with His help.
7. Remember the women at the cross – think of their devotion to Christ even so much that they prepared spices to anoint his body.
Another lesson was from my reading, in Joshua. I have another post on chapter 23, but chapter 24 was encouraging.
Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth… Joshua 24:14a
The Bible term for fear actually means to obey.
Do you notice a theme? It matches the title and the post from last week.
The last lesson I’ll share today is from church. My pastor shared recently that faith is not quite the same as trust. They work together but not the same way. And the more we study God’s word the greater encouragement we receive.
Something else our pastor shared was that a turtle won’t go anywhere unless he sticks his neck out. So we need to be sticking our necks out in faith and following God.
In church we’re in a study on the spiritual battle in Ephesians 6. Satan loves to sow discouragement and doubt. He loves to work havoc in God’s people. Teaching them to fear and cower in despair. (Satan wants us to take off our helmet of salvation. He delights in bringing doubts of our salvation and faith…)
Pastor said that we are to recognize that God’s word will never fail. (oh, I’ve heard that before recently!) He also used the John 10 passage on describing Christ as our Shepherd. A shepherd’s duty is to care for his sheep, the sheep are to hear his voice and follow.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.
We had a funny moment in the study when we determined that sheep bleat and baa a lot. Humour aside, when we as His sheep baa and bleat, we’re essentially complaining and whinging to God our Shepherd. We’re not listening to His voice, not following.
The challenge there is to follow and obey. Do you see the pattern again?
Also in the passage has the promise that His sheep are His. We have His salvation, His eternal life promised. We are protected, carefully cradled in His hands. Doubly protected since Christ and God are ONE.
This too was an encouragement to hear and be reminded of our Tender and Caring Shepherd.
Are you learning to trust and obey our Lord?