9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9 NLT
We have no strength of our own to accomplish the work God has called us to do. Just as God instructed Joshua to obey all the instructions Moses had given to him and to not deviate from them, so we must follow the instructions God gives us through the guidance of His Holy Spirit. This guidance comes to us after we have studied the Bible and while we are meditating on it. Meditation is more than having a passing thought, it is deeper and requires us to focus on what God’s Spirit is saying. It is concentrating so totally that our bodies are almost groaning and moaning. Not with complaint or pain but with intensity. The Bible is the only book that we can read and the author will speak to us. With God, all the things that He has ordained are possible, so be strong and courageous. Speak with love, wisdom and boldness. We are never alone, God is with us wherever we go.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
7 For the Lord your God has blessed you in everything you have done. He has watched your every step through this great wilderness. During these forty years, the Lord your God has been with you, and you have lacked nothing.”’ — Deuteronomy 2:7 NLT
If you have ever taken a road trip with your kids then you have heard the question, “when will we get there?” or “how much longer?”. One Mother’s answer was “Your Father is in charge, he will take care of us and we will arrive safely. We can just enjoy the trip.” That is a lesson that the Israelis never seem to learn. Their stubbornness and refusal to learn it changed a trip that should have taken only eleven days into an adventure that lasted over forty years. Because of their attitude, we read in Hebrews, that the original generation of Israelis never entered the rest that God had prepared for them. Instead of enjoying the trip, the Israelis continually moaned, groaned and whined. How many days have we wasted whining when we could have just relaxed and enjoyed the trip? How many more days will we waste moaning and groaning because, like the Israelis, we don’t trust our Father to provide for us and bring us safely home? Moses told the children of Israel “during these forty years, the Lord your God has been with you, and you have lacked nothing.” They wanted a lot of things they ddin’t have, but they had everything they needed to make the journey. The Lord our God is still with us and we lack nothing that we need. If we could ever learn to rest and enjoy the trip, it would not matter when we got there because each day would be a new experience enjoying the presence of the Lord. Remember that God is our provider and our shield, rest in His presence and repeat as often as necessary.
6 So God’s rest is there for people to enter, but those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God. 7 So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. — Hebrews 4:6, 7a NLT
24 God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25 He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act. — Exodus 2:24, 25
God never forgets a promise. He had promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that He would one day free the people from Egypt and that time had now come. He had listened to the groaning of His people long enough. God never fails to deliver on a promise, but He has His own timetable to do so. He used Moses to fulfill this promise. If God has made a specific promise to us, individually, He will fulfill it but it may very well be after we have gone through a period of groaning and travail. He has made a specific promise to all of His children. The first part of that promise was fulfilled when He came in the flesh to redeem us from sin and free us from our bondage to satan. We and all of nature are now in a period of groaning, waiting for His return to take us out of Egypt (the world). When He does come back, we will fly away with Him to our Promised Land. A land flowing with living waters and filled with the light of the Son. No more groaning, no more sorrows, no more pain, a land where the lamb will lay down by the lion.
22 If anyone does not love the Lord, that person is cursed. Our Lord, come! — 1 Cor. 16:22 NLT
1 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. — 2 Cor. 5:1-4 NIV
This is the hope that we have. One day, all that is dead and dying will be done away with These mortal bodies will be left behind for immortal images. These perishing, fleshly bodies will be exchanged for the image of God. In the meantime, there are burdens to bear and temptations to overcome. Since the day Adam and Eve committed the original sin, we have been dying. Not only us, but everything that God had created to last forever was now infected with the deadly disease of sin. All of creation would groan under the burden anxiously awaiting a Savior. When Jesus was resurrected from the grave, the spiritual restoration could begin. We, who have accepted Jesus as our Savior, are being restored and sanctified daily. Still, we groan with all of creation awaiting the full restoration. We should spend that time rejoicing, singing His praises and telling His story to a lost and dying world. We are being transformed from glory to glory to glory to victory. We are to be watchmen on the wall alerting those around us to the dangers they face. Look up and shout! Jesus is coming and all this death will be swallowed up by life!
51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” — 1 Cor. 15:51-55 NIV
26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. 28 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 for them.–Romans 8:26-28 (NLT)
God is waiting to show you the way.
Living out the love of God in our lives effectively requires us to spend time in prayer. There are times when we know that we need to pray but we just don’t quite know how to approach God about it. Just start a simple prayer and we find that suddenly we are praying about someone or something that we had not planned. There are times when we may be so compassionate about something that we just run out of words to pray. Just remain quietly in the attitude of prayer and God’s Holy Spirit will search your heart and communicate the words to God. While all this is going on, remember that we have an advocate (Jesus) with the Father who is also praying for us. Our simple prayers become effective prayers because the Trinity is praying with us and for us, separately and in unity. This should cause us to pray believing that God will answer us, so we should always end our prayers with praise and thanksgiving.