Getting past a big mistake

Jacob had twelve sons.  Two of his sons, Simeon and Levi, were full brothers, meaning they had the same mother.  Their full sister, Dinah, went out into the local city to see all the local girls.  If she was anything like the some of the girls I know, she wanted to see what they were wearing.  While she was out surveying the fashions and styles of the region, One of the princes of the land saw her and was smitten.  She was “taken” by the prince of the country.  His name was Shechem.  The scripture gives the inference that she might have been raped by him.  The sons of Jacob heard about it and blew a gasket.  So they made a deceitful deal with Shechem’s father.  They said the prince could marry Dinah, and that Jacob’s sons would be open to inter-marry the locals.  The locals wanted this for economic reasons.  The only hitch was that all the local men in their city would need to be circumcised.  The men of the city agreed because Jacob had wealth and they wanted access to it.  Three days after the mass circumcision, while all the men were painfully incapacitated and unable to move, Simeon and Levi went in, killed every single man, and spoiled the city.  You can read it in Gen 34.

When Jacob found out about it he said (Gen 34:30)  “You have troubled me, to make me stink among those living in the land, among the Canaanites, and among the Perizzites. And I being few in number, and they gathering against me, they will strike me, and I and my house shall be wasted”. But Simeon and Levi were unrepentant.  They said “Should he treat our sister like a harlot?”

I think the Lord’s response in chapter 35 illustrates how serious this became.  The Lord immediately told Jacob to move to Bethel and build an altar to God there. The Bible says that as Jacob moved his family, the terror of God came on the cities all around them so that the men of the cities didn’t pursue them as they went.

I’m not trying to minimize what happened to the Dinah, but any action to be taken should have come from Jacob.  It was not the place of Simeon or Levi to decide how this situation should have been handled.  The entire family was affected by the result. They were all put in jeopardy.

That brings us to Gen 49:1, where Jacob is calling his sons to his bedside to bless them, here he begins to tell them of their future.  When he gets to Simeon and Levi, he declares “Instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.  O my soul, come not into their secret; unto their assembly, my spirit, be not united: for in their anger they slew a man and in their self-will they dug down a wall.  Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel”.

In the very first post I wrote on this blog, I wrote about the beginning of honor.  You can read the post here.  The point of that post is that to truly honor your mom, dad and family, you must first determine to not cause them shame.  It seems that the older we get, the greater the cost becomes to remain a fool.  A teen boy can can get himself into so much trouble that the consequences could last for years.  I can think of at least three occasions where my stupid actions brought the police to our house.  Remembering my days as a young man, when I think back on the times I got into real trouble, it seemed like each time, things just “suddenly” went wrong.  While my friends and I were always goofing off and pushing the boundaries, each time we got into real trouble, it seemed like a “suddenly”.  We just suddenly knew that we had gone too far.

Unfortunately, these “suddenly” episodes didn’t have a “suddenly” resolution.  We couldn’t get out of trouble as quickly as we got into it.  The consequences in my case were hard, but could have been so much worse and took quite a long time to get through.  In some cases, it took years to pay the price for being stupid.  Some people will pay for the rest of their lives for mistakes made when they were young.  Some are no longer with us because their consequences were immediate and final.

My brother and I were talking about these things the other day and the thing that kept coming up in my heart was that God can turn things around.  These things don’t have to become a life sentence.  Even with Simeon and Levi, later we see Balak trying to get Balaam to curse Israel, but all he can do is bless them.  This includes Simeon and Levi.  Balaam says I can’t curse what God has blessed.  Later we find that Simeon received his inheritance out of the inheritance of Judah, because Judah’s inheritance was too great for just him.  We also see that the Lord made Himself the inheritance of Levi and commanded the other tribes to give Levi cities in each of their inheritances.

The point I’m making is that, the mistake they made was a big deal.  It cost the family and the Lord had to step in and give Jacob specific direction to deal with it, but it wasn’t the end.  They still had a future filled with hope.

There are a couple of points here worth noticing.

First – What the sons of Jacob did cost them down the road.  We can see from Jacob’s declaration over them that they were scattered in Jacob.

Second – It wasn’t over for them just because they blew it.  While what they did cost them, they were still blessed, and they still received a part in the inheritance, and the promises God made them.

Third – Almighty God cared enough to get involved.  He led and protected Jacob while He brought him to a safe place.  This included Simeon and Levi.

Sometimes people can get themselves into messes so bad, that it takes all the faith they have to get out of it.  This is the reason God gives us standards to live by.  It’s when people harden themselves against God that they get into trouble.  We know from the story of Job that God puts a hedge of protection around His people.  The problem is that when we harden our heart against obeying God, we take ourselves out from under His protection.

The first piece of advice I would give you is this – Don’t disobey.  It’s through obedience that things go the best possible way they CAN go. The second piece of advice is – I’ve you’ve messed up, repent!  Repent means turn around.  Stop going down that path.  If you will humble yourself before God and turn away from your rebellion and hardness, His grace will begin to flow into your situation.  His grace includes His power, His favor, His equipping, and His calling.  God will get involved in your situation and lead you.  Then, keep doing what you know to do.  Don’t stray from the path you know, and keep the switch of faith turned on. Don’t stop believing.  When it comes to trouble – If you follow Him, submit to Him, allow Him to lead you, and obey every time, the promise is that “a thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come nigh you.  Only with your eyes will you behold the reward of the wicked” (Ps 91:7-8).

 

 

Move Forward With Confidence! Here’s How.

We know that Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. (Rom 10:17).  When Jesus said we would know the Truth, and the Truth would make us free, the implication of the verse is that it’s the TRUTH YOU KNOW that makes you free.

About a week ago, while I was having stuff done to my house, there was something that I wanted done, and I was pretty sure it was supposed to be done, but it kept getting passed over by the contractors.  I watched day after day as they worked around the area I was looking at, but day after day, they didn’t do anything.  I started getting anxious.  I even went and found the quote, just to look and see if it had been overlooked in the pricing.  Nope!  It was there!  So why do they keep working around it?  I began to create a  picture in my head of a big confrontation with the contractor in my front yard – out there in front of God and everybody.

It suddenly hit me.  This is not faith.  This is fear!  Fear is perverted faith, and I know better than this.  God gives me favor with people.  Then I thought….wait a minute, where is that in the Bible?  I couldn’t think of a specific scripture that promised that God has given me favor with everybody.  But what does the Bible say?

I remembered Rom 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Then right on the heels of that,  Rom 8:31 & 32  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

To me, knowing where that truth was located was very important.  Many times we get ideas about what God is like or how He will act, but without actually having a scripture to back that up, you can’t really have faith.

Why?  Because as soon as your good thoughts about God get challenged, and they will be challenged, you will realize that what you believe about God is not based on a firm foundation.  Faith must be based on a firm foundation.  In order for something to be scriptural, we have to actually have scripture.

I began to think about it.  He will cause this to work out for my good.  He loves me.  He’s working in this situation on my behalf.  I made the shift on the inside.  I prayed about it, basing my prayer and my faith on the scriptures that the Holy Spirit brought to my memory.  I was now in a place of confidence.  I had faith that God was involved, and that it was going to be alright.  The next day, I had a passing conversation with the contractor, who all on his own, pointed out the part I had been wondering about and indicated that he wasn’t finished, and that it would all be done. Thank God!

Faith calls for the manifestation of itself.  It’s where we learn from God’s own example that we are to call those things that be not, as though they were (Rom 4:17).  We see from Job’s example that Fear also has a voice (Job 3:25).   It calls for the manifestation of itself too, because it’s perverted faith. Fear is having confidence in the circumstance and it’s ability to hurt you.

How do you move forward in your life?  When you navigate through your day, how do you know that the choices you make are the right ones?  Do you often see potential issues before they happen and successfully avoid them, or do you often find yourself knee deep in drama and wonder how you got there?

Recently I was having a conversation with someone at work.  They pointed out that they thought I was well suited for my work.  They commented that I am so confident in what I and my team do, that I am not easily pushed around.

The truth is that I do my job like I live my life.  I live by standards. A standard is defined as “an idea or thing used as a measure, norm, or model in comparative evaluations”.  One way to look at standards is that they are the rule by which everything else is measured.  They are the ideal.  It’s helpful if these are also unchanging.

In Metrology (The Science of Measurement), Primary standards are the highest order of standard.  They were at one time based on artifacts.  Items that were assigned final authority concerning a set measurement.  The problem with this is that artifacts are objects that are subject to change.  In recent years, science has been working to move the standards from artifact basis to a basis of fundamental physical constants.  That way, if anything happened to the standard bar for a meter, we could still measure a true meter.

A Standard is true.  It’s always the right answer.  When I’m at work, I operate according to the standards set forth by our executives regarding production speeds, processes and costs.  To me, these standards are like the company constitution.  When I operate in accordance with them, I am always in a defensible position.  I can have confidence that I operated according to the will of the executives.

The same is true with my life.  I can live in confidence to the extent that I am living according to the standard of God’s Word.  It is my final authority above all else.

In recent years, the world has become more vocal in its resistance to all things Christian.  It seems to have become popular to make fun of Christians for believing that the Bible is the truth.  There are even people who grew up in church that now take verbal “cheap shots” at Christians for believing what the Bible says. The Bible is the truth though, and it is the standard by which all things will be measured in the end.

It’s important not only to know about the standard but to actually know it.  Jesus said in John 8:31 & 32  If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. It’s important to know God loves you, but it’s more important to know specifically where the promise is that tells you that God loves you.

When it comes to knowing what to do, it’s so important to know what the standards are, and to submit yourself to them.  Only then can you stand firm when the world is telling you something different.

Today, you can move forward with confidence.  The very next step you take can be the first step toward the things you so desperately need.  What it takes…what it always takes, is a commitment.  Without a solid decision on your part, you will still be pushed around.  You must be as committed to the truth as the truth is to you.

I want to remind you of the choice Joshua required Israel to make in Joshua 24:15.  “Choose you this day whom you will serve”, and then he adds “but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.

The choice is yours.

Your buddy Art.

For more info about your standing with God, Click Here.

 

 

 

Be Like Mary, Not Like Zack!

While I don’t think most people would equate having a lack of faith with being rebellious, there is a kind of unbelief that is exactly that.  This week while studying, I found myself reading the passage in Luke 1 where the angel Gabriel appeared to Zachariah.  Later in the same chapter, that same Gabriel appeared to Mary, mother of Jesus.  His announcement to both Mary and Zachariah was that they were both about to become parents.  It appears at first glance that when Gabriel made that announcement, they both responded the same way and with the same type of question.  They each received a very different result though.

How were they similar?

They were the same in that in each case, God sent a messenger, an angel named Gabriel, from His presence to declare to each of them His (God’s) will.  Gabriel declares to both of them that they were going to have a child. He also declares to each of them that the birth of their child would be a miracle.  Each case would take faith to receive because in each case, the circumstances said it was impossible.

How were they different?

While it seems on the surface that they were the same, there had to be a difference.  The Bible says that God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).  If they were the same, they would have both received the same results.  We see that the difference was faith.

The Bible says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Rom 10:17).  Weymouth says it this way  “And this proves that faith comes from a Message heard, and that the Message comes through its having been spoken by Christ. ”  Believing is a choice, and the ability to believe comes from the faithfulness of the speaker.  You believe me because I have kept my word to you consistently. I have been faithful.  That is faith in me.  Faith in God comes from being thoroughly convinced that He will do what He said He would do in His Word. We believe the promise, because we believe the speaker.

When Mary asked the question “How will this be since I’m a virgin?”  Her question was a question of process.  If you think about it, this had never happened before and she had no basis for faith.  There was no precedence.  Also, we see that once she heard Gabriel’s explanation, her heart went out and laid hold of it.  “Be it unto me according to your word!”  Her faith had kicked in and she believed the promise.

Zachariah had a very large precedence set for him.  He had examples of the Lord opening the barren womb with Hannah.  He also had examples of the Lord giving children in old age with Abraham and Sarah. They were in the same boat he was.  Zachariah had a basis for faith.  Not only that, but the Bible says when Gabriel first appeared to him, he said “Fear not, your prayer is heard”.  Zachariah had been praying for a child.  The issue is that once Gabriel told him the message, Zachariah wanted a sign to prove that the promise was true.  Even the promise from the mouth of an angel wasn’t enough. He wanted a sign.  He was looking at the promise through the circumstances the same way the 10 spies did in back in Numbers 13.

His sign was also his sentence.  He lost his ability to speak until the promise was fulfilled.  Gabriel told him why in Luke 1:20.  “Because you didn’t believe my words”.  I think it’s important to note that the angel took away his ability to speak.  Zachariah’s mouth, and confession may have been a problem that needed to be stopped.

Zachariah may have had strong faith at some point.  We can see from Gabriel’s statement that he had enough faith at one point to ask the Lord for a child.  Just like a muscle though, faith can atrophy.  The world is constantly feeding information that creates fear and doubt.  If we don’t take active steps to minimize that message & replace it with a faith giving message, our faith will become week.

So if faith comes by hearing, then if there is no hearing, there can be no faith.  I have heard complaints about how some ministers will give 10 minute mini-sermons about giving & believing for finances before they receive an offering in their church.  While I’ve been in churches where this was an attempt to squeeze more money out of people, I have also been in churches where the mini-sermon was very faith building.  It was good solid illuminated truth regarding God’s will and His promises.  It helped my faith.  What I’m trying to say is this.  If there is no hearing, there can be no faith.  To say that people don’t need to hear any more preaching about certain promises is in contradiction to scripture.  2 Peter 1:12 says “I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.”   Jude 1:5 says “I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this…”  You can never have too much faith in God’s Word.

Special focus.

There have been times in my own life where I was struggling with my health.  After a few days of messing around, I finally came to the conclusion that my faith was weak in this area.  Instead of pretending that I was more spiritual than I really was, I humbled myself.  I realized that I was not where I needed to be and believing that the Bible was true, I determined that what I needed was to hear faith building words regarding healing.  I went about searching for the best material I could find on the topic.  I found a tape series, (yes, they were tapes back then), called Receive Miracle Healing by Dr. T.L. Osborn, and I listened to it…and only it, for more than 10 months.  I realized that my ailment wasn’t going to disappear by itself and I couldn’t afford to handle it medically.  I put my hope in God and trusted that He would get me to the place I needed to be, in order to receive by faith.

The bottom line.

When we get right down to it, we’re talking about trust.  We need to know that God can do it, but that’s only the first part. We also need to be convinced that He will do it for us.  We don’t receive from God based on His ability, we receive based on the level of our faith – our trust in Him to do what He said.  Literally, you can not receive beyond your faith.  And to pretend you have faith in order to appear more spiritual is actually a lame substitute.  It’s your Ishmael. Fake faith will not produce results and it’s actually a form of pride that will BLOCK you from receiving.  God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (1 Pet 5:5).

F.F. Bosworth said “Faith begins where the will of God is known”.  If you find yourself struggling in an area of your life, and you find yourself defeated more than you are victorious, take heart. Immerse yourself in the Word & ask the Lord to help you.  Don’t let up until He turns the light on.  He will show you light in a verse that you may have read a thousand times, but all the sudden, you see what it really says.  Faith springs alive in your heart.  Once He brings revelation, and has given you a Living Word that you can believe, it’s time to receive it!  Don’t resist the message!  Don’t require an additional sign!  Don’t be unbelieving.  Don’t rebel against the promise.

Instead – Be like Mary!  “Be it unto me according to your word!”

 

 

Are you of a different spirit?

Many of you are familiar with the Bible story where Moses sent the 12 spies into the promised land to check it out. They searched out the land for forty days and returned to give their report. If you remember the story, ten of the spies came back with what the Bible calls an Evil report. It was all negative. These spies didn’t see the promise that God had given them, instead they looked at the circumstances and determined that they were too small and too weak to take the land.

Num 13:31  But the men that went up with him (Caleb) said, We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we. And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched to the sons of Israel, saying, The land through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eats up those who live in it. And all the people whom we saw in it were men of stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, of the giants. And we were in our own sight like grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

Scripture says that these reports caused the people’s hearts to melt. It wasn’t the giants that were keeping them out of the land, it was the grasshoppers. They were comparing their enemy to themselves. They were not figuring God into the equation.

Hebrews 3 tells us that the children of Israel had “An evil heart of unbelief”. When we look further, we see that, instead of trusting God, they had a spirit of disobedience. They were obstinate, rebellious, intentionally unbelieving and unpersuadable. Hebrews 3:12 warns us that we should pay attention, to make sure that none of us has an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.

Do you see the issue in that verse? They came right up to the point of making a choice to believe or not and they chose to separate. They departed from God…multiple times. At one point, they even chided Moses (Ex 17:2). The Online Dictionary defines Chide as “To give someone a piece of one’s mind. To take to task, rake over the coals, to tell off”. God called them a “Stiff Necked and Rebellious People”.

Joshua and Caleb were the only two spies that came back with a different point of view. Caleb said “Let us go up at once, for we are well able to overcome it”. They had seen the promised land through a vision of the promise of God and they could see the possibilities. They said things like “Their defense has departed from them, let us go up at once!” All that faith talk started making the faithless people mad. Joshua and Caleb warned the people that they should not rebel against the Lord. The people decided that what they really needed to do was stone Joshua and Caleb. It was at that moment that the Glory of the Lord showed up in a big way! It was also at this moment that Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground. They knew something serious was happening. They knew God wasn’t just dropping by to say howdy.

There is a ton of stuff to learn in this passage, and I am inspired by the words of Joshua and Caleb. The Lord summed it up best when He was talking about Caleb.

“Num 14:24 But My servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and has followed Me fully, I will bring him into the land into which he went. And his seed shall possess it.”

The Bishops Bible says it like this “Because he has followed me unto the utmost.”

The Bible in basic English says “Because he is true to me with all his heart.”

The Literal version says “he is fully following me.”

The Septuagint says “Fulfilled to walk behind me.”

God said he had another spirit with him. What was that spirit?

The answer can be found in 2 Corinthians 4:13, where Paul, writing to the Corinthian Church, says “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak.”

Joshua and Caleb were IN FAITH. That simply means that they were fully trusting God to keep His promise. They had a good understanding of what it means to be in COVENANT with God. You and I can have covenant with God today through submitting ourselves to the Lordship of Jesus. In doing that, we open ourselves up to all that God promised. In Him (Jesus) we have ACCESS to God.

Rom 5:2 By whom (Jesus) also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Eph 2:18 For through Him (Jesus) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

Eph 3:12 In whom (Jesus) we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.

God wants us to get to the place of trusting Him where we are like Abraham. “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what He (God) had promised, he was able also to perform”.

If you are a believer, it should mean something to you to actually be in covenant with God. It should change the way you think. The way you think about health, direction, even money. According to some reading I’ve done recently, some Jewish scholars believe that poverty is an unjustifiable suffering. It should not be revered or associated with closeness with God.

Consider what Paul says to the Romans. Rom 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Is this not the mind of Joshua and Caleb? They were convinced that the Lord was with them and that He had taken away the strength of their enemies. They were fully persuaded that it was “Take the Land time”!

Are you in covenant with God? Have you made Jesus your Lord, and submitted yourself to Him? If not, click here. If so, are you standing where you should be standing in regard to God and His promises? Do you trust Him to make good on His Word?

This week, spend some time and examine your heart. Let God say of you, as He said of Caleb, “They have a different spirit, and have followed me fully”?

Want To Give Up? Here’s What To Do Instead.

While the argument can be made that we need adversity and challenge to live a fulfilled life, all of us have faced situations where it just seemed like the dream that God gave us would never come true. For some unseen reason, our heart’s desire was repeatedly denied. We struggle to get traction or maybe adversity made it look impossible and it seemed like the only thing that made sense was to just give up.

Don’t lose heart. Adversity is not the indicator that you are on the wrong path. Let me repeat that. Adversity is not the indicator that you are on the wrong path! If adversity was the litmus test as to whether or not we were in the will of God, we would have to say that Jesus was never in the will of God. He was constantly being tested and the scribes and the Pharisees were always trying to find a reason to kill him. THAT’S some serious adversity!

Focus image

About a month before I turned 18 I recommitted my life to Christ. This was the single most important decision that I have ever made. I went “All In” that day and it had been the governing influence on my life from then until now.

Not long after that a dream began to emerge in my heart. I wanted to go to Bible School and become a minister. I began to think about how cool it would be if I could just help & minister to people all the time. Of course, at the time, I was green as grass and didn’t know anything about the Bible or God. Even though there was a great desire, for some reason I could never seem to get my life put together enough to go to Bible school.

Over the next few years, I had a few false starts but still was never able to get the dream off the ground. I grew in my industry and had a pretty good job. I found my bride and we started a family together. I was involved and developing in our church. Things were good. I was able to help and minister to people sometimes…I was almost there, but not quite. Pastor Keith Moore says it this way, “If its not quite, its not right”. That was the situation with me. I still had this enormous pull in my heart that I couldn’t get away from.

Fast forward 20 years. Its the week between Christmas and New Years eve 2005 when the Lord made it known to me that it’s time. I didn’t hear an audible voice but I had a VERY strong assurance in my heart that it was now time to go to Bible school and I knew exactly where. The school that I was going to attend only admitted in the fall. They didn’t have mid year admittance at the time, so I knew that I had until August 2006 to get my business in order. I still didn’t know how I was going to do it but the Lord helped me to understand that If He’s calling me to do it, He’s also equipped me to do it. As the next several months unfolded, we uprooted our lives and moved to another state, I got a second shift job, we bought a home and I went back to school.  It all worked out amazingly.  It was true divine guidance.

While it sounds like an immense step to uproot your life and rebuild in an area where it appears that you have no contacts, family or support network, the right thing to do is to always obey. I will also add this comment. The safest place on earth in the will of God. What I’ve discovered about God’s will for your life is this. He will always work in you until you want it. He will not have you do anything that you are afraid of or that you are unequipped to do.

Consider Joshua in the Bible. Joshua, along with Caleb and 10 other men were sent into the Promised land across the Jordan river to spy it out and bring a report back to Moses. You can read the tragedy of what happened in Numbers 13 & 14.  The 10 spies brought back an evil report that caused the people’s hearts to melt. Joshua and Caleb brought back a good report and tried to stir the people up to believe the promise and move forward. The people believed the 10 spies and their evil report and actually wanted to stone Joshua and Caleb.

Here’s the thing. Joshua knew it was God’s plan for him to go into the promised land but the rebellion of the people put that promise off for a full 40 years. So for the next four decades Joshua serves Moses as they lead the people in the wilderness. Four decades of Promise Land Dreamin’ while wandering in the hot sun and sand.

When the time finally came, Moses had died and it was Joshua’s job to lead the children of Israel into the promised land. It was such a big deal for Joshua that the Lord encouraged him and said in Joshua 1:6 “Be strong and of a good courage”, in 1:7 “Be strong and very courageous” and in 1:9 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” The Hebrew definition of the word translated “be strong” is: to fasten, fortify, strengthen. It paints a picture of laying hold of or grabbing and not letting go. Likewise, the definition of the word used here for “courage” means: Be alert. Steadfastly minded. Obstinate. We can see that God was encouraging Joshua to grab a hold of the promise and become stubborn about letting it go. To become laser focused on the promise and to protect that focus.

Joshua needed to hear that because of the massive job he had been handed and had to over-see. That is exactly what you need to do too. You need to go back to the beginning. Back to the promise that started you on your path, and then lock your focus on it. Become stubborn about it. When people are discouraged, its because they have been distracted. Don’t allow yourself to become distracted by things that have far less importance in your life.  Don’t be distracted by pressure, busyness or what seems like slow progress. Look how long it took me? Look how long it took Joshua.

I can say now as I look behind me that all that time that I thought I was just waiting, I was actually growing. The Lord led me to make my move when I was mature enough and had faith enough to do it. Had I jumped the gun, I could have messed up my life and possibly destroyed my marriage. My point is that God is on your side and He wants to bring you in to your promise. Don’t get impatient or become weary, just trust.

I have had to divide this post up because of length. I have a lot more to say but your time is valuable to me and I never want to take if for granted.

So what can you do this week to re-engage your focus? God has put a dream in your heart but you need to move toward it. Write the scripture promises concerning your dream on cards or post-it style notes and put them on your bathroom mirror and in your car so you can be constantly reminded of them. Read them and say them out-loud every day. Make them first person and put your name in them as you say them.

Scripture references: Deut 6. Josh 1:9. Mark 11:23,24. Heb 4:14 & 10:23.