Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What Are You Waiting For?



Everyone of us has a few things in common, no matter where we live and what our status in life is. All my bloggy friends are women, who love God, love their families and have hopes and dreams. Lately in my study times over the past couple of months, there are a few themes that keep on recurring. They have been such an encouragement to me, I am hopeful that I can share some of it with you, so you can be encouraged, too!

In Joshua 1 you find the Israelites finally ready to go an occupy the Promised Land. Moses had passed away and was gone on to be with the Lord. Joshua was now entrusted with the task of leadership, as the people went to go and gain their promised inheritance. The Lord told Joshua and the people: 1) Go into this land 2) Every place the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you! 3) No man will be able to stand against you, all the days of your life.

WHY this matters to us today - The Bible is filled with not only wonderful and alive scriptures, God breathed, but as Paul tells us in the NT, the stories of old are given to us as examples. While the story of the Hebrew people is important enough in its own merit, it is also given to us to learn a pattern of God's principals for our life. The Israelites were God's people, so are we. The Promised Land was a place that He had promised them in this natural, fallen world, not heaven, but, right here on this earth. Our Promised Land is the territory He has destined each of us to go and occupy. I have a place in my community, in the family I was born into, and the family I was married into, and the family my husband and I have made. That is my territory to occupy in the Name of the Lord. By living by Him and thru Him, in service to Him.

We Have a Place - but We have to Go There -
I have been in Joshua, Judges, and Deuteronomy quite a bit. And I have noticed this: That while God promised the people He had given it to them, they had to GO and allow Him to work through them to gain the land. Not only that, but there are at least a couple of times that come to mind where certain of the people had to remind the Lord (so to speak, actually, in this case His representative), they had to take a stand on those promises, ("Then the people of Judah came to Joshua in Gilgal, and Caleb...said to him, You know what the Lord said to Moses the man of God concerning me and you in Kadesh-barnea...And Moses swore on that day, Surely the land on which your feet have walked shall be an inheritance to you and your children always, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God. And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years since the Lord spoke this word to Moses, while the Israelites wandered in the wilderness; and now, behold, I am this day eighty-five years old. Yet I am as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so is my strength now for war and to go out and to come in. So now give me this hill country of which the Lord spoke that day. For you heard then how the [giantlike] Anakim were there and that the cities were great and fortified; if the Lord will be with me, I shall drive them out just as the Lord said." Joshua 14) BEFORE they had the "green light" to go and occupy that land. See the faith that was necessaary? The bone-deep assurance of the Word of God on a given matter and His willingness and ability to do His part for and through Caleb in the example from Joshua 14? Caleb was willing to GO! Where are we willing to GO?


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How Do We GO? What is Our Fight?
That is a good question! To know what our fight is we have to take an inventory of 2 things. What stirs our heart, and where are we planted? For instance, I am first of all planted as a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt. I serve and am a member of a local church. I am a member of a political party (that infuriates me many times), I teach several different groups of people, on an regular to fairly regular basis. There is MUCH territory for me to occupy where I am planted. What stirs me? Freedom, true freedom in every way. Responsibility! Innovation, extraordinary living. Beauty. Living and loving well! Those are broad principals that move me, in just about every area of life. Knowing God! Helping people find their passion and purpose in life. Seeing God's best manifest in the lives of people around me. Once we know these things - we must pray, we must live, we must love, we must serve. We must occupy each and every day in some way. We must daily commit ourselves to love, live and serve in the areas He has wired us to occupy and be passionate about.

What is our Weapon?
Do We Take a Tomahawk? Or Do We Type a Letter to The Editor or Maybe Invite someone to Dinner and Make them Feel Welcome and Loved? Ok, no Tomahawks, Ladies! Especially if you are in the peri-menopause club with me! First, we have to remember that obstacles that we wage war with are not as natural as we many times think. See "For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons. For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)". This means Prayer and LOVE are our biggest weapons.

What? You say -
If you think I have turned into a peace, love and happiness chick, well, not exactly, though I am not opposed to all that. I am more of a pray, live passionately and through love serve in all the areas I am planted in sort of chick. And I enjoy others who do the same. Whether its as a pastors wife, a stay at home mother, a free-lance writer or a business owner, or a retired couple who moved back to town partially, to love and serve their children and grandchildren - just being a part of their lives and making every day count.

What does this look like?
It looks like caring enough about the culture to write a letter to the editor from time to time. Taking the time to write a letter (or e-mail) to your congressmen/women and senators on an issue you know is important and effects the world your family lives in. Stopping to give more than the perfunctory comment to the woman you spoke to at church who just explained how she lives in another town several days a week. To help her daughter with child care while she goes to college. Getting the weedeater and running it for a while and making sure its in good order, than using it for good measure when your family member mentions they haven't weed eated in while because they have a hard time not eating up the flowers, and they don't even know if it runs. Sometimes you have to read (or weed!) between the lines, they are not going to come out and ask for help, you have to listen!

Now - Pray, take inventory! Love and GO!
P.S. Here is what Joshua said when some years had passed and they had not completed claiming their inheritance through going and pushing out the enemy and living in the wonderful land. "And there remained among the children of Israel seven tribes, which had not yet received their inheritance. And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you? " Joshua 18:2-4

7 comments:

Denise said...

This was awesome my friend. Love and go, wonderful.

luvmy4sons said...

I think of the Israelites who had to walk through the Red Sea-a wall of water to their right and to their left. God could have miraculously transported them across but He preformed the miracle and required that they had to step out in faith. Great post! I felt so convicted about serving well, taking notice. I get so overwhelmed sometimes with all I do with my own home and family. I know often I see something that someone else needs but feel too overwhelmed to take it on. Great exhortation girl!

freetofly said...

Denise - thanks! Been thinking of you! Praying for you.

Leslie - you have your own army to serve! Plus your Aunt. Don't feel like that! YOU inspire me to serve! Trust me! But thank you!

StaceyStace said...

That's funny. I just got a comment from you on my blog while I was reading yours!

I like this post. It is sometimes very difficult to do, but thanks for the reminder.

Carole said...

Insightful, Insightful, Insightful.

Tiffany said...

I don't know if you read comments on your old posts, (sorry I've missed a few here...) but this is why I love reading your blog. I am a get up and go type of girl- make things happen, ya know. I get very excited about new opportunities to serve, encourage and love. I am all about blooming where I am planted. I want to spread beauty where ever I go and make others feel beautiful and welcomed and most of all loved, as well. I am so grateful and honored when I've had hte opportunity to break down walls, make new friends and have them approach me with the whole..Tiffany, what's different about you? - Well, sit right down and let me tell you about my Jesus! WOOO! I just get excited typing about it. There's my passion for ya!

freetofly said...

Carole - Thank you my friend! I have gotten on a long winded trend though, and I have got to break that! I'm rusty I think! Thanks for wading through it!

Tiffany - :) Your comment just made me smile and laugh and nod my head. I completely get what you are saying and that is my passion too! I love the gentle and persistent way that you do this, as reflected in your bloggy style!

May God richly bless you both with much newness of life!

Love to you both!
Maria

What Does it Mean Anyway? "Free to Fly"...

Well, it's like this: Here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Free: a : having the legal and political rights of a citizen b : enjoying civil and political liberty c : enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination d : enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another2 a : not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being : choosing or capable of choosing for itself...having a scope not restricted by qualification 7 a : not obstructed, restricted, or impeded ...Now, here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Fly:1 a : to move in or pass through the air with wings b : to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space c : to float, wave, or soar in the air ... a : to take flight ...6 : to work successfully ...Examples which apply from Websters: fly high : to be elated - fly in the face of or fly in the teeth of : to stand or act forthrightly or brazenly in defiance or contradiction of

What does this mean in my life? This means that in life we are meant to be free. While historically mankind has not always enjoyed the opportunity to fully appreciate what that means, we are so indescribably fortunate as to live in a time of the greatest spiritual, physical, financial and political freedom ever known. Freedom doesn't come cheap, nor does it come easy. But the best things in life don't come that way do they? As I write this I am struck by how this sounds like a political statement, and for me this is much more of a spiritual thing, but, same goes for that (political that is). Freedom doesn't come easy. And it's worth whatever fight you have to make to overcome in your life in order to live a life that succeeds. Now the questions is - what is success for you? What is your standard? In my mind what is needed is a definite target - because you can't hit and maintain a moving target. A stable, rock-solid, anchor with no variable, yet multi-faceted. Something pure, just and worthy. If you look at any web page of news you can see that our society is certainly lacking in this area. What a great time to live as a rebel! Nowadays to be a rebel, all you have to do is be willing to engage in the battle of life, while anchored to Christ!