Where are you in your walk with God? Are you looking back or forward?
Joshua is an example of “The Never. Look.Back. Man”
Out of the pages of history, Joshua rises to show us what it means to ‘never.look. back.’ He lived in slavery, saw the man Moses come upon the scene after many prayers to God for deliverance. He believed that God answered his and the nation of Israel’s prayers and followed the man God sent. And he ‘never.looked.back.’ He lived to see the plagues in living color yet he ‘never.looked.back.’ He put the blood on the doorposts of his home trusting that God would do as He said He would do. He ‘never.looked.back.’ He followed God’s appointed leader to the Red Sea and believed if God could do what He had already done, He could do the simple opening the Sea that he might enter and he ‘never.looked.back.’ At Mt. Sinai he went with Moses to retrieve the Ten Commandments from the hand of God and he ‘never.looked.back.’ He saw the golden calf but did not bow down to it, he had experienced the Majesty of God and he ‘never.looked.back.’ At Kadesh-Barnea he went, he saw and he believed that what Moses had said about the Promised Land was true and he ‘never.looked.back’
Now at the Jordan River, having been commissioned by Moses to lead the next generation across and conquer the land he ‘never.looked.back.’
Jesus challenged the disciples to pick up their cross and follow him. When we do that we join Joshua to be a ‘never.looking. back’ people.
So where are you? Are you looking back or looking forward?
The fields are white unto harvest and are ready for you to enter and claim the promises of God.
Step into the River and cross over and…
Do you think you are not very creative when it comes to loving your neighbor? Actually, you might be surprised how easy it is!
Deut 23:25 Both Moses and Jesus taught that we are to love God with all your heart, soul and strength and secondly, love your neighbor as yourself. His provision for ancient Israel if one became hungry while walking to the next destination was to enter a grain field and pluck some kernels to eat. Jesus and the disciples did that but the Pharisees were upset with him because of their addition to the Law; no work on the Sabbath.
But, today in our fast food society we drive from place to place. We wait in drive-up lanes, not walk through a grain field. So how can we apply the principle today? We continue to have open hearts and eyes to the needs around us remembering the words of Jesus: “And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple, I tell you the truth, he will never lose his reward.” [Mat 10:42 ] When we are hungry, why not purchase an extra dinner for someone behind you in the drive up lane? Or a cup of coffee?
Be creative today as you go about your busyness.
Stop and look where God might be working and you can be His servant.
Did you pray for your spiritual as well as your government leaders today?
Deuteronomy 17 “Praying for Righteous Leadership”
Prov 14:34 “Righteousness Exalts a Nation” is as true today as it was when Moses penned the words of Deuteronomy. God knows his people’s hearts and how easily they can fall victim to the ways of Satan who often poses as an angel of light to sway our hearts and minds. His goal is to disarm us and why we need wise counselors and judges.
Moses said, choose wisely a man to lead who exhibits godly character and integrity. He should know God’s Word for he will be the one held accountable for the nation’s sins and purity. That is why he was told to write a copy of the law and read it as long as he lives. In this way, he may learn to revere the Lord his God. Thus when faced with questions of guilt or innocence God’s law principles will guide him. He is to judge righteously so that men are protected from making presumptuous decisions hastily.
Today we are to pray for wise leaders who know the law so that the innocent are protected and the guilty held responsible. Pray their eyes are not swayed by the allure of silver and gold or the strength of horses. Pray they will not exalt themselves above their fellow citizens or turn from the commandments to the right or left.
This is what Moses wrote for Israel. Should we do less for the leaders we choose?
Deut 15 Jesus told the crowd that we would always have the poor with us. Moses reiterated this idea in Deuteronomy 15 as well. Jesus and Moses remind us that there should not be any poor among us because, as God’s children, He will bless us so we can bless others in return.
So why do we still have the poor among us?
It is because of our sin nature, our poor choices and sometimes circumstances out of our control.
We should abide by the counsel of Moses, Jesus, and the early church; when faced with those in need, reach out and provide for them—as the Spirit leads. Why should we do that? Moses reminded the children of Israel that they were a slave in the land of Egypt and the Lord God redeemed them. Therefore, he commanded them to do this thing not only in the future but presently. We also were enslaved, not to a harsh taskmaster, but to sin and Jesus redeemed us. Now we must seek to provide and redeem those in need.
Remember the Good Samaritan? He gave out of his abundance to help a needy person in sharp contrast to the Levite and the Priest. [You can read his story in Luke 10]We who are blessed should exemplify the Samaritan and use our gifts to help the less fortunate among us. The principle is: return God’s blessings on others so you may be blessed in return.
A generous person will be blessed, for he has given some of his food to the poor. [Pro 22:9]
Deut 10 Across our world, the mantra has raised its head: no more refugees; no more immigrants. Yet while on earth, our Lord and Master taught us clearly we are to love the foreigner as a neighbor. In this Deuteronomy passage, God says we are to love the resident foreigner and demonstrate that by giving them food and clothing. The reason is clear: you were once resident foreigners in the land of Egypt.
Similarly today we are confronted with those seeking our help but we find ourselves assisting at arm’s length. We do so because “the fear of man is a snare” and we feel as if we want to help but we have been faced with too many con artists. We want to obey and trust God but we fear being taken advantage of.
When confronted remember what Jesus said: I came not to be served but to serve. Simply ask God what to do and listen to His quiet voice speaking to you. The Holy Spirit is our teacher and He will not lead you astray. A second principle when still wondering; meet the need before you and leave the results to God. Begin and end in prayer so you are doing God’s will God’s way.
Do we want to be Jesus to others by serving them or do we want them to serve us?
Deut 9 When you hear devastating news or news that grabs your heart do you stop and pray? How many of us glibly we say “I will pray for you” and then we walk away without giving another thought to that person’s true need. Meet the man Moses; a man of prayer with a broken heart. He spends not a few minutes but 40 days and nights; falling down before the Lord for the sin the Israelites had committed.
What drove him to pray for such a long time for these stubborn and rebellious people? What drives us to pray as he did? Do we truly sense the “anger and displeasure” of sin? Do we truly understand what God can do? Do we truly believe that “it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God?” [Heb 10]
Moses again interceded a second time falling down before the Lord 40 days and nights seeking the mercy of God. Do we cry out to God for His mercy upon them so that God’s promises might be fulfilled? Do we remind God of His people, His inheritance?
We are exhorted to pray for others that we might see Him work and give Him praise. “We can seek the mercy and power of God through prayer by praying with the same heart and by pleading the same reasons before the LORD.” [David Guzik]
Deut 2-4 “When Was the Last Time You Heard God Speak to You?”
Have you ever asked the people on the street what they think of the God of the OT? Many think that there are two “God’s.” There is the God of the OT as a cruel and harsh taskmaster but the God of the NT as loving and kind. However, a close study of both testaments reveals that God is God; and He is immutable, He does not change. He blesses and like a loving parent, He disciplines.
We only come to know those principles if we spend time in His Word reading from the beginning to the end so that we realize and carefully consider that the LORD is God in heaven above and on earth below – there is no other!” Moses reminded the children of Israel “He spoke to you from the middle of the fire, you heard speech but you could not see anything—only a voice was heard.” The children of Israel only heard his voice but now His voice speaks to us across the written page. It reminds us that the God we have chosen to follow is faithful and blesses those who obey Him. Those He calls hear his powerful shout that is majestic. He thunders with his voice in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. [Job 37:5]
Have you taken time today to hear His voice?
Deut 1 “The God of Our Past, Our Present, and Our Future”
He is the same today as he was yesterday and will be tomorrow. Failure only happens because of our unbelief of this truth.
How often are we set to take on a new project but forget to ask God to go before us and when we step out we lose heart because we see with our earthly eyes rather than our heavenly eyes. How often, like the children of Israel, see the enemies and lose confidence because we forget that God has given us all we need and wisdom for the asking. Remember this truth: the fear of man is a snare but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted. [Prov 29:25a]
The same God that took them out of Egypt would be the same God that would go before them. He would carry them; fight for them; provide direction for each step ahead and place terror in the eyes of the enemy. And the same is true for us today!
Is God the same promise keeper to you now as he was in your past? If you are wavering, you might want to check your salvation because this principle is still true: “trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and He will make your paths straight.”
How does one protect him/her self from making bad decisions when thinking about relationships?
Numbers 36 “Forward Thinkers”
How do you make wise decisions? Do you seek scripture? Do you seek the wisdom of your elders/church leaders? Do you spend time in prayer? The courageous daughters of Zelophehad had wisely gone to Moses about their dad’s inheritance since he had no sons. The Lord instructed that these five daughters should be given the rights that would have gone to a son.
But now we see that the tribal leaders approached Moses about how to protect the inheritance of these five courageous women. As forward thinkers, they saw the handwriting on the wall. There needed to be in place some rules ahead of time so that they would not lose their inheritance from a male from another tribe. Thus Moses established, by the Lord’s wisdom, to place protective hedges around them by which they could only marry in their tribe and the women agreed. These protective steps would protect their inheritance and Israel’s national heritage.
If only we would follow this advice when we are considering relationships! These tribal leaders cared for these five courageous women just as God wants to protect us. There are two principles: It is wise to think ahead of the “what if’s” before you have to face them head-on. Secondly, remember the question Paul asked: “What does a believer share in common with an unbeliever?” [2Cor 6]
Wise Counsel: (1) Date once to see if they are believers; if not walk away. (2) Marry only a believer to protect the “tribe of Jesus.”
When you sit back knowing that you are complacent do you ever wonder who pays the price?
Numbers 32 “Be Sure Your Sin Will Find You Out”
This verse should be a warning to all of us because hiding, disclaiming and denying sin brings serious consequences either here or in eternity. This warning is one of 3 lessons we can glean from this chapter.
The second lesson is that complacency is contagious. When Moses heard of the request of the Reubenites, the Gadites and then the ½ tribe of Manasseh to live on the eastern side of the Jordan River, he assumed that they were ready to settle down and not enter the Promised Land because it would lead to others following their footsteps. In today’s world that is also true when we are content to sit idly by while others do the work of the church.
Thirdly, we don’t know when these tribes either changed their minds or if they had this as the first order of business but Moses did not see it that way. All appearances are deceiving if we do not share up front our thoughts so we are not misconstrued. They did respond with words of faithfulness to obey Moses to cross over and join the others in conquering the Promised Land but it was a costly choice which lasted at least 7 yrs.
No question; complacency and sin are contagious.
Be steadfast in your walk with God.