Joshua and the Battle of Jericho, what a complete misrepresentation of the actual events of a story found in Joshua 1-6. There was no battle, except for maybe an unseen one in the heads of the Israelites. After watching their ancestors disobey and wander for 40 years would they now trust that God would do what He said He would do through Moses and now Joshua?
I’m sure that they said that they believed, but in practice would they be obedient? I think God wondered the same thing, which is why He doesn’t tell them where the weak point was in the defense, nor does He give them a secret weapon. Instead God has them do something completely ridiculous. (I think Veggie Tales got this one right!) Just march around the city seven times and blow your horns. Prior to the “battle”, it is recorded, “Then the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.”
I wonder how often we refuse to hear or see the victory, the healing, the miracle, the impossible made possible because we just can’t admit we don’t believe it. It’s like a great golfer or gymnast who before attempting a difficult shot or routine fails to visualize the success. In despair we continue to plead with God when praise is required to give us new eyes and ears.
I found this little video as I began trying to de-clutter my Google Reader after a Lenten Fast from reading blogs. I find great encouragement as we wait for the opportunity to double the size of our family, and as we wait for the cancer in mom’s lungs and the rest of her to miraculously disappear.
Mom and Dad, Kristi, Shelbi, Baili, Mallori, Kamri, Lucas, Lilli this is for you. Be encouraged Our God has delivered us!
I learned a long time ago that I either tend to listen to no one’s criticism or everyone’s criticism. So, I began to make an unofficial list of people who will speak open and honestly with me. They are the ones for whose opinion I ask. I still struggle to take it if they give it without asking, but at least I am able to weed out the fickle. On this Humpday I found Seth’s insight freeing.
Who judges your work?
Here’s the mistake we make in high school:
We let anyone, just anyone, judge our work (and by extension, judge us.)
Sue, the airheaded but long-legged girl in Spanish class gets the right to judge our appearance.
Bill, the bitter former-poet English teacher gets the power to tell us if we’re good at writing.
And on and on.
The cheerleaders are deputized as the Supreme Court of social popularity, and the gym teacher forever has dibs on whether or not we’re macho enough to make it in the world. These are patterns we sign up for, and they last forever (or until we tell them to go away).
In high school, some people learn to ship, they learn to do work that matters and most of all, they learn to ignore the critics they can never possibly please. The ability to choose who judges your work–the people who will make it better, use it and reward you–is the key building block in becoming an artist in whatever you do.
I, like Mark, find myself in prayer patterns asking for the same thing over and over again, trying to take the nagging widow route to God’s ear. But he reminds us in this post that sometimes we just need to be confident that He’s going to provide what we ask for. Enjoy!
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Stop Praying and Start Praising
This one is tough to explain, but as I was praying on the rooftop of Ebenezers about some miracles I’m believing God for I heard that still small voice of the Spirit: stop praying for it and start praising Me for it.
I think there are moments when you’ve got to stop asking for something and start celebrating what you believe God is going to do as if it has just happened. This isn’t some Jedi mind trick. It’s faith. Faith is able to praise God BEFORE the miracle happens. Why? Because it believes it will happen as much as if it has already happened.
Maybe you need to stop praying and start praising?