Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Strong Through Belief

Joshua 1

I have been reading the book, Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God by Dallas Willard, where he writes about confirming what we believe God is telling us with the Bible.  We ask if what we believe God is telling us matches up with what the Bible says.  Dallas Willard also writes that God may use another person to confirm what He has already told us by having that person tell it to us as well.  I want to continue looking at Joshua, a warrior that God established to lead His people into the Promised Land.  Yesterday, I looked at how Joshua was told by God to be "strong and courageous," as God gave him instructions on how to lead the Israelites.  Please read Joshua 1.

"Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power,"  Ephesians 6:10.  We are told that God wants us to be strong as well; however, our strength does not come from ourselves; it comes from God.  God is the source of all good things including strength.  Yesterday, I looked at how meditating and learning scripture was one way that we became strong in God; in a sense it is a spiritual weight lifting.  Today I want to consider how believing God is with us and believing what He says can make us strong.  Consider how in the first half of Joshua 1, God is speaking with Joshua and told him to be strong and courageous three times.  Notice the last sentence that some of the tribes spoke to Joshua in verse 18.  The Israelites told Joshua to be strong and courageous!

God obviously knew that Joshua would need the encouragement to be strong because He spoke it again to Joshua through the Israelites.  I wonder what Joshua must have been thinking after hearing God tell him to be strong three times and then he heard the Israelites tell him the same message.  I don't know about you, but I have definitely had times where God needed to hit me over the head with what He was telling me.  The reasons for that could vary from me being a little slow on the take or to me having difficulty believing and accepting what He is telling me.  I do think my weaknesses are more pronounced when I am struggling to believe what God is telling me.  It is the moment that I choose to believe and accept what God is saying that I become stronger in my difficulties.  God will often use many methods to get His message to me - He will speak to my heart, He will use the Bible, and He will often speak the message to me through friends.  I will say this:  when God repeats the message to you and even uses a couple different sources, it would be wise to listen because God wants you to hear the message!  When we listen and believe, we become strong.

Has God been telling you something lately?

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