Mar192016
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God Reveals The Way

By Jenna Devotions 2 Comments

There is a trail in Yosemite my family recently hiked for the first time. It was quite ambitious for a family with young children, but we hitched up our resolve and leaned into the hard climb. When our kids grew tired, we encouraged them. My husband eventually lifted our youngest onto his shoulders to carry her.

We didn’t make it all the way to the top that day, but we pushed ourselves and experienced the sweaty satisfaction that comes with doing something hard. In the end, we’d gone farther than expected. We really never set out to go the whole distance this first try, anyway. We simply wanted our kids to experience the pain and strain of practicing endurance, to build up physical and mental fortitude by pushing themselves. And we wanted to enjoy the breathtaking views along the way.

Because someday the time will come when we can make it to the top. And we want to be ready.

Psalm 37:23 tells us:

“If the Lord delights in a man’s way, He makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”

Sometimes the paths of the righteous are slow and steady. On our beautiful mountain hike we were outpaced by pretty much everyone. College students and teenagers breezed past. There was a strong temptation to be discouraged.

Sometimes in life we notice other people around us prosper and succeed, breaking out ahead of what we think we’ve managed to accomplish. In those moments it might feel like everyone is doing something great but us. Have we been left behind?

Sometimes we wonder if we are actually getting anywhere, if all our hard work is covering enough ground, making a difference.  We may even envy people who take short cuts.

God’s people, the Israelites, must have felt these same feelings wandering in the desert for 40 years.  As we’ve finished the book of Deuteronomy and turned to the book of Joshua in the Life Journal readings, God’s people are about to enter a new season. It’s marked with the crossing of the Jordan River in miraculous fashion. As they stepped out into the water that day, wading their dusty feet into it’s depths, they got to watch as the swirling waters pulled back, receding all around them. Can you imagine it?

Those steps out into the deep waters hold a message from God for our moments of comparison:

His Spirit builds strength in countless hidden ways long before it bursts on scene.

Because God often establishes His power inside us before He exercises it through us.

Faith believes God’s work is real, even before it is fully revealed.

God’s people practiced 40 years of daily steps of obedience during their desert detour. Stepping out into the waters of the Jordan that day was a culmination, an outward expression and release of the anointing from millions of hidden steps of obedience, in the wilderness, where nobody saw.

Feet in Water

Every step of submission in the “not quite there yet” wilderness of waiting sets us up for miracles in the “land of promise” territory of victory.

Joshua was given incredibly specific instructions about how to do battle with Jericho. They were to walk and worship. Walk and worship, folks! And of course they had plenty of practice walking around that mountain in the desert, following the presence of God day and night, one foot in front of the other. Somehow those long years of obedience and dependance upon God had done something none of them expected. God had assigned destiny to their steps and anointing to their strides.

And at the appointed time it was released. As they marched around the walls of Jericho, maybe some of them played the comparison game too. The people of the town had spent years training for battle; while the Israelites had spent years walking in circles.

Hiker

But really those circles had trained them to walk in obedience. Deep inside we know that there is something about focusing on the process more than the product that allows God to do on the inside what is necessary for His anointing to be released on the outside. Obedience to God will lead us into miracle territory like nothing else will.

“For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power.” (1 Corinthians 4:20)

Are you staring up at any towering walls in your life? The book of Joshua cries out to all of us God-walkers that those walls of resistance can crumble in a DAY at the Hand of God.  If you keep walking in obedience {and FAITH} one day those walls will crumble.

The walls of Jericho fell down that day, but not from the outside in, as one would expect. Archeologists studied the remains and found a curious thing. The indestructible walls did not cave inward, as though from an outside attack; they crumbled down on top of themselves, rubble tumbling from the inside, out. God’s people used that rubble like stairs, climbing up into the city to claim victory.

What God does inside us is fuel for what God will do around us, and through us. Just as God defeated Jericho from the inside out, so God is transforming our lives and circumstances from the inside, out too.

 “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him…Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways.” (Psalm 37:5;7)

The paths of life are a walk of faith; not a race of competition.  To claim the ground God has set before us, we let Him reveal the way. Sometimes extraordinary obedience means walking {humbly} and worshiping {whole-heartedly} before we fight or finish. His ways are not microwaveable, they are miraculous.

May God’s Spirit guide your walk of daily obedience with earth shaking anointing. He has ordained the steps for your journey; may you find deep satisfaction in following each one.

2 comments

  • Beautiful, Jenna, for Palm Sunday and beyond! I am so excited about the journey we chatted about last Sunday! Your encouragement warms my heart!

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