Thoughts on Pray: But…
Joshua 23:8; Joshua 23: 12-13; Joshua 24:2-4; Joshua 24:7; Joshua 24:15
Things change. A big transition has come for the nation Israel residing in Canaan. It’s time for Joshua to pass on his role as leader and Commander-in-Chief of Israel’s army. He gathers the national leaders and the people to Shechem. He renewed covenant between the people and God. He was getting things in order in preparation of his death. Beginning with Abraham, he reminds them of how God brought them to the land of their Promise. He rehearses the battles they fought together with their God. He reminds them Who won the battles for them. Their corporate reminiscing must have caused them to grow in faith, courage and unity. A word kept popping up at interesting places throughout the last two chapters of Joshua. It is the word: “but”. As they were recalling their collective heritage and exploits Joshua was also reminding them of God’s promises. If the children of Israel were faithful in keeping his words of promise to them, they would prosper in Canaan. If they were not steadfast then there were consequences-like their enemies rising up against them and prevailing.
God’s love for us is unconditional. His promises to us are not. The fulfillment of them will usually require some action/shoe leather on our part. He maintains the relationship. We keep up the fellowship. His part is made possible to us through his son, Jesus. Jesus’ finished and complete work on the cross opens the door for relationship with Father God. We choose the level of camaraderie we with have with our Father. The relationship never changes. It’s based on the blood covenant of God and his son, the Lord Jesus. The communion we with have with him can fluctuate. If we see God as loving and good our responses to his promises will likely show our trust in his goodness. The joy of obedience will be evident to others as they observe our lives. We will be more likely to follow through on our part. If we see God as a harsh law giver, we will obey out fear of punishment. Our obedience will be out of duty and obligation. The drudgery of obedience will be evident to others watching our faith walk. We will follow through but, only enough to get by.
Take some time to reflect this week on the journey you have been on in the land of Father’s love. Does any particular time or event come to mind? Record it. How did you respond? What were your feelings? They will be good indicators on how you were viewing your Father at that time. Some instances I am recalling as I write do not indicate I trusted him as the good Father I know him to be. I want my faith walk to line up with what I know to be true about my Father. How about you?
Be blessed in the name of one who is the same yesterday, today and forever. You relationship is secure in the eternal-never-changing-always-the-same Father God. No “ifs”, “ands” or “buts”.