Monday, March 26, 2007

Joshua 1:9

It seems like every time I turn around, I'm missing a week. I hope you will not hold it against me. Think of it this way, the week I DON'T write, God is probably doing something REMARKABLE in my life that is going to completely embarrass me and expose how real I am. Then, in His infinite wisdom, He's going to make me tell you, so you can laugh about it and me; but then, hopefully, learn from it and grow.
Joshua 1:9-“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

So, last week, I’m on my way to work on Tuesday. I am trying to do things to allow God to move more in my life, in order for Him to shine through me. You know, the old, “More of You, less of me” in my life thing.

Well, on my way, my car acts up. It starts stuttering, and surging. Now those who know me and my car know that it is NOT the youngest thing on the block. It’s an old 1991 Ford Taurus wagon and it has over 200K miles on it. I have publicly stated that I am going to do my best to drive that thing until it stops.

Anyway, so some of you may not be surprised at this, but I am. In fact, to be completely honest, I am TERRIFIED! Now, please understand me in this. I am not tossing this around like a small thing. I mean I am completely and utterly overcome with fear about this. I don’t know if it’s the fact that the car is acting up, or that I don’t want to deal with it getting stuck on the road. Or worse yet, getting it stuck in the parking lot at work. (If you only KNEW the hassle it would be to get a tow truck to my car in the Y-12 NATIONAL SECURITY FACILITY parking lot.)

So, I have no idea what, or more importantly, WHY, I am so terrified. I get to work, and I just KNOW that I need some quiet time with God. I can’t focus, and I can’t function. The fear that is on me is absolutely, 100 percent, real. I can FEEL it like it’s a presence in the room with me.

God, during my quiet time, gave me that verse above. Then, He told me that I needed to get some agreement. So, I called my wife, and told her and my mother that I needed some prayer. I explained the situation, and gave them the verse that I was standing on.

What I didn’t know, was how God was going to use that verse in my life last week.

My mother is doing a study from a book a gentleman gave her at the public library. It’s called, “Joshua: Mighty Warrior and Man of Faith”, by W. Phillip Keller. The fact that I was using that verse from Joshua just astonished her.

Then, later in the week, my daughter, who had gone on a mission trip for Spring break, got that SAME verse given to her. My mother and wife told her that she needed to show me the note the verse came attached in, to see what I would do.

You know, when you really KNOW that God gives you something, you stop being surprised at how many places He reinforces it. You get to the point that you start going, “Okay! Okay God! I get it! This is what You’re trying to tell me. I get it! I’m listening!” I saw that verse EVERYWHERE last week. It was so freakin' cool!

The enemy even tried to dissuade me from doing this verse. He told me that I had already done it in another posting, and that I should think of something else to write about. But God had other plans. He used the fact that I didn’t do one last week, and reinforced what He wanted me to tell you this week.

Fear comes to us all. Someday; sometime; something is going to come along that will absolutely drive you to your knees in fear. You will feel terror like you have never have felt before. It’s at that point that you have to decide to remember Who you serve, and WHAT He has told you about Himself.

So, now that you know that you’re not alone, what do you do with this knowledge to turn it into wisdom?

Remember it, and let it bear fruit in your life. God is speaking to us plainly in this passage. He is telling us everything we need to know about Him and His purposes in our lives.

You need it plainer than this? Okay, here is the translation that I used. It helped me, maybe it will help you.

“Bo, haven’t I told you and shown you before? What are you freaking out about? Stand up and be My child! It’s okay to be scared, but don’t let it rule you, because I got your back!”

Remember, if you run from the devil once, you’re liable to run from him forever. Standing up to him doesn’t always mean throwing out your chest and being all bad. Sometimes it means acknowledging the fear is there, but reminding God that He told you not to let it run your life.

Give it to Him, and let Him smack it around for a bit. Trust me, He likes it. By the end of the day, I didn’t even remember when I stopped thinking about the fear. It just went away. God did His part, and I glorified Him for it (which, incidentally, is my part).

Be blessed in the Lord today.

Bo J.

Monday, March 12, 2007

1 Corinthians 16:13

1 Corinthians 16:13-“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.”

I wish the devil would play by the rules, like he is supposed to do.

I mean, I wish he would appear in front of me, just like he does in the movies. With his pointy tail, red skin, horns popping out of his head and all. I wish he would show up breathing smoke and fire; cursing God and His creation.

I wish he would just come to me, and tell me that he is asking me to forget the principles that God has instilled in me. I wish he would just tell me that he wants me to stop doing quiet time with God. I wish he would just come out and say, “Oh, by the way, what I am about to tell you is a lie, just so you know.”

I wish a lot of things, but none of them will happen. The enemy is a liar; pure and simple. He is out to get you separated from God. He wants to get your focus off God, and on him.

And sometime, he succeeds. Oh, don’t be so surprised. If you’re not focused and concentrating on God, then what ARE you concentrating on? If your circumstances dictate how you feel toward God, what does that say about your heart?

I mean, if each disobedient decision was presented to us by someone who LOOKED like the devil, we wouldn’t do it, would we?

So, what do we do? We gird ourselves, like the Bible states. Last night, at Bible study, one of the ladies spoke a profound word. She stated that if we are prayed up, and in tune with God, when He speaks, we’ll just jump. There would be no hesitation. There would be INSTANT OBEDIENCE.

We hate instant obedience. We want to be able to think about it, and analyze it from all angles. We want to find a way to make it a decision that came, not from God, but from US. We can get all the credit that way. However, if it gets messed up because we tried to finagle the recipe, then we can blame God.

I wonder if He laughs, just a little, as He loves us when we try and get one over on Him. I wonder why we all KNOW the things that keep us in tune with Him, and refuse to do them, because they are out of our comfort zone.

God amazes me, because He devotes His entire existence, from the time I was a baby until now, until my physical body dies, to encouraging me to be more like Him (Jesus). We think we are good parents, but we have absolutely, positively, one hundred percent NOTHING when compared to God.

How do we do it? How do we start/continue on the road to looking like Jesus?

Watch-the act of being vigilant. Not looking to get into trouble, but keeping your eyes open for trouble that might come looking for you.

Stand fast in the faith-being grounded and rooted in God’s word and His promises. Be like the tree planted by the rivers of water.

Be brave-don’t shrink from the enemy. If he wants to pick a fight with you, let him know that you’ve got a Big Brother who wants to whomp him a good one.

Be strong-don’t wilt in the sun of trials and tribulation. Stay in the race to the finish; don’t give up.

Remember, the enemy is going to disguise himself. He’s going to try and sneak up on you unawares. But our God, He has clothed us in Jesus, and given us His beauty. You are a child of God, if you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. You don’t have to sneak around anyone or be afraid.

Be blessed in the Lord.

Bo J.