Saturday, July 10, 2010

No Partiality

In studying the book of Joshua, I came across in chapter 7 this great leader complaining, shocking I know, but read on.  Joshua has courageously lead the people and experienced God's providence and His miracles.  During one battle, there was baffling defeat.  Why did they not win this one?  They were doing great and now, they just got whipped.  So what is Joshua's response?  "Oh, that we had been content, and dwelt on the other side of the Jordan!" (Verse 7)  Do you know what the Lord said?  His reply, "GET UP!  Why do you lie on your face?  Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, because thus says the Lord God of Israel:  There is an accursed thing in your midst, you cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the accursed thing from among you."

Why do we think that going back is the solution?  Why is that our first inclination?  We want a sure thing not an unknown.  Sure things are a known quantity, we know what to expect, no surprises, the comfort zone; basically we are back in control.  Now when we are in 'control' (which is laughable really) we are further from our walk with God.  This 'control' puts me in the driver's seat, making the decisions that are what I want, when I want it!  The other side of the Jordan is stagnant.  The other side of the river is full of weeds and old broken toys.  The other side is a distorted  memory of the truth.
In contrast, this new side of the Jordan holds some uncomfortable, unknown, heart-racing territory that has not been tread upon.  Here's the biggest part of the bummer, I can't take with me some of the bad idols, habits and enablers I have picked up along the way.  Nope, they can't come.  Just me and my faith.  Yes, that unseen thang called faith.  We do not walk by sight, but by faith.  Is your collar gettin tight?  That is okay!  This new side of the Jordan, guess who is steering?  Not me, I can't really, my palms are too sweaty to hold on the wheel!  I have to focus on calming myself and focusing, not on the terrain, but on my shepherd leading the way.  As he is leading, he will remind me to put down one of my old accursed mantra's that somehow, accidentally, jumped on the bandwagon again.  He will gently take my chin and turn it from looking backwards to looking ahead, "Keep your eyes on me, he says."
By renewing our efforts to follow God's will the Jordan, little by little, becomes a place of freedom and peace.  We begin to forget about the other side because we have faced the giant and realize he wasn't that big after all.
Our sure thing is Jesus.  Looking back is a trap, a place to be stuck.  There is no partiality with God.  You can't be on both sides of the river, you have to choose.  You want the old stuff or do you want to press on and experience life as Christ intended?  God says, "Follow me!"  He is adventurous and mysterious.  Thankfully, He is the good shepherd that walks up front, paving the way, and encouraging us to keep up and to be courageous!


1 comment:

Michelle said...

That was a great post.

Two thoughts really struck me though:

the first was how you pointed out that

"The other side is a distorted memory of the truth."

And: "I can't take with me some of the bad idols, habits and enablers I have picked up along the way."

Enablers can hold us back more than anything because they like to keep us at a certain level and don't like it very much when we press forward and strive for a closer, more obedient walk with the Lord.

Have a blessed weekend!