Have our hearts been apprehended by a desire to fully obey the Word of the Lord and a willingness to cast aside the shallow and mundane thinking that we so often coast through life on?
When decisions that affect our lives need to be made, it is necessary that we are skilled and confident in responding to the directives of the Lord.
The ways of the world, the bad news, the depressing and scary circumstances that arise in the world we live in; all of these can affect our thoughts. And our thoughts determine our actions and if our thoughts are not lined up with God’s Word, our actions will not result in living in the perfect will of the Father for us. We must not cringe with chagrin but rather boldly choose to set our hearts on walking in the good and perfect plans that our King holds in His heart for us.
The question must be asked though and is deserving of an answer – how do we really know what the plans of the Lord are for us when on the road we are presently walking we have peace, contentment, security and simplicity and on the other we have the promise of those things and yet they have not been revealed to us because we have allowed fear of the unknown to be our boundary. Action forward would be required of us, purposely recognizing and walking through open doors into an unknown arena while expecting the Lord to pour out His goodness into our lives.
Our choice is determined by a commitment to obedience, a desire to walk in step with the Spirit. We are the people of the Kingdom of God and our lives are to be upright, holy, and circumspect. The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. The way we have peace, joy and righteousness is by living our moments being consciously obedient to the still small voice of the Lord.
Not only are we the people of the Kingdom, but as a whole we are the Kingdom. The whole would denote unity and unity serves as our protection. Unity and commitment to obedience are our protectors within the Kingdom.
Unity sees to it that the back of our fellow soldier is covered in prayer in order that they are able to accomplish the mission they have been assigned to. A good example of this is seen in Joshua 6 where the Lord instructs the priests to bear seven trumpets of horns before the ark of the Lord and the people to march around the city and those who were armed to advance before the ark of the Lord. There is not an indication that the people bickered, compared, and tried to fit where they did not belong. They were an army set on obeying the commands of the Commander of the army. The result that came from obedience, even though what they were required to do sounded a little odd, was victory.
How many times during our days does the Holy and Righteous Commander speak to us to do something a little odd and how many times during our days do we turn a deaf ear or open to Him a willing and obedient heart? The outcome of not only our personal lives but also the lives of those we serve with in the Lord’s army is affected by our decision to be or not be obedient. This is seen in the continuing story of Joshua in chapter seven.
At Ai, the men of Israel were confronted with defeat and loss and fear filled their hearts; so much so that their courage failed. The story goes on with Joshua tearing his clothes and falling to his face before the Lord seeking to know what His will for them was. Joshua bemoaned their lack of contentment and their choice to cross the Jordan even though that crossing was by the direction of the Angel of the Lord.
How often do we take the same attitude! We are sure of the directives of the Holy Spirit and move forward in obedience to His prompting and end up exactly where He would have us at exactly the right moment in time. Yet a little bit of trouble gets stirred up and we start to bewail the fact that we are in an unknown land and dare to question the leading that stirred our hearts to obedience.
Here in this story we see so clearly how the disobedience of one man affected the outcome for Israel. One man sinned and yet the Lord says in Joshua 7:11 “Israel has sinned and they have transgressed… they have even taken … and they have both stolen and deceived… and they have also put it among their own stuff.”
One man and yet the Lord saw the sin as Israel’s sin. What is it like in the Body of Christ today? How truly does my sin affect the outcome of your life? How do we acquire godly wisdom and then make the differentiation between it and our own insights and worldly wisdom?
Proverbs 3:5-6 exhorts us to “lean on, trust in and be confident in the Lord with all of our heart and mind” – every vital part of us is involved. To “lean on” implies that we need His strength to stand in faith. “Trust in” imparts the message that He will not fail us or disappoint us and “being confident in the Lord” implies the ability to be in the right place at the right time, confident that no matter what is going on around us we are the apple of His eye, we are loved by Him and He wants to bless us and crown our lives with His goodness.
We can be “confident in the Lord” to make known to us the way He would have for us to take. To obey God seems to always be risky for isn’t He calling us out of the shadow of the shallows to the brilliance of deep waters?
He saying to us, “Take My hand Child, I am calling you to a new thing. Don’t be afraid for I will not let go of your hand as I go before you, leading you, guiding you and preparing the way as well as your heart in order for you to walk in it. There will be times when the change is sudden and at other times you will sense the change is coming and in the between times I will be giving your hearts the opportunity to move into and accept the change. Always will I have accomplished the preparatory work and always will I provide and equip you for what I have called you to”.
Time in the Courts of the King must be spent if we are to ascertain His directives. Time in the Courts of the King also ensures that we learn the acceptable behavior in His Presence and as we get used to new adjustments, gradually that new behavior gives us a sense of regality that we simply carry within ourselves.
As our souls long for deep relationship with our God, we will listen for His whispers, for His promise of a filling of our hunger and thirst. We know that we will be satisfied with nothing less that the fruits of righteousness and hence we enter into a never-ending quest for the meat and drink of the Kingdom of God.
The Father gazes upon us there at the banks of the River of Life and He will brook no interference with us. His heart is so full of the longing to see us, the jewels that adorn His heart, shining with the splendor of His blessing that he is willing to tolerate nothing getting between the relationships He has long dreamed of having with us.
…And so from the depths of our beings we cry out to the King with great longing, with fervent desire. We have a perception, an awakening to the understanding that only the water that He gives us to drink will satisfy our souls. Blessed, Jesus said in Matthew 5:6 are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled.
The thirst in our souls awakens us, opens our eyes to see our incompleteness and though we may shed tears that seem to have no end; the result is healing, wholeness, completeness. For in our coming before the King, His outstretched arms have embraced us and shame is far from us.
…It seems, as the King watches over the lives of humanity, it seems it is always shame that keeps His children far from Him.
His plan of repentance had already been put into action and many were beginning to understand the mystery of how Christ in them was the hope of glory.
Glory, exultation and celebration come when victory is achieved in war.
The fullness of the Image of the Son formed in the children of the King comes in response to waging war with the flesh as we choose to renew our minds with the Word of God.
We wage war against anger – we are effective in our fight when we use the weapons the King provides … Knowledge of the Holy One… the King eternal, immortal in whom is all wisdom, all knowledge, all understanding.
Transformation comes as we lay the truth of God’s Word upon our weakness and strength emerges in the beautiful shape of gentleness.