I was thinking this morning of how many similarities there is between a person today who has made a decision to follow Jesus, and the Exodus from Egypt by the Israelite’s. For the Israelite’s there was a great shaking as God demonstrated his power over the powers of Egypt. This shaking and revealing of God was enough to move the Israelite’s from their homes to a journey that led to a new place called the promised land. They didn’t know how to get there or even where there was. This journey was all about following God, coming to know God, learning to trust God, reverencing Him and loving Him. When they passed through the waters safely they were still afraid as their enemies were pursuing them. It was when God stopped holding back the waters and drowned their enemies that their fears were quieted. Their fear actually turned to celebration as is recorded in Exodus 15 where we hear Miriam’s song.
The celebration’s we have are soon forgotten as time passes and the journey continues. God wanted them to know Him and so He led them encounter various trials so that they would come to find Him faithful. He would give them instructions on how to deal with whatever it was that they were facing. If they followed them they would see victory over the circumstance and if they chose their own way they would fail. I think of the man who stole something that appeared of value from Jericho after God had instructed them to not take anything from there. The man hid the article under his tent and kept it secret. He would learn that there are no secrets that God does not see. The man’s disobedience affected all the Israelite s in a negative way. I know we think that our personal choices to do as we please will not affect others and therefore it is not anyone’s business but we see in this text from Joshua 7 that it does. Israel had lost it’s first battle and experienced loss f life from the sin of one man. The man Achan was exposed and he, his family and all he owned were killed for this disobedience.
What was Achan thinking you may wonder? Well personally I don’t steal but I do very much want to have a plan B. Achan would have see this stuff and knew it had value to the world system that they just left so whenever this crazy journey was over and they were in need he had something that would provide for himself. I could see myself doing that same thing. I could probably rationalize that taking this valuable object from dead people probably wasn’t stealing and who was it hurting anyway? I would have no idea that being part of a body of people meant that my stepping out of line so to speak would mean that some of my brothers were going to die in the next battle because of me. The forward progress of the whole body was now halted over what I had done. I could have never seen that coming.
God saves us just as he was saving the Israelite’s and just as they celebrated being set free from their enemies we also celebrate this becoming a new creation. It is something so awesome at the time and for some of us it remains the highlight. God had a plan to save us and we agreed and followed His plan and it led us into salvation through His son Jesus. Next God had a plan for our lives. That plan is laid out in a journey and just like them we are facing adversity and will have victory over whatever it is IF we follow His plan. Some of us have followed His direction for handling the circumstance and have seen God’s way as almost magic as we see victory but are not quite sure how it came to be. God’s ways often don’t make sense to us. God’s ways are higher then ours and but they are the way to victory over whatever we face. It is like His way is to be a cheerful giver and you will be blessed. How is it that I can gain by giving away? It sounds absurd but it works. It works because His word will ALWAYS accomplish what it was sent to do.
God delivers us from sin and gives us a new life in him and makes you a new creation, which is awesome, But we still carry our old ways and methods of operation into this new life we have been given. It is the adversity in the journey that enables us to see that our old ways will bring failure and defeat in our lives. Our minds really do have to be renewed or else when we really need victory we won’t get it. We will have our plan B’s and our little stashes just in case God fails to come through. We move in disobedience to Him and say a prayer which is basically our instructions for Him and when things don’t go right we are disappointed in God and not ourselves which is where the responsibility really lies.
Adversity can be the way to that Joy you having been longing for if we just take the time to hear God and follow His instructions. The great Joy moment should not be way back when God “saved us”. It should and could be just a battle knowing that victory is assured in Him if we follow the battle plan and then the celebration of the breakthrough. Yeah! I did what He said and as crazy as His plan looked it somehow worked again! The real renewing of our minds takes place when we take action in obedience to His word and see that it indeed works, or at least that is what I was ……… Just Thinking