Listening

Watering:

 9 Now when all the kings west of the Jordan heard about these things… they came together to wage war against Joshua and Israel.

However, when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they resorted to a ruse: They went as a delegation whose donkeys were loaded with worn-out sacks and old wineskins, cracked and mended. They put worn and patched sandals on their feet and wore old clothes. All the bread of their food supply was dry and moldy. Then they went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgaland said to him and the Israelites, “We have come from a distant country; make a treaty with us.”

The Israelites said to the Hivites, “But perhaps you live near us, so how can we make a treaty with you?”

“We are your servants, they said to Joshua.

But Joshua asked, “Who are you and where do you come from?”

They answered: “Your servants have come from a very distant country because of the fame of the Lord your God. For we have heard reports of him…And our elders and all those living in our country said to us, ‘Take provisions for your journey; go and meet them and say to them, “We are your servants; make a treaty with us.”’ 12 This bread of ours was warm when we packed it at home on the day we left to come to you. But now see how dry and moldy it is. 13 And these wineskins that we filled were new, but see how cracked they are. And our clothes and sandals are worn out by the very long journey.”

14 The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord(Joshua 9)

Watching:

The children of Israel were on a roll. By the hand of God, they had had great victory, and their enemies knew it. But the Israelites had forgotten whose victories these had been.

And when God’s people get victory, Satan gets busy – with outright war, or undermining deception.

In the war thing, the Israelites were catching on: they needed to pray, listen, obey, and then win. But the ruse tactic? This was new to them. It proved to be a chink in their armor. They were wary – that was a good thing -but they forgot to confer with their Commander in Chief… What did HE think? What would HE say?

The Israelites tried to figure it out on their own.

And that was never in God’s plan.

Wondering:

There are a lot of things I think I get… but if I’m honest, I don’t.

I’ve seen God’s hand in my life. and I’ve experienced the enemy’s ruses. I’ve seen victories and I’ve experienced missteps. And from both, I’ve learned along the way. But honestly, I’m amazed at how much I still don’t know.

More than that, I’m often tripped up by how much I think I need to know. I don’t get why sometimes it seems easy to hear the Lord’s voice for the next step I am supposed to take… and sometimes so stinkin’ hard. And I don’t always get the ‘whens’ either. When do I step out? When do I wait and watch? When do I hang on and when am I supposed to let go?

Intellectually, I could probably “figure it out on my own.” I could argue all the variables and the ins and outs, and confidently parrot all that I’ve heard along the way … but my own words are just blah, blah, blah to my spirit.

And so, I’m often just a wiggly wavering mess that whimpers,”I’m just not sure!” …why would I pretend other wise? The enemy is a strong contender, and like a lion he searches for those he can destroy, trying to deceive even God’s elect. Seriously, why would I want to make any decision without consulting the One who holds my next heartbeat in His hands… The One who answers me every time and says, “I love you. You are mine. If I am for you, who can be against you?”

How little faith I have. But is that the truth, really? Faith is a gift, so none should boast. And Jesus says I only need a mustard seed’s worth anyway… I have just enough to know that it’s HIS words I need. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing By. The. Word. of God.”

The battles still rage, but the war is won. The enemy still plans his smoke and mirrors, but by the spoken Word of God, I have a God who fights for me. I have a God who holds my Victory in His hand. It is His small still voice I must hear – the only Truth I need to hear….And snuggling close, I can hear Him clearly,

Come to me. Don’t look down. Don’t look around. Look at me. Resist the enemy and he will flee. Cast ALL your cares on me because I care for you. Bring the big and the small – I care about them all. Just ask.  I will speak Truth to silence the lies. I will speak hope to your very core. I will speak peace to guard your heart. Test everything and hold fast to my word. I hold you in my hands, so ask, seek, knock, and I will come and have dinner with you, and we can reason together. You say you’re not worthy, but I’m telling you otherwise. Call out to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.

The Israelites tried to figure it out on their own.

… that was never in God’s plan.

Waiting:

Jesus, I will hold fast your word. Where else can I go? You have the words of eternal life.

More Words to Water

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The Full Meal Deal

 Watering:

Today’s Word

Proverbs 3 Sandwich

My son, do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commandments,
for length of days and years of life
and peace they will add to you.

Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good success
in the sight of God and man.

…  “TRUST in the LORD with all of you heart….”

Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones.

Honor the Lord with your wealth
and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
then your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine.

My son, do not despise the Lord‘s discipline or be weary of his reproof,for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. (Proverbs 1 – 12)

Watching and Wondering:

I love Proverbs 3: 5-6. I’ve known it by heart for years:

Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all of your ways, acknowledge him and He will direct your paths…

Today, I see these verses as only being part of a great sandwich. But a sandwich is the whole package: delectable rolls, choice condiments, and all the veggie extras. These all mix with and enhance the star ingredient, sandwiched comfortably in the middle. You need them all.

Go back and see it. Read it. Take in every bite. An amazing sandwich. A full meal deal.

And then, being the gentleman He is, (and knowing how un-mannered we can often be) the Master Chef gives us a napkin at the end to catch the dribbling-down-the-chin goodness with a little reality check:

11 My son, do not despise the Lord‘s discipline or be weary of his reproof,12 for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.

Yes indeed, I love a great sandwich.

Worth the time to take in and chew. every. word… to remember. And dare I say, memorize?

Waiting:

Jesus, if I believe your Word changes things, then I need it to change me first, bite by bite – a banquet set for me in the presence of my enemies. If I’m serious about my body’s  food, then I want to be serious about my eternal food. Help this mind engrave life-giving words to my memory vaults.

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(Note: Verses 13 -35… those must be the soup and dessert… I’ll have to wait on those until next time.)