Friday, May 28, 2010

Mid-Day Devotion 5/28/10

Crossing the Jordan River, Christoph Unterberger, 1780s

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:5

Whereas the world may only see what we present to it or what we show to it, the Lord, our God, He not only sees our inward being but is also seeking to make us stronger amidst it as He gives courage to our spirit, using His authority, His commands and His divine will to uplift our souls.

Consider for a moment the case of the children of Israel and Joshua....

Fearful was their existence. Having been led from brutal captivity they had wandered through the desert in a state of perpetual Diaspora. The strong hand of Moses’ leadership was now taken from them as the great Prophet sent by God to deliver them was now called home as they stood upon the borders of the Promised Land. Behind them was the land they had been taken from and the sandy dunes they had spent forty years moving through amidst their nomadic trek, in front of them stood the mighty tribes of Canaan, the city of Jericho, the Philistines and countless other enemies who would bring another slavery and oppression upon the people.

Yet the transcending word of the Lord, as revealed unto Moses’ successor would be clear. If he kept his faith even against the most overwhelming of odds, if he was strong and courageous in the power of the Lord’s might, if he was unwavering in the hope that he was given then he would find that the ultimate victory would be delivered into his hands by the power of a mighty God of deliverance who remained faithful to the cause of His people.

This remains the abiding lesson for us amidst our lives.

There are always trials and tribulations that lay before us, there are always challenges that lay behind us. In some cases whichever way a person looks there is the threat of captivity and bondage that surrounds them, whether it is of the body or the mind, the spirit or the soul. Amidst this worldly existence there is physical and mental oppression that threatens to rob all the peace we know and that we seek even as we look to the promises of God’s assurances for our lives.

It is here that we have to be all the more courageous, we have to have all the more strength as we hold fast to our faith. Righteous and faithful, steadfast in His devotion our Heavenly Father does not want us to worry or to lose heart because even when everything around us seems to have risen up against us and there is fear about the next steps we take, God will shower us with mercy and compassion. It is here that He shall gird us with His strength as His love is made manifest in our lives.

The ultimate triumph always awaits the faithful as God, in His righteousness, shows forth His divine authority. Perhaps we may not, at the time, see it, the obstacles in front of us seeming so great and so encompassing. Yet, by His mercy shall all be made known to us in time by the light by which He guides our path with if we just hold fast to Him.

Lord, grant this unto us all...

Let us pray:

In our hearts create courage O Lord, in our spirits let us find strength...

Build in our lives a sense of hope that can and does only come through faith in You knowing that to dwell in You is to dwell in the steadfast assurances of Your transcending, encompassing word that Your miracles shall guide our lives to the blessed expectations of that divine optimism that we have in Your grace.

O Lord, as we look to You our view is obstructed by the presence of so much oppression and so much despair in this world. Captivity and bondage come to Your people, slavery and persecution binds the hearts of Your children as Your creation cries out for Your blessings, seeking and imploring Your grace in their lives that liberty may be restored unto them by the power of Your Spirit.

Be not far off from them O Lord. As You were with Joshua be now with us, as You have promised unto Joshua promise now unto us, and let Your mercy be unchanging through the ages as the mercy of Your precepts move through the righteousness of Your hands to rise up for the cause of Your people amidst their ever present plight and struggles. Show unto them that Your authority is the unquestioned, unending authority of a loving God who shall always shield his children with courage and equip them with strength as You uplift their spirits and their souls and heal their broken hearts, mending the body and the mind from all afflictions that would seek to so overtake them.

Then shall Your unending, unchanging grace be worshiped and praised for the miracles that it offers unto the lives of Your children as You stand fast and firm with them as You have even in the most ancient of days.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

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