“Ask God to help you get to the root cause of your stumbling blocks so they may not continually trip you up.”
While we may never lead a sinless life, we can work on minimizing repeat offenses. When we look at sin, in its most honest light, it’s when we find a solution to our needs outside of God’s will for us. So when you look at it in that context, it’s time to ask God for what you need.
No matter what your life was like or how it’s going now, God can reveal and heal you. To tap into this supernatural relationship, you must call on Him. He will answer, guiding you gently to the Truth. But, in order to heal root cause issues, you must accept the Truth for yourself.
Are you ready to get to the root cause of the issue, or are your solutions worth repeating?
Enjoy the reading
1 The allotment for the descendants of Joseph extended from the Jordan River near Jericho, east of the springs of Jericho, through the wilderness and into the hill country of Bethel. 2 From Bethel (that is, Luz) it ran over to Ataroth in the territory of the Arkites. 3 Then it descended westward to the territory of the Japhletites as far as Lower Beth-horon, then to Gezer and over to the Mediterranean Sea. 4 This was the homeland allocated to the families of Joseph’s sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 5 The following territory was given to the clans of the tribe of Ephraim. The boundary of their homeland began at Ataroth-addar in the east. From there it ran to Upper Beth-horon, 6 then on to the Mediterranean Sea. From Micmethath on the north, the boundary curved eastward past Taanath-shiloh to the east of Janoah. 7 From Janoah it turned southward to Ataroth and Naarah, touched Jericho, and ended at the Jordan River. 8 From Tappuah the boundary extended westward, following the Kanah Ravine to the Mediterranean Sea. This is the homeland allocated to the clans of the tribe of Ephraim. 9 In addition, some towns with their surrounding villages in the territory allocated to the half-tribe of Manasseh were set aside for the tribe of Ephraim. 10 They did not drive the Canaanites out of Gezer, however, so the people of Gezer live as slaves among the people of Ephraim to this day.
“Ask God for help in what ails you so that you do not become entrapped in the darkness.”
When we stop going to God for healing, the enemy will trick us into holding on to the fractured pieces as if we can heal ourselves. Friends, there is a very fine line between hurt and pride. Often when we’ve been hurt, our pride will try to make up the difference, shutting out the gentle voice of Christ who desires to comfort us. Like a raccoon stuck in a trap, we are ripe for slaughter if we don’t put down the shiny object of pride.
At some point, when you realize there is nowhere else to run, give God a shout. Notice how the characters of the Bible who are at their wit’s end call out to God for help. We have to chuck our pride so that we don’t become trapped in the snare of the evil one. God will always answer no matter how far out you’ve gone. There is no place out of His reach, but you have to ask. So, let your guard down so that He may heal your ailments.
Are you ready to be healed?
Enjoy the reading
1 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid or discouraged. Take all your fighting men and attack Ai, for I have given you the king of Ai, his people, his town, and his land. 2 You will destroy them as you destroyed Jericho and its king. But this time you may keep the plunder and the livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the town.” 3 So Joshua and all the fighting men set out to attack Ai. Joshua chose 30,000 of his best warriors and sent them out at night 4 with these orders: “Hide in ambush close behind the town and be ready for action. 5 When our main army attacks, the men of Ai will come out to fight as they did before, and we will run away from them. 6 We will let them chase us until we have drawn them away from the town. For they will say, ‘The Israelites are running away from us as they did before.’ Then, while we are running from them, 7 you will jump up from your ambush and take possession of the town, for the LORD your God will give it to you. 8 Set the town on fire, as the LORD has commanded. You have your orders.” 9 So they left and went to the place of ambush between Bethel and the west side of Ai. But Joshua remained among the people in the camp that night. 10 Early the next morning Joshua roused his men and started toward Ai, accompanied by the elders of Israel. 11 All the fighting men who were with Joshua marched in front of the town and camped on the north side of Ai, with a valley between them and the town. 12 That night Joshua sent about 5,000 men to lie in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the town. 13 So they stationed the main army north of the town and the ambush west of the town. Joshua himself spent that night in the valley. 14 When the king of Ai saw the Israelites across the valley, he and all his army hurried out early in the morning and attacked the Israelites at a place overlooking the Jordan Valley. But he didn’t realize there was an ambush behind the town. 15 Joshua and the Israelite army fled toward the wilderness as though they were badly beaten. 16 Then all the men in the town were called out to chase after them. In this way, they were lured away from the town. 17 There was not a man left in Ai or Bethel who did not chase after the Israelites, and the town was left wide open. 18 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Point the spear in your hand toward Ai, for I will hand the town over to you.” Joshua did as he was commanded. 19 As soon as Joshua gave this signal, all the men in ambush jumped up from their position and poured into the town. They quickly captured it and set it on fire. 20 When the men of Ai looked behind them, smoke from the town was filling the sky, and they had nowhere to go. For the Israelites who had fled in the direction of the wilderness now turned on their pursuers. 21 When Joshua and all the other Israelites saw that the ambush had succeeded and that smoke was rising from the town, they turned and attacked the men of Ai. 22 Meanwhile, the Israelites who were inside the town came out and attacked the enemy from the rear. So the men of Ai were caught in the middle, with Israelite fighters on both sides. Israel attacked them, and not a single person survived or escaped. 23 Only the king of Ai was taken alive and brought to Joshua. 24 When the Israelite army finished chasing and killing all the men of Ai in the open fields, they went back and finished off everyone inside. 25 So the entire population of Ai, including men and women, was wiped out that day—12,000 in all. 26 For Joshua kept holding out his spear until everyone who had lived in Ai was completely destroyed. 27 Only the livestock and the treasures of the town were not destroyed, for the Israelites kept these as plunder for themselves, as the LORD had commanded Joshua. 28 So Joshua burned the town of Ai, and it became a permanent mound of ruins, desolate to this very day. 29 Joshua impaled the king of Ai on a sharpened pole and left him there until evening. At sunset the Israelites took down the body, as Joshua commanded, and threw it in front of the town gate. They piled a great heap of stones over him that can still be seen today. 30 Then Joshua built an altar to the LORD, the God of Israel, on Mount Ebal. 31 He followed the commands that Moses the LORD ’s servant had written in the Book of Instruction: “Make me an altar from stones that are uncut and have not been shaped with iron tools.” Then on the altar they presented burnt offerings and peace offerings to the LORD . 32 And as the Israelites watched, Joshua copied onto the stones of the altar the instructions Moses had given them. 33 Then all the Israelites—foreigners and native-born alike—along with the elders, officers, and judges, were divided into two groups. One group stood in front of Mount Gerizim, the other in front of Mount Ebal. Each group faced the other, and between them stood the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the LORD ’s Covenant. This was all done according to the commands that Moses, the servant of the LORD, had previously given for blessing the people of Israel. 34 Joshua then read to them all the blessings and curses Moses had written in the Book of Instruction. 35 Every word of every command that Moses had ever given was read to the entire assembly of Israel, including the women and children and the foreigners who lived among them.
“Stop picking at your wounds and allow them to heal.”
Healing and restoration never feel like we perceive them to be. There is a lot of discomfort and growth that occurs before we can reach it. When you pick at the scab of your wounds, you prolong the healing process, aggravating your journey all the more.
If you want to heal, you must rest. Only when you stop scratching, can your wounds heal. God will continually renew us, but it is up to us to stop interfering with the process. So, stop scratching and start trusting that God is working for you, through you.
Are you ready to stop impeding your healing process?
Enjoy the reading
1 Now the gates of Jericho were tightly shut because the people were afraid of the Israelites. No one was allowed to go out or in. 2 But the LORD said to Joshua, “I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its strong warriors. 3 You and your fighting men should march around the town once a day for six days. 4 Seven priests will walk ahead of the Ark, each carrying a ram’s horn. On the seventh day you are to march around the town seven times, with the priests blowing the horns. 5 When you hear the priests give one long blast on the rams’ horns, have all the people shout as loud as they can. Then the walls of the town will collapse, and the people can charge straight into the town.” 6 So Joshua called together the priests and said, “Take up the Ark of the LORD ’s Covenant, and assign seven priests to walk in front of it, each carrying a ram’s horn.” 7 Then he gave orders to the people: “March around the town, and the armed men will lead the way in front of the Ark of the LORD .” 8 After Joshua spoke to the people, the seven priests with the rams’ horns started marching in the presence of the LORD, blowing the horns as they marched. And the Ark of the LORD ’s Covenant followed behind them. 9 Some of the armed men marched in front of the priests with the horns and some behind the Ark, with the priests continually blowing the horns. 10 “Do not shout; do not even talk,” Joshua commanded. “Not a single word from any of you until I tell you to shout. Then shout!” 11 So the Ark of the LORD was carried around the town once that day, and then everyone returned to spend the night in the camp. 12 Joshua got up early the next morning, and the priests again carried the Ark of the LORD . 13 The seven priests with the rams’ horns marched in front of the Ark of the LORD, blowing their horns. Again the armed men marched both in front of the priests with the horns and behind the Ark of the LORD . All this time the priests were blowing their horns. 14 On the second day they again marched around the town once and returned to the camp. They followed this pattern for six days. 15 On the seventh day the Israelites got up at dawn and marched around the town as they had done before. But this time they went around the town seven times. 16 The seventh time around, as the priests sounded the long blast on their horns, Joshua commanded the people, “Shout! For the LORD has given you the town! 17 Jericho and everything in it must be completely destroyed as an offering to the LORD . Only Rahab the prostitute and the others in her house will be spared, for she protected our spies. 18 “Do not take any of the things set apart for destruction, or you yourselves will be completely destroyed, and you will bring trouble on the camp of Israel. 19 Everything made from silver, gold, bronze, or iron is sacred to the LORD and must be brought into his treasury.” 20 When the people heard the sound of the rams’ horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the town and captured it. 21 They completely destroyed everything in it with their swords—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep, goats, and donkeys. 22 Meanwhile, Joshua said to the two spies, “Keep your promise. Go to the prostitute’s house and bring her out, along with all her family.” 23 The men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab, her father, mother, brothers, and all the other relatives who were with her. They moved her whole family to a safe place near the camp of Israel. 24 Then the Israelites burned the town and everything in it. Only the things made from silver, gold, bronze, or iron were kept for the treasury of the LORD ’s house. 25 So Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute and her relatives who were with her in the house, because she had hidden the spies Joshua sent to Jericho. And she lives among the Israelites to this day. 26 At that time Joshua invoked this curse: “May the curse of the LORD fall on anyone who tries to rebuild the town of Jericho. At the cost of his firstborn son, he will lay its foundation. At the cost of his youngest son, he will set up its gates.” 27 So the LORD was with Joshua, and his reputation spread throughout the land.
“God cannot work within you if you keep shutting Him out.”
We all have inner work we need to do that God wants to help with. The trouble is if you block His guidance, he cannot help you.
Our God is a God of restoration and has the ability to heal in ways humans cannot. Trust in Him to transform you inside and out.
What are you shutting God out of?
Enjoy the reading
1 “When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you as a special possession and you have conquered it and settled there, 2 put some of the first produce from each crop you harvest into a basket and bring it to the designated place of worship—the place the LORD your God chooses for his name to be honored. 3 Go to the priest in charge at that time and say to him, ‘With this gift I acknowledge to the LORD your God that I have entered the land he swore to our ancestors he would give us.’ 4 The priest will then take the basket from your hand and set it before the altar of the LORD your God. 5 “You must then say in the presence of the LORD your God, ‘My ancestor Jacob was a wandering Aramean who went to live as a foreigner in Egypt. His family arrived few in number, but in Egypt they became a large and mighty nation. 6 When the Egyptians oppressed and humiliated us by making us their slaves, 7 we cried out to the LORD, the God of our ancestors. He heard our cries and saw our hardship, toil, and oppression. 8 So the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and powerful arm, with overwhelming terror, and with miraculous signs and wonders. 9 He brought us to this place and gave us this land flowing with milk and honey! 10 And now, O LORD, I have brought you the first portion of the harvest you have given me from the ground.’ Then place the produce before the LORD your God, and bow to the ground in worship before him. 11 Afterward you may go and celebrate because of all the good things the LORD your God has given to you and your household. Remember to include the Levites and the foreigners living among you in the celebration. 12 “Every third year you must offer a special tithe of your crops. In this year of the special tithe you must give your tithes to the Levites, foreigners, orphans, and widows, so that they will have enough to eat in your towns. 13 Then you must declare in the presence of the LORD your God, ‘I have taken the sacred gift from my house and have given it to the Levites, foreigners, orphans, and widows, just as you commanded me. I have not violated or forgotten any of your commands. 14 I have not eaten any of it while in mourning; I have not handled it while I was ceremonially unclean; and I have not offered any of it to the dead. I have obeyed the LORD my God and have done everything you commanded me. 15 Now look down from your holy dwelling place in heaven and bless your people Israel and the land you swore to our ancestors to give us—a land flowing with milk and honey.’ 16 “Today the LORD your God has commanded you to obey all these decrees and regulations. So be careful to obey them wholeheartedly. 17 You have declared today that the LORD is your God. And you have promised to walk in his ways, and to obey his decrees, commands, and regulations, and to do everything he tells you. 18 The LORD has declared today that you are his people, his own special treasure, just as he promised, and that you must obey all his commands. 19 And if you do, he will set you high above all the other nations he has made. Then you will receive praise, honor, and renown. You will be a nation that is holy to the LORD your God, just as he promised.”
“We can’t accurately learn and improve if we refuse to listen.”
God will lead us to living water to build us foundationally, healing our wounds and renewing us in Him. While He can provide the water, we must continue to drink and fellowship with Him so that we can receive what He has to offer us.
Your personal well runs dry when your pride inhibits you from learning new concepts from Christ. Friends, we all have wounds and life stories that give us blindspots that only God can remove. For accuracy, drop your pride and listen.
Is your past hindering you from accurately growing in Christ?
Enjoy the reading
1 Moses called all the people of Israel together and said, “Listen carefully, Israel. Hear the decrees and regulations I am giving you today, so you may learn them and obey them! 2 “The LORD our God made a covenant with us at Mount Sinai. 3 The LORD did not make this covenant with our ancestors, but with all of us who are alive today. 4 At the mountain the LORD spoke to you face to face from the heart of the fire. 5 I stood as an intermediary between you and the LORD, for you were afraid of the fire and did not want to approach the mountain. He spoke to me, and I passed his words on to you. This is what he said: 6 “I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery. 7 “You must not have any other god but me. 8 “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind, or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. 9 You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. 10 But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands. 11 “You must not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name. 12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you. 13 You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your oxen and donkeys and other livestock, and any foreigners living among you. All your male and female servants must rest as you do. 15 Remember that you were once slaves in Egypt, but the LORD your God brought you out with his strong hand and powerful arm. That is why the LORD your God has commanded you to rest on the Sabbath day. 16 “Honor your father and mother, as the LORD your God commanded you. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God is giving you. 17 “You must not murder. 18 “You must not commit adultery. 19 “You must not steal. 20 “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor. 21 “You must not covet your neighbor’s wife. You must not covet your neighbor’s house or land, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor. 22 “The LORD spoke these words to all of you assembled there at the foot of the mountain. He spoke with a loud voice from the heart of the fire, surrounded by clouds and deep darkness. This was all he said at that time, and he wrote his words on two stone tablets and gave them to me. 23 “But when you heard the voice from the heart of the darkness, while the mountain was blazing with fire, all your tribal leaders and elders came to me. 24 They said, ‘Look, the LORD our God has shown us his glory and greatness, and we have heard his voice from the heart of the fire. Today we have seen that God can speak to us humans, and yet we live! 25 But now, why should we risk death again? If the LORD our God speaks to us again, we will certainly die and be consumed by this awesome fire. 26 Can any living thing hear the voice of the living God from the heart of the fire as we did and yet survive? 27 Go yourself and listen to what the LORD our God says. Then come and tell us everything he tells you, and we will listen and obey.’ 28 “The LORD heard the request you made to me. And he said, ‘I have heard what the people said to you, and they are right. 29 Oh, that they would always have hearts like this, that they might fear me and obey all my commands! If they did, they and their descendants would prosper forever. 30 Go and tell them, “Return to your tents.” 31 But you stand here with me so I can give you all my commands, decrees, and regulations. You must teach them to the people so they can obey them in the land I am giving them as their possession.’” 32 So Moses told the people, “You must be careful to obey all the commands of the LORD your God, following his instructions in every detail. 33 Stay on the path that the LORD your God has commanded you to follow. Then you will live long and prosperous lives in the land you are about to enter and occupy.
“It’s not enough to simply know the Truth. You must stand firm in it so you do not run astray.”
We stray from God’s Truth when we fail to walk confidently in it. So what does that mean? There are many roads and avenues to take in this world, but there is only one Truth. When we engage in any and all things, we become like dogs who’ve roamed, confused on how to get home. Because the world is full of tomfoolery, when we engage in it, rather than leaving it alone, we inevitably become confused and disoriented. For this reason, God has to be the compass to lead you home.
To live confidently in Christ, we must remain in His light. This means paying attention to what you consume on all levels. Check your daily habits. If anything you do causes you to stumble, leave it alone. Yes, we have the freedom to do all things, but all things are not good for everyone. Be confident in the Lord and align your actions to the Truth. In time, you will naturally put down what is foolish as it leads you away from God. Fortunately for us, even when we roam, call out to Him and He will lead you home.
What’s go you far from home?
Enjoy the reading
1 So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. 2 On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation. 4 This is the account of the creation of the heavens and the earth. The Man and Woman in Eden When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, 5 neither wild plants nor grains were growing on the earth. For the LORD God had not yet sent rain to water the earth, and there were no people to cultivate the soil. 6 Instead, springs came up from the ground and watered all the land. 7 Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person. 8 Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made. 9 The LORD God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10 A river flowed from the land of Eden, watering the garden and then dividing into four branches. 11 The first branch, called the Pishon, flowed around the entire land of Havilah, where gold is found. 12 The gold of that land is exceptionally pure; aromatic resin and onyx stone are also found there. 13 The second branch, called the Gihon, flowed around the entire land of Cush. 14 The third branch, called the Tigris, flowed east of the land of Asshur. The fourth branch is called the Euphrates. 15 The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. 16 But the LORD God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— 17 except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” 18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” 19 So the LORD God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. 20 He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him. 21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. 23 “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’” 24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. 25 Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.
“Pick up your cross, put in some elbow grease, and keep following God.”
God always does the heavy lifting in that He sent Jesus to fulfill our invitation to receive salvation. His Grace alone makes that possible. However, we must submit ourselves and accept that extended invitation. And, that is something only we can individually do.
Overriding your flesh and following Christ is an active decision that we must continually commit to. God gave us all free will, which is why we must exercise the discipline to act on. But once you put in the elbow grease, God will honor your efforts.
How are you putting in the elbow grease to improve your relationship with Christ?
Enjoy the reading
1 The LORD gave this message to Micah of Moresheth during the years when Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah. The visions he saw concerned both Samaria and Jerusalem. 2 Attention! Let all the people of the world listen! Let the earth and everything in it hear. The Sovereign LORD is making accusations against you; the Lord speaks from his holy Temple. 3 Look! The LORD is coming! He leaves his throne in heaven and tramples the heights of the earth. 4 The mountains melt beneath his feet and flow into the valleys like wax in a fire, like water pouring down a hill. 5 And why is this happening? Because of the rebellion of Israel — yes, the sins of the whole nation. Who is to blame for Israel’s rebellion? Samaria, its capital city! Where is the center of idolatry in Judah? In Jerusalem, its capital! 6 “So I, the LORD, will make the city of Samaria a heap of ruins. Her streets will be plowed up for planting vineyards. I will roll the stones of her walls into the valley below, exposing her foundations. 7 All her carved images will be smashed. All her sacred treasures will be burned. These things were bought with the money earned by her prostitution, and they will now be carried away to pay prostitutes elsewhere.” 8 Therefore, I will mourn and lament. I will walk around barefoot and naked. I will howl like a jackal and moan like an owl. 9 For my people’s wound is too deep to heal. It has reached into Judah, even to the gates of Jerusalem. 10 Don’t tell our enemies in Gath ; don’t weep at all. You people in Beth-leaphrah, roll in the dust to show your despair. 11 You people in Shaphir, go as captives into exile—naked and ashamed. The people of Zaanan dare not come outside their walls. The people of Beth-ezel mourn, for their house has no support. 12 The people of Maroth anxiously wait for relief, but only bitterness awaits them as the LORD ’s judgment reaches even to the gates of Jerusalem. 13 Harness your chariot horses and flee, you people of Lachish. You were the first city in Judah to follow Israel in her rebellion, and you led Jerusalem into sin. 14 Send farewell gifts to Moresheth-gath ; there is no hope of saving it. The town of Aczib has deceived the kings of Israel. 15 O people of Mareshah, I will bring a conqueror to capture your town. And the leaders of Israel will go to Adullam. 16 Oh, people of Judah, shave your heads in sorrow, for the children you love will be snatched away. Make yourselves as bald as a vulture, for your little ones will be exiled to distant lands.
“God is not the Father of 30-second miracles; therefore we must stick it out.”
Cut & Run
Imagine running one mile and then expecting a 6-pack. Not gonna happen. The same reasoning applies when we expect insta-miracles from Christ. The reason why many fail to see the Hand of God in their lives is that they cut and run, avoiding the work that needs to occur before the real miracles come to pass. We first have to change our hearts and minds before God blesses our lives. This starts by remaining committed.
With consistency and love that only God can teach you, He has the ability to reunite the lost and found through us. We must have the faith and endurance to keep showing up. Irritated at your brother, mother, spouse, sister, or father? Love them anyway. Steady love and compassion (as Christ infinitely bestows on us) allow us to re-count and appreciate those in our lives. But in order to realize this, you have to stick it out.
Are you in it for the long haul?
Enjoy the reading
1 This is what the LORD says: “The people of Moab have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They desecrated the bones of Edom’s king, burning them to ashes. 2 So I will send down fire on the land of Moab, and all the fortresses in Kerioth will be destroyed. The people will fall in the noise of battle, as the warriors shout and the ram’s horn sounds. 3 And I will destroy their king and slaughter all their princes,” says the LORD . 4 This is what the LORD says: “The people of Judah have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They have rejected the instruction of the LORD, refusing to obey his decrees. They have been led astray by the same lies that deceived their ancestors. 5 So I will send down fire on Judah, and all the fortresses of Jerusalem will be destroyed.” 6 This is what the LORD says: “The people of Israel have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They sell honorable people for silver and poor people for a pair of sandals. 7 They trample helpless people in the dust and shove the oppressed out of the way. Both father and son sleep with the same woman, corrupting my holy name. 8 At their religious festivals, they lounge in clothing their debtors put up as security. In the house of their gods, they drink wine bought with unjust fines. 9 “But as my people watched, I destroyed the Amorites, though they were as tall as cedars and as strong as oaks. I destroyed the fruit on their branches and dug out their roots. 10 It was I who rescued you from Egypt and led you through the desert for forty years, so you could possess the land of the Amorites. 11 I chose some of your sons to be prophets and others to be Nazirites. Can you deny this, my people of Israel?” asks the LORD . 12 “But you caused the Nazirites to sin by making them drink wine, and you commanded the prophets, ‘Shut up!’ 13 “So I will make you groan like a wagon loaded down with sheaves of grain. 14 Your fastest runners will not get away. The strongest among you will become weak. Even mighty warriors will be unable to save themselves. 15 The archers will not stand their ground. The swiftest runners won’t be fast enough to escape. Even those riding horses won’t be able to save themselves. 16 On that day the most courageous of your fighting men will drop their weapons and run for their lives,” says the LORD .
Remaining stuck, replaying past scenes of your life will do nothing in your present and future life. Yes, honest and intentional reflection can help us grow wiser, and avoid past mistakes. However, if stewing on what you’ve done stalls you from what you’re doing now, it’s a problem. Remember that when God forgives us, He wipes the slate clean. So, if He can let it go, so can we.
God wants us to move forward and closer to Him. The enemy, however, does not. So if forgiveness and progression are things of Christ, we can safely assume that stewing and staying stuck are fruits of the opposition. To protect your mind and actions from the lies of the evil one, stay rooted in the Word. Learn what God has to say on the matter so that you may not be led astray.
Are you being fooled into staying stuck?
Enjoy the reading
1 Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God, for your sins have brought you down. 2 Bring your confessions, and return to the LORD . Say to him, “Forgive all our sins and graciously receive us, so that we may offer you our praises. 3 Assyria cannot save us, nor can our warhorses. Never again will we say to the idols we have made, ‘You are our gods.’ No, in you alone do the orphans find mercy.” 4 The LORD says, “Then I will heal you of your faithlessness; my love will know no bounds, for my anger will be gone forever. 5 I will be to Israel like a refreshing dew from heaven. Israel will blossom like the lily; it will send roots deep into the soil like the cedars in Lebanon. 6 Its branches will spread out like beautiful olive trees, as fragrant as the cedars of Lebanon. 7 My people will again live under my shade. They will flourish like grain and blossom like grapevines. They will be as fragrant as the wines of Lebanon. 8 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” 9 Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the LORD are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.
“Ask God to shine a light to reveal the areas you need to improve.”
When we hide our weakness in the corners of our minds, the opposition will creep in and use it to his advantage. There he will deepen the footholds, wreaking havoc in all parts of our lives. The crazy thing is, left unchecked, we don’t even see it coming! If there is strife in your life and problems that continually surface, it’s time to get God’s Holy flashlight to reveal what you cannot see.
Friends, if we truly want to be free of our old wayward deeds, we must shine bright on the destructive behaviors and mindsets that we hold. We don’t have to do this on our own. In fact, God is a wonderful advocate and light! Of course, the only way that we can hear from Him is if we ask. Don’t be afraid to light up your weakness, because Christ is mightier than our greatest afflictions.
Are you struggling in the dark?
Enjoy the reading
1 During the third year of King Belshazzar’s reign, I, Daniel, saw another vision, following the one that had already appeared to me. 2 In this vision I was at the fortress of Susa, in the province of Elam, standing beside the Ulai River. 3 As I looked up, I saw a ram with two long horns standing beside the river. One of the horns was longer than the other, even though it had grown later than the other one. 4 The ram butted everything out of his way to the west, to the north, and to the south, and no one could stand against him or help his victims. He did as he pleased and became very great. 5 While I was watching, suddenly a male goat appeared from the west, crossing the land so swiftly that he didn’t even touch the ground. This goat, which had one very large horn between its eyes, 6 headed toward the two-horned ram that I had seen standing beside the river, rushing at him in a rage. 7 The goat charged furiously at the ram and struck him, breaking off both his horns. Now the ram was helpless, and the goat knocked him down and trampled him. No one could rescue the ram from the goat’s power. 8 The goat became very powerful. But at the height of his power, his large horn was broken off. In the large horn’s place grew four prominent horns pointing in the four directions of the earth. 9 Then from one of the prominent horns came a small horn whose power grew very great. It extended toward the south and the east and toward the glorious land of Israel. 10 Its power reached to the heavens, where it attacked the heavenly army, throwing some of the heavenly beings and some of the stars to the ground and trampling them. 11 It even challenged the Commander of heaven’s army by canceling the daily sacrifices offered to him and by destroying his Temple. 12 The army of heaven was restrained from responding to this rebellion. So the daily sacrifice was halted, and truth was overthrown. The horn succeeded in everything it did. 13 Then I heard two holy ones talking to each other. One of them asked, “How long will the events of this vision last? How long will the rebellion that causes desecration stop the daily sacrifices? How long will the Temple and heaven’s army be trampled on?” 14 The other replied, “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the Temple will be made right again.” 15 As I, Daniel, was trying to understand the meaning of this vision, someone who looked like a man stood in front of me. 16 And I heard a human voice calling out from the Ulai River, “Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of his vision.” 17 As Gabriel approached the place where I was standing, I became so terrified that I fell with my face to the ground. “Son of man,” he said, “you must understand that the events you have seen in your vision relate to the time of the end.” 18 While he was speaking, I fainted and lay there with my face to the ground. But Gabriel roused me with a touch and helped me to my feet. 19 Then he said, “I am here to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath. What you have seen pertains to the very end of time. 20 The two-horned ram represents the kings of Media and Persia. 21 The shaggy male goat represents the king of Greece, and the large horn between his eyes represents the first king of the Greek Empire. 22 The four prominent horns that replaced the one large horn show that the Greek Empire will break into four kingdoms, but none as great as the first. 23 “At the end of their rule, when their sin is at its height, a fierce king, a master of intrigue, will rise to power. 24 He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause a shocking amount of destruction and succeed in everything he does. He will destroy powerful leaders and devastate the holy people. 25 He will be a master of deception and will become arrogant; he will destroy many without warning. He will even take on the Prince of princes in battle, but he will be broken, though not by human power. 26 “This vision about the 2,300 evenings and mornings is true. But none of these things will happen for a long time, so keep this vision a secret.” 27 Then I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for several days. Afterward I got up and performed my duties for the king, but I was greatly troubled by the vision and could not understand it.