Joshua Fit’, How About You??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 19 No. 01

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 19 No. 01   Joshua Fit’, How About You???

There’s an old Gospel song, “Joshua Fit’de Battle”, one of my favorites (an old Negro Spiritual of unknown authorship—yet a song of heartfelt trust in ONE who IS in charge, no matter what the circumstances look like) and while it’s usually a fun song, it has a great word of encouragement for me today, and I hope I can share that encouragement with you.

Joshua fought a battle that was out of the ordinary, as the new leader of the people of Israel, who had wandered for 40 years for their disobedience to God, and their lack of faith in HIS promises, Joshua had a great task ahead.  Yet, God gave Him what seemed like some most bizarre instructions.

Now Jericho was straitly shut up

because of the children of Israel:

none went out,

and none came in.

2 And the LORD said unto Joshua,

See, I have given into thine hand Jericho,

and the king thereof,

and the mighty men of valour.

3 And ye shall compass the city,

all ye men of war,

and go round about the city once.

Thus shalt thou do six days.

4 And seven priests shall bear before the ark

seven trumpets of rams’ horns:

and the seventh day

ye shall compass the city seven times,

and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.

5 And it shall come to pass,

that when they make a long blast

with the ram’s horn,

and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet,

all the people shall shout

with a great shout;

and the wall of the city shall fall down flat,

and the people shall ascend up

every man straight before him.”  Joshua 6:1-5

While these instructions were strange, they were specific and designed to encourage Joshua and the people he was trying to lead.  While I won’t focus much on the battle, I do want to spend some time today examining how we face not only the battles before us, but also the directions that God gives us.

I know how difficult it can be to trust God and obey in the midst of out-of-control circumstances.  I remember when my daughter was murdered some 2½ years ago, it was on a Thursday and I usually try to write and post on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and I told my husband, “I don’t think I can write and/or post tomorrow!”  And he wisely and simply told me to do what was right for me.  Well, during the night God would awaken me with a scripture and I’d put a note on my phone, and roll over and go back to sleep, then He’d do it again, multiple times during the night, and I knew what HE wanted me to do.  Yet, when I got up on that Friday morning, I told The Lord, “I can’t do this today!”, and God spoke to my heart, as clearly as if I had heard an audible voice, “YOU have hope, others do NOT! They need to know about your hope!”  And with that, I went into my den and wrote the things that He had given me in the night; while I always try to be listening to what God would have me say/write, I can guarantee you that the message that came together that morning was straight from my Father, sending His Balm of Gilead to my soul, and to all who would receive it.

My battle was much different from Joshua’s, but the decision to trust and obey was the same.  How about you?  What battle are you facing, are you trying to ‘Fit ‘de Battle’ alone, or your own way, instead of God’s.  It’s your choice, but God is still God—and you can trust to HIS care, or not.

Seeing then that we have a great high priest,

that is passed into the heavens,

Jesus the Son of God,

let us hold fast our profession.

15 For we have not an high priest

which cannot be touched with the feeling

of our infirmities;

but was in all points tempted like as we are,

yet without sin.   

16 Let us therefore come boldly

unto the throne of grace,

that we may obtain mercy,

and find grace to help

in time of need.”  Hebrews 4:14-16

No matter your battle, no matter your circumstances, no matter your frustrations, fear, grief or sorrow—we have a “throne of grace” to which we can run, boldly run (not in arrogance or presumption, but in bold confidence in HIM who sits on that throne—God The Father, and Jesus Christ The Son of God who has boldly paid the price for our sin, and given us access into that throne room!) into the arms of the ONE who gave HIS life that we could have not only “life”, but “abundant lifeIN HIM!

We can stand in Jesus, with complete confidence, just as Joshua did even at the end of his life—still knowing that God was all he needed, and that he would serve HIM boldly and faithfully—and he called all the people to recognize that it was their choice as to whom they would trust and serve.

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD,

choose you this day

whom ye will serve;

whether the gods which your fathers served

that were on the other side of the flood,

or the gods of the Amorites,

in whose land ye dwell:

but as for me and my house,

we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

Joshua didn’t force the people to choose God, and I can’t force anyone to believe in Jesus, but without HIM no person will enter heaven’s gates—we must be “born again”!  Jesus’ own words say it best.  Won’t you come to the One who died for YOU?

Jesus answered and said unto him,

Verily, verily, I say unto thee,

Except a man be born again,

he cannot see the kingdom of God.

4 Nicodemus saith unto him,

How can a man be born when he is old?

can he enter the second time

into his mother’s womb,

and be born?

5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily,

I say unto thee, Except a man be born

of water

and of the Spirit,

he cannot enter

into the kingdom of God.

6 That which is born of the flesh

is flesh;

and that which is born of the Spirit

is spirit.

7 Marvel not that I said unto thee,

Ye must be born again.”  John 3:3-7

And when you belong to Jesus, you always have someone who can fight your battles, and lift you up when you are down!

And he said, Hearken ye,

all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem,

and thou king Jehoshaphat,

Thus saith the LORD unto you,

Be not afraid nor dismayed

by reason of this great multitude.

for the battle is not yours,

but God’s.”  2 Chronicles 20:15

I’ll share Jesus in the valley—I’ll share HIM on the mountain top—I’ll share HIM, by God’s grace and faithful provision, in all I do and say.  Jesus wants to care for YOU!  Won’t you repent of your sin and receive the substitutionary, atoning sacrifice that JESUS made for YOU.  Then you can have what I have, and all who are HIS!  Your “fighting” days can be over!

Humble yourselves therefore

under the mighty hand of God,

that he may exalt you

in due time:

7 Casting all your care upon him;

for he careth for you.”  1 Peter 5:7

It’s your choice but choose wisely—there is a test!!!  Don’t fall for the lies of the enemy of your soul.  (Satan is a thief and a liar!). Even if your heart is breaking—remember, Jesus IS the heart healer!  Believe me, HE heals mine every day!

The thief cometh not,

but for to steal,

and to kill,

and to destroy:

I am come

that they might have life,

and that they might have it      

more abundantly.”  John 10:10

Amen and Amen!!!

Set A Guard??? A Word From THE WORD!!! #9 Bible Ballistics

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Set A Guard???  A Word from THE WORD!!! #9                                                      Bible Ballistics

Just a reminder that we must pay attention!  What sometimes looks good, often isn’t!!!

Set a watch, O LORD,

before my mouth;

keep the door of my lips.

4 Incline not my heart

to any evil thing,

to practise wicked works

with men that work iniquity:

 and let me not eat

of their dainties.”  Psalm 141:3-4

That the heart and mind of Christ may be seen in, by and through us in all we are and all we do!

Let this mind be in you,

which was also in Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in the form of God,

thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

7 But made himself of no reputation,

and took upon him the form of a servant,

and was made in the likeness of men:

8 And being found in fashion as a man,

he humbled himself,

and became obedient unto death,

even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:5-8

By keeping our focus on JESUS, HIS WORD, and HIS Spirit!

Looking unto Jesus

the author

and finisher

of our faith;

who for the joy that was set before him

endured the cross,

despising the shame,

and is set down at the right hand

of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:2

As the old song says, “Jesus Paid It All” (Written by Elvina M. Hall), and HE is our focus, our truth, and our unifying banner—all culminating at The Cross!

Now the God of patience and consolation

grant you to be likeminded

one toward another

 according to Christ Jesus:

6 That ye may      

with one mind

and one mouth

glorify God,

even the Father

of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:5-6

Blessings on each day before us!

Amen and Amen!!!

God Knows YOU??? A Word from THE WORD!!! #8 Bible Ballistics

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God Knows YOU???  A Word from THE WORD!!! #8                                                   Bible Ballistics

Just a brief word this morning that I hope will remind us that God IS just that—GOD Almighty, the sender of HIS “Only Begotten Son” to restore us to relationship and fellowship with Him!  Only One Way—Jesus.  You are either HIS or NOT HIS!  ‘Nuff said!

This then is the message

which we have heard of him,

and declare unto you,

that God is light,

and in him is no darkness at all.

6 If we say that we have fellowship with him,

and walk in darkness,

we lie,

and do not the truth:

7 But if we walk in the light,

as he is in the light,

we have fellowship one with another,

and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son

cleanseth us

from all sin.”  1 John 1:5-7

And Paul’s clear truth of God’s knowledge of HIS own:

Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure,

having this seal,

The Lord knoweth them that are his.

And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ

depart from iniquity.”  2 Timothy 2:19

Also, Jesus’ own declaration of truth about our life reflecting the truth of whose we are—whether we have chosen the “narrow road” or the “broad way”—the consequence for each has been set by The God Who KNOWS! (See Matthew 7:13-28)

Wherefore by their fruits

ye shall know them.

21 Not every one that saith unto me,

Lord, Lord,

shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;

but he that doeth the will of my Father

which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day,

Lord, Lord,

have we not prophesied in thy name?

and in thy name have cast out devils?

and in thy name done many

wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them,

I never knew you:

depart from me,

 ye that work iniquity.”  Matthew 7:20-23

The choice is yours but choose wisely there is a test!  And the “examiner” is on HIS way!  I pray that you will call upon HIM while you have opportunity!

Behold, I stand at the door,

and knock:

if any man hear my voice,

and open the door,

I will come in to him,

and will sup with him,

and he with me.”  Revelation 3:20

Amen and Amen!!!

What Is Living, To Me??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 18 No. 26

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 18 No. 26   What Is Living, To Me???

According to my earnest expectation

and my hope,

that in nothing I shall be ashamed,

but that with all boldness, as always,

so now also Christ shall be magnified

in my body,

whether it be by life,

or by death.

21 For to me

to live is Christ,

and to die is gain.”  Philippians 1:21

We are called to live by faith, knowing that our faith is in Jesus, not in our own abilities.  It is so easy to build ourselves up in our own minds, forgetting that it is Jesus who is “my strength, and my Redeemer”, not myself, my works, or my “self” esteem! (As the Psalmist calls it, “presumptuous sins”!). Rather it is my confidence in my Lord Jesus, and our Father God Almighty, and the work of HIS Holy Spirit at work in me.  To God be the glory—not me!

Keep back thy servant also

from presumptuous sins;

let them not have dominion over me:

then shall I be upright,

and I shall be innocent

from the great transgression.

14 Let the words of my mouth,

and the meditation of my heart,

be acceptable in thy sight,

O LORD,

my strength,

and my redeemer.”  Psalm 19:13-14

While we live in a presumptuous world, we must keep our hearts and minds humbled before God, it is the only way to live.

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord,

and he shall lift you up.”  James 4:10

Likewise, ye younger,

submit yourselves unto the elder.

Yea, all of you

be subject one to another,

and be clothed with humility:

for God resisteth the proud,

and giveth grace to the humble.

6 Humble yourselves therefore

under the mighty hand of God,

that he may exalt you

in due time:

7 Casting all your care

upon him;

for he careth for you.”  1 Peter 5:5-7

As God reminds us in the letter to the Hebrews:

Seeing then that we have a great high priest,

that is passed into the heavens,

Jesus the Son of God,

let us hold fast our profession.

15 For we have not an high priest

which cannot be touched

with the feeling of our infirmities;

but was in all points tempted like as we are,

yet without sin.

16 Let us therefore come boldly

unto the throne of grace,

that we may obtain mercy,

and find grace to help

in time of need.”  Hebrews 4:14-16

And while this article is a bit brief (for me), it leads us to the truth of how we can live in the power of Jesus; one passage from Jesus Himself, and the other a commentary, if you would, from the Apostle Paul, which gives me great encouragement, and I pray that it will lift you up today as well.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples,

If any man will come after me,

let him deny himself,

and take up his cross, and follow me.

25 For whosoever will save his life

shall lose it:

and whosoever will lose his life for my sake

shall find it.

26 For what is a man profited,

if he shall gain the whole world,

and lose his own soul?

or what shall a man give

in exchange for his soul?”  Matthew 16:24-26

And Paul’s message that answers our question and tells us how to “live” IN Jesus!

I am crucified with Christ:

nevertheless I live;

yet not I,

but Christ liveth in me:

and the life which I now live

in the flesh

I live by the faith of the Son of God,

who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Gal. 2:20

Who’s influencing your life? Jesus or the world?  It’s your choice, but choose wisely, there is a test:

And, behold, I come quickly;

and my reward is with me,

to give every man

according as his work shall be.”  Rev. 22:12

Amen and Amen!!!

Don’t Be Deceived??? A Word from THE WORD!!! Bible Ballistics

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A Word from THE WORD!!! #7   Don’t Be Deceived???   Bible Ballistics

 

On the surface that seems like a simple instruction, and Jesus Himself warned us to be aware that deception and the deceiver are all about us, and without the direction, wisdom, and power of The Word of God we can fall prey to the deceiver’s lies.

Why do ye not understand my speech?

even because ye cannot hear my word.

44 Ye are of your father the devil,

and the lusts of your father ye will do.

He was a murderer from the beginning,

and abode not in the truth,

because there is no truth in him.

When he speaketh a lie,

he speaketh of his own:

for he is a liar,

and the father of it.”  John 8:43-44

Whose child are you?  A simple yet hard question, but one with eternal consequence.  Just remember that when we belong to Jesus we are to heed and pursue HIS ways not our own, or the lies of the enemy, and my friend they are everywhere around us-especially on social media.  Pay attention, please, it can affect not only you but those who are under your influence, those who are following you!

And Jesus answered and said unto them,

Take heed that no man deceive you.” Matthew 24:4

Just because it seems ‘cutesy’ or nice, be sure what you share is biblically sound, and check out where it came from; you might be surprised at the source of some of the things you are posting!  We are to share Jesus and HIS Word, not just cute things that are often half-truths that mislead and cause disillusionment when the “promised blessing” doesn’t come as they read.

There is a way

which seemeth right unto a man,

but the end thereof

are the ways of death.”  Proverbs 14:12

Jesus also warned about the difference between the two ways that confront us, and we must choose wisely; and to do that we must be in HIS WORD!  May we all grow and share truth as we have opportunity!

Enter ye in at the strait gate:

for wide is the gate,

and broad is the way,

that leadeth to destruction,

and many there be which go in thereat:

14 Because strait is the gate,

and narrow is the way,

which leadeth unto life,

and few there be that find it.

15 Beware of false prophets,

which come to you in sheep’s clothing,

but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”  Matthew 7:13-15

May your journey be blessed as you press forward on that “narrow…way”; and I pray that you have entered through that “strait gate”—JESUS!  He is waiting for you!  Don’t miss heaven because of the lies!  Jesus IS the only “way…truth….and… life

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:

if any man hear my voice,

and open the door,

I will come in to him,

and will sup with him,

and he with me.”  Revelation 3:20

Amen and Amen!!!