Saturday, March 13, 2010
Have you ever had an experience where the Lord overwhelms you so much that you must cry for joy? Where His beauty becomes so evident that you are left in awe? I think our eyes our so often shielded from the reality and the magnitude of who the LORD really is. I write this now with joyful tears in my eyes and must share with you, because I cannot contain my joy. You must know it too.
Sometimes I practice a form of meditation that Luther wrote about. It involves taking a passage of scripture that you are familiar with and thinking through ACTS. Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. You take each word in the passage and think through it with ACTS. How can I adore the Lord because of _____? What can I confess because of ________? How can I be thankful because of ______? What can I ask the Lord for in light of these things? How does this all tie into the gospel? All this is done in context with what the passage means. This morning I did it with Joshua 1:5-9. Here is the context:
Moses has just died, and Joshua is left in charge of the people. Joshua is afraid because he is now in charge, and because he has to lead the people into the Promised Land. He is afraid of the enemies he will have to fight, and if he is capable of leading successfully. This is part of what the Lord says to him,
"As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave to you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful."
There are two commands. Be strong and courageous, and obey the law. The second command is a stronger exhortation than the first. Which is interesting, the Lord is saying it is more imperative to obey His commands. You should put more emphasis on this than on the future enemies that you will be fighting. It's almost as if He is saying, they aren't the big deal guys. I can take them out, but you must concern yourself with obeying, because disobeying will put you in worse shape than your enemies ever could. That is just crazy to think about. Disobeying the Lord can put us in worse shape than a whole army of enemies.
Then as I meditated on it further, and asked how this ties into the gospel I saw that we cannot always obey the law. I saw that Jesus is the fulfillment of this passage. He was strong and courageous, He did not let the fear of the cross or His enemies rule His life. He completely obeyed the law never straying to the left or the right. He meditated on it day and night. He was the completion of the law. The perfect sacrifice, the High priest, and He was successful in defeating death and sin. Since He defeated death and sin, we have the Holy Spirit with us; we can commune with God without sacrifice or High priests. Therefore, He will never leave us or forsake us. In light of this, we can be strong because of His strength, and we can be courageous because of His courage. We are a set apart people, pain and hardship will come upon us, but we do not need to live in fear of it, because this is not the end. This is not what we live towards. Be strong and courageous. Isn't that beautiful? Now we can be the bearers of glory and of His image on this Earth as a result.
There were others things revealed to me in this time, but this is all I will share today. Thanks for letting me share with you, and I hope that the joy of the Lord is overflowing in your lives today.