Hey y’all! How’s everyone doing today? Good? That’s fantastic! Bad? I’m so sorry, I’m struggling too, you are not alone. Mediocre? That’s cool too, I hope something amazing happens to you today. So I hope you all are doing well, and I cannot wait to see how y’all respond to this post. For most everyone school is in full swing, and I just want to let y’all know that I am praying for y’all, and I love y’all all so so much. With this post today, it is going to be filled with a lot of observations I have noticed from my journaling of Judges, as well as some things I’ve felt God place on my heart to talk about. I love you all so so much, and I pray you all read. With that being said, let’s begin!
So I started journaling through Judges about a month ago, and I’m only in chapter two. (*sigh* I’ve become very accustomed to going at a slower pace with my journaling time, for I like it being Spirit-led and not very rigid, but also its funny to see how analytical I end up being with it. If you can’t learn to laugh at yourself, who can right?) With that being said, I am absolutely LIVING for it right now. In the first chapter of the book, it opens up with the Israelite people asking the Lord for guidance on who will drive the Canaanites out of the Promise Land.
So for those of you who don’t know or need a refresher, the Promise Land was the land that God had promised his people whilst they were freed from slavery in Exodus. In the first chapter it discusses how, “When Judah attacked, the Lord gave the Canaanites and Perizzites into their hands.” (Judges 1:4). It is so fascinating to me because all in the first chapter you can see God’s promises to his children– his treasured people– be fulfilled, and yet even though they have seen God move in powerful and mind-blowing ways, they still struggled to finish the mission despite all of the opposition they were facing.
You see, they were commanded to drive out completely all of the Canaanites from the Promise Land, they weren’t supposed to humiliate their kings, but rather just simply take back what God had promised to them. Sounds simple, right? And you know what? They failed.
Now, I know what you are thinking, for it is easy for us all to scoff and judge them for their failures, but I want us to turn inward before we mock them. Do you want to know why they failed?
- They grew weary. The Israelite people had been fighting for a long time, and they were physically, mentally, and emotionally tired. The commentary in my Bible states that “Though the goal was in sight, they lacked the discipline and energy to reach it.”
- They were afraid the enemy was too strong, the opposition too great, the challenge too large for them to complete. In Judges 1:19 it discusses how the Canaanites had chariots made of iron that seemed invincible to the Israelites. Their fear caused them to fail.
- There was an internal struggle for power among the tribal leaders.
- Spiritual decay had infected them from within. They thought they could handle the temptation of not driving them out, and they could become even more prosperous doing business with the Canaanites.
(Note: All of this commentary numbered above came directly from the commentary in my Bible. All credit goes to those who wrote it, not to me.)
So now that we have looked at why they failed, can we see how this applies to our own lives?
Have there ever been moments where you have been so overwhelmed with fear that you fail to do what you felt like God wanted you to do?
I’ve been there.
Have there ever been moments where you have been praying and fighting and hoping and rejoicing in the promises God has given you, but due to the lack of seeing any physical changes to the situation, you grow weary or you lose hope, you question whether or not His word is true or the situation you have been praying for is worth it, or all of the above?
I’ve been there. I am there. (I’m actually struggling with this as we speak.)
And finally, have there ever been moments where even though you know you shouldn’t let something slide, you tolerate the temptation a little longer than you should, and slowly…ever so slowly… you slip up and one day you realize you ended up in a place that you never were expected to be because you tolerated the temptation rather than drive it out like commanded?
I’ve been there.
Y’all. We are no different from they are. We struggle with the same things they do, even if it’s not the same physical landscape they have. Instead of chariots, we have doubt. Instead of waiting on the Lord to fulfill His promises that He wants to give His children, we want instant gratification. Luke Lezon, in a blog post he wrote, described something along the lines of it as we want a stove top meal in a microwaveable time frame. We all know stove top meals taste better; however, we want the instant gratification of the microwaveable meal.
And man let me tell you, this is hitting home for me. I have to be honest here. (For how could I ever encourage Y’all if I can’t even be honest with myself?) It sucks sometimes. I really am struggling with timing, patience, waiting on the Lord to act. I’ve seen Him work miracles recently, and yet I want to doubt and question with every minor hiccup that comes my way. I so desperately want to savor the stove top meal of a promise that God has told me is coming, but I want to microwave all of the ingredients instead of letting them simmer and the flavors meld together.
It is frustrating, but I challenge you. I challenge me, and I challenge anyone who is wanting to seek the amazing God we serve.
Wait on Him. When the doubts arise, actively choose to remember who He is, what He promises, and how He has intervened and moved in your life.
Cry out to Him. Let your hurts be known. He cares, He understands, and most of all, He wants to help you.
Read your Bible. Crack it open. Shake the dust off of it, and actually actively study it. Proverbs, Psalms, Luke, Matthew, Esther, Job, Acts, Judges, and others are just a few of the many books that show God’s faithfulness to those who love Him. Read it, pray over it, and know He will speak to you through it.
And finally, I want you to know your place. If you feel as if you have gone too far, or have done too much against him, you’ve wandered/strayed too far. Rest easy in this: if you think you have blown God’s plan for your life due to your own failures, know you are not that powerful.
The God we serve offers redemption, hope, prosperity, joy, laughter, etc. even in the darkest of times. The God we serve loves us unconditionally, and there is nothing we could do that could ever strip that away. Rest in that and know that He loves you.
And that, if we were to strip it down to that simple concept, is amazing. He loves us unconditionally, so much so that He sent His Son to die for you, for me, for the murderer behind bars, for the thief, and for all. Don’t think your plans and your life has been blown, for it may just be the beginning. Have faith, and don’t give up now.
I love you all so so much and I pray for y’all every single day. I know you all are busy, so thank you so much for taking time out of your day to read. I pray that God will bless you and use you in profound ways, and I pray that with whatever you are searching for, it will be found.
Have a great week and God Bless,