Judges 4:8-9 Not Going As Told

Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.” “Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the LORD will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” Judges 4:8-9

Sisera had brought his army up to take over the Israelites. It was a very large army and Barak, who was the leader of Israel at the time, was afraid. The prophet, Deborah, told him that he was to go up against Sisera and God would be with him and deliver Israel from Sisera. Barak refused to go without Deborah going along. Since he acted this way, Deborah did go, but he would not receive the honor for winning the battle.

There are times in life when a person needs others around in order to receive needed strength to get something done. However, there are times when God may tell a person to do something alone, on his own.

Doing something new or different that is dangerous can be scary for a person. Stepping out into a new ministry or different course in life can be nerve-wracking and most people will run from it. Others will go forward with it, if someone with more experience goes with them.

When God has called you to step out and do something, you must step out alone just as God has asked you to do, and do it. Do not fear the what may or may not happen. You must trust God to guide your steps and give you the favor to accomplish what He has called you to do.

Even though Barak did go, he did not receive the honor for doing the battle, because he chose to not do it alone as he was told to do.

God honors those who honor Him. In order to honor God, you must do exactly as God tells you to do. Do not rely on others. Rely on God and God alone. If He calls you to do something, He will be with you in it and give you His favor. Trust Him today.

I pray today that you will trust God’s calling for your life; that you will know what God wants you to do; that you will lean on God and not on others for strength; and that God will do great things through you.

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Joshua 10:25 Your Enemies Will Be Defeated

Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the LORD will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.” Joshua 10:25

Five Amorite kings got together to fight the Gibeonites because they made a treaty with the Israelites. Joshua took his army to help the Gibeonites fight the Amorites. In the end he captures the five kings and has them killed. He then tells the people to not be afraid or discouraged because this is what God will do to all of their enemies they have to fight.

At the time of this event, Israel was working at taking over the land of Canaan. They had many physical enemies and had to physically fight every one of them. Although today countries will have physical enemies to fight at times, individual people usually do not have physical people to physically fight. However, individuals do have enemies to fight.

Many believers like to believe that they will not have to do any fighting at all. They are peaceful and want to just talk it out. This is acceptable for when dealing with a physical person that is being an enemy.

However, the largest enemies you will ever face are ones that are not physical. Paul said our battles are not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual rulers in this dark world and heavenly places.

Your major battles are against spiritual darkness. This is the temptation to sin, the spirit against God in the workplace or home or community, and the spirits of false teaching.

These battles will be hard and sometimes long, but must be fought against. The devil will not agree to just discuss the situation and he will back down. He wants you to compromise your stand with God…to agree with him.

You must stand your ground against the devil and his lies and fight him. Do not allow the devil to get a foothold in your life.

You must be strong and courageous in this battle. It is not just a battle for some land that is temporary, but for your life, which is eternal.

Do not be afraid to fight and see what God can and will do to your enemies. If you resist the devil, he will flee. God will beat him back down.

I pray today that you will be willing to fight the enemy; that you will trust God to defeat your enemies; that you will have courage; that you will have God’s strength; and that God will defeat your enemies.

Joshua 7:1 Secret Sins Can Affect Others

But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the LORD’s anger burned against Israel. Joshua 7:1

As the Israelites were taking over various cities in the land of Canaan, they were to destroy everything in the city. God told them not to keep any of the gold, silver, animals or anything else. Achan had chosen to keep some of the gold in a city. God was angry against the people for that disobedience and caused the Israelites to lose the next battle against a city.

People often think that their sin is their own private affair, that it does not affect anyone else in any way. Personal actions or thoughts are thought to be only affecting the one doing them, and no one else.

Every action that you do will have some type of affect on others around you. This can be true even when that action is done in private and all alone.

When you do some type of sin against God, even in private, God will pull His hand of favor from you. When you lose favor with God, others will also feel the results, though most will not know the why of the results.

Think about it: if you fail to put fuel in your car, then you will run out of gas on the way to work. Because you are late to work, there are fellow workers who have to pick up the workload. You also lose hours at work, which means a lower paycheck. A lower paycheck causes less money needed to care for your family. In the end both your family and co-workers pay a price because you did not put fuel in your car.

In the same way, when you sin against God and He pulls His hand of favor from you, others will suffer also.

How are you living your life for God, especially when alone?

God sees everything. Are you being faithful to Him?

Do not allow God to have a reason to be angry with you. Live for Him all the time in His will and ways.

I pray today that you will obey God all the time; that you will live for God in your private thoughts and actions; that you will live with God’s favor on your life; and that you will be His witness to this world.

Deuteronomy 33:12 Resting Secure

About Benjamin he said: “Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.” Deuteronomy 33:12

Benjamin was the youngest son of Jacob, who became Israel. As he was born, his mother had died. He did not have the opportunity to know his mother’s love nor to be able to rest in her arms. The blessing that was given to Benjamin was that he was loved by God and could rest secure in God. The place that he was able to rest was between the shoulders of God.

Rest is something that many people desire, but cannot seem to find. The extremely busy pace of today’s society makes rest a rare thing. People are constantly running around doing many different things in a hurried rushed pace, never allowing them to slow down and rest.

Being secure is even a more rare feeling that many people desire. Look at the number of people who have multiple locks on their doors and alarms on their houses to be secure. Look at the number of people who must change jobs on a regular basis because of job cuts. Look at the number of investments that fail people.

People worry about physical and financial security on a regular basis.

As a believer in Jesus, you are loved by God. Since you are loved by Him, you can rest secure in knowing that He is in control and will take care of you. You will know that you are held in His arms at all times. While you are held in His arms, you can rest your head against His chest, between His shoulders.

At that place you can hear the heartbeat of God. You can know and feel the love He has for you. As a baby rests securely in his mother’s arms, you can also rest securely in God’s arms.

You can know the supernatural peace that God has given you in the midst of the trials of this world.

Where are you resting today?

Are you resting securely in God’s arms today?

I pray today that you will know the love God has for you; that you will rest securely in the arms of God; that you will know God is protecting you; and that God will give you the rest you need.

Deuteronomy 24:14 Don’t Take Advantage Of Others

Do not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether that worker is a fellow Israelite or a foreigner residing in one of your towns. Deuteronomy 24:14

Moses gives a rule about not taking advantage of a hired worker that is poor and needy. It did not matter who the person is or why they are poor, no one was to treat them any differently than the other workers that were hired.

Workplaces have been known to treat foreigners very poorly on the job. They are often given very low pay and extremely difficult work. During the 1930’s and 40’s in America, there were the sweat shops. Poor children and women could work there to make a little pay. Often the work was under dangerous conditions and the pay was extremely low.

Later, workplaces did the same things to black people. Today, it is still seen with immigrants from Mexico. There are businesses today that will pay the lowest wage possible, with no benefits, and even less the full-time work, in order to save money and get the job done. This is done to every person, regardless of their background.

The people are poor and are willing to do anything to make at least some money for a little food. The managers of the workplace give them the very lowest amount possible while giving them the hardest job possible.

As a believer, you should be focused on giving anyone who works for you the best possible. This does not end just in the workplace, but also at your house. When someone comes by to help fix something, provide generously for them.

Every person was a foreigner at one time. You had to start out at the bottom and work your way up in this life. Treat others as you would want to be treated.

God also loves a cheerful giver. Are you giving the wages to the worker that is due to that person cheerfully?

Pour out blessings on others so that God can pour out many blessings on you.

Ask yourself today if you are taking advantage of another person or not. Seek God on how to treat that person better.

I pray today that God will give you His love for others; that you will treat others as Jesus treated you; that you will not take advantage of others; and that you will bless others as God has blessed you.

Deuteronomy 23:23 Fulfill Your Promises

Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the LORD your God with your own mouth. Deuteronomy 23:23

Moses brings up a good point about vows or promises. He tells the people that no matter what they promised God, they must do it. They were not forced to make the promise, so there is no one else to blame for the promise.

Promises to God are easily made. This can be very true when a person is going through an extremely difficult time. Many people have been known during an accident or a major sickness to say to God, “if you get me out of this situation I will serve you…(fill in the blank)”. The end of that statement is often serving in full-time ministry, going to church, being a missionary, giving more money to the church, or some other sacrificial serving of God.

The sad part is that God, often, brings the person through the situation and the person forgets about the promise. They try to say that they made it while stressed and wasn’t thinking correctly. They excuse it away.

God does not allow it to be excused away. If you make a vow to God, it is you who made it, not someone else. No one forced you to make the promise, so you cannot blame someone else for it. God did not even force you to make that promise.

Since you made it, you must fulfill it.

Jesus had said to be careful, because ever idle word will be taken into account. Quick promises to God are examples of idle words. God does not take any of your words lightly or try to excuse them away.

If you make a promise and do not fulfill it, you are guilty of a sin. It is better to not make a promise, then to make one and not do it. This is true with promises to God as well as with promises to people.

What promises have you made to God?

Have you strived to fulfill them?

Or did you ignore your promises?

I pray today that God guide you in your words; that you will not make any quick promises; that God will strengthen you to fulfill every promise you made; and that you will watch the words you speak both to people and to God.

Deuteronomy 10:19 Love The Foreigners

And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. Deuteronomy 10:19

As Moses was telling the Israelites to love, serve and fear God, he adds in that they were to love the foreigners. They were to treat all the foreigners in their land with love and care because at one time they were also foreigners in Egypt.

Loving foreigners is a very large topic in the world today. Around the world there are millions of people who are refugees from one country living in another country as a foreigners.

Some people are willing to let those people live around them, while others fear them and want them to leave. Some people treat them with great respect, while others despise them and treat them unfairly. Many businesses will give them a job at the lowest pay possible, rather than at a fair wage.

As God was leading the Israelites into the land of Canaan, He told them to first remove all the foreign nations. After that, whoever was left was to be treated with love. This is to care for them and work to meet their needs. Jesus said that believers are to treat others as they want to be treated. True love does not look at the past or find reasons not to help out.

At one time you were a foreigner to God’s love and kingdom. You were, most likely, a foreigner to a new town, state or job. Every student goes through being a foreigner at one time or another in changing schools.

Think about how it felt as a “foreigner” in that new place. How did it feel? How did the others treat you? How did you want to be treated?

Ask God how you can love a “foreigner” today. It does not have to be just a person from another country, but a new neighbor, co-worker, or another new person in your life. Seek to love them as Jesus loved you and share with them what Jesus has done for you and for them.

I pray today that God will open your eyes to those who are foreigners around you; that God will fill you with His love for all people; that God will show you how to love others; and that many will be drawn to Jesus through your love for them.