Judges 6:10 Results Of Not Listening

Half Dome

“I said to you, ‘I am the LORD your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me.” Judges 6:10 

There are times that people go through tough situations in their lives. Sometimes these tough situations are because God is allowing the enemy to test them, to determine where their heart really is. Other times the tough situation is a result of bad choices made, refusing to listen to God’s Holy Spirit guiding and directing them.

The nation of Israel had times that they would be overrun by the enemy. They would cry out to God for some help. At one point God had sent a prophet to them to tell them that He had given them a command not to worship the false gods, yet they chose to worship the false gods. They had chosen to not listen to God and the result of an enemy take over had occurred.

God does not want the enemy to take over His people, in reality He wants the enemy defeated. However, when His people are not listening to Him and doing what He says, He allows the enemy to take over.

The purpose of the enemy taking over is to get the attention of His people back on Him.

God is not out to destroy people, but to build them up and give them life. Yet, if they choose not to listen to Him and follow Him, He will do what it takes to get their attention.

As people go through tough times, most people will call out to God for help. This is one of God’s ways to get their attention and focus back on Him. Every believer needs to stay focused on God and listen to Him as they follow Him.

God is not against you, but is for you. He does not want to destroy you, but He needs to you listen to Him and obey Him. He loves you enough that He will do whatever it takes to keep you focused on Him. This may mean going through some tough times.

If you are going through a tough time, turn your entire focus onto God and not the tough time. Allow God to guide you through the situation.

Even when following God, times may be tough, but He will always give you strength to make it through. Don’t turn away from God, but listen to Him.

I pray today that you will know God’s directions; that you will listen to God; that you will obey God; that you will keep your focus on God; and that you will see God’s work in your life. 

 

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Judges 2:19 Following In Action, Not In Heart

People walking

But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshipping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways. Judges 2:19 

It is very common for people to follow the rules when the boss or some authority is around. They feel the eyes of the authority on them and choose to follow all of the rules. This is often done, because they do not want to be punished for doing wrong.

Others will also jump on the band wagon of following the rules of the leader when everyone else is doing it. It is the thing to do, not necessarily what they really want to do.

However, most of those same people will change their ways as soon as the authority is out of sight. They will go back to the old ways of wrong ways of doing things.

God had began to raise up judges or leaders to lead the people. While the judge was living and things were going good, they would follow and obey God. As soon as the judge died, the people went back to their corrupt ways, even worse than before, worshipping and following false gods. Following God was not really the center of their heart.

People have not changed. Children in Christian homes often follow God while at home, but often fall away when they leave home. They follow God when under the eyes of their parents, but God is not a part of their heart.

Adults do the same. On Sunday many people follow God and serve Him, when under the eyes of other believers or the pastor. On Monday, they return to their old ways of sin, because the pastor cannot see them anymore. God is not really a part of their heart.

As a believer, God has to be a part of your heart’s desire. He needs to be the One you want more than anything, at any time, and for any cost.

When God is this much a part of your heart, you will not purposefully return to sinful ways. You will be seeking His Holy Spirit to strengthen and guide you to live for Him. You will make mistakes, but you will quickly return because of His great love and mercy.

Ask yourself today who or what is really your heart’s desire.

Is it God?

Or the things of this world?

I pray today that you will personally know God; that you will desire God with all of your heart; that you will follow God with all of your heart; and that God will strengthen and guide you in His ways.

Judges 1:1 Seeking God’s Directions

Split path

After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the LORD, “Who of us is to go up first to fight against the Canaanites?” Judges 1:1 

Every day billions of decisions are made by people all over the world. Some of the decisions are very major ones that can decide the outcome of the individual or even of nations, while the majority are minor ones, affecting only a few people.

With every decision there are at least two different choices to make, to do or not do something. After that, the possibility of choices is endless. The results of a choice can also be a simple effect or a major affect.

How people make the choice is different for each person? Some will actually toss a coin to make the decision. Others will seek advice from other people, read books or articles on it, or just wild guess the decision to be made.

Moses had been the one who started making choices for the Israelites, then it was Joshua. Now that both were gone, the Israelites had to make the choice themselves. The very first thing that they did was to ask God about the choices. The chose to let God make the choice Himself and then follow through with His decision.

Just as everyone else in the world has to make decisions, so does every believer. Individual all the way up to corporate level choices need to be made on a daily basis.

Unlike the world, however, the believer has One who can hep make the perfect choice every time. Every believer can be filled with God’s Holy Spirit to guide them and every believer can ask God for direction. There is no decision or choice to be made that is too big or too small to ask God about.

You may have some choices to be made in the near days to come. Think about how you make your choice. Is it on your own or in the ways of the world? Or are you seeking God to guide your choice?

God knows what is the best choice to be made. Take the time to stop and seek His answer. It may be a choice that the world would also make, or it could be something very different. God sees and knows the big picture, so He also knows the best way to do things.

Take time today to ask God for direction. He is generous and will give it.

I pray today that you will seek God’s directions; that you will trust God’s directions for your life; that you will follow God’s directions in your life; and that God will reveal His great grace and favor in your life. 

Joshua 9:14 Not Asking For God’s Advice

False water faucet

The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the LORD. Joshua 9:14 

Deception can happen very easily if one is not careful. The world loves to deceive people into thinking things that are not true. Every day people are deceived into thinking that someone else has something good for them, that they need it, but what they get is false and not really what was proclaimed.

Phone calls are made daily to people proclaiming to be someone important and that the person called needs to quickly make a payment or there will be major problems. Many of these phone calls are false people seeking banking information to steal some money.

As the Israelites were traveling in the new land, some people came up to them claiming to be from a country far away and wanted to make a treaty with them. God had already told the Israelites to not make a treaty with anyone. The Israelites looked into the story of these people on their own and believed them. They did not seek God’s advice on the situation and made a treaty with the people.

Shortly after, they found out the people were Gibeonites from a nearby city. It was too late and they were unable to break their treaty with the people, they had been deceived and had disobeyed God.

It is common for believers to be deceived into believing someone without checking with God. They look at some new doctrine and it looks and sounds good on the surface, but underneath is a lie and not of God. Instead of seeking God’s direction, they choose to follow this new doctrine and are deceived into sin.

God always knows the true story of a situation or people. He cannot be deceived as people can be.

There will be times when you will be faced with a choice to make that is for a new path in life. Instead of just following your own thoughts, take time to seek God about the choice to be made. God knows the best path for you to take.

With God’s Holy Spirit and guidance, He can open your eyes to the false deception of this world. The world is led by Satan, the master deceiver. He has been practicing deception for thousands of years. Do not allow yourself to be deceived into lies and sin.

Seek God first and follow His ways in this world.

I pray today that God will show you the truth in life; that you will know God’s ways; that you will seek God for every decision to be made; and that God will keep you from being deceived by this world.

Joshua 7:12 Consequences Of Sin

Camouflaged man

That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction. Joshua 7:12

Consequences to actions is one thing that many people do not think about or do not like to think about. People want to be able to do what they want to do, without any repercussion.

Often, people think that what they are doing will have no consequence, it is just a small little thing in light of much greater things. No one will notice or really care about it. Yet, every action, thought, or word has some type of consequence.

As the Israelites were going through, conquering new cities on a regular basis with no real challenge, they suddenly were beaten badly by a small city of Ai. Joshua went before God about it. He was told that there was sin in the camp of the Israelites. Someone had stolen something and hidden it. Because of that stolen item, God was not supporting the Israelites anymore. They had to clean up the camp from all sin.

Out of all the things that were destroyed in the taking of Ai, one man, Achan, had stolen a robe and some bold and silver. This little bit of theft–sin–caused God to take His had of favor and provision off of the Israelites.

Sin in a believer’s life will cause God’s favor to pull back. God does not want sin in the life of any believer. It is common for people to try to hide ‘little’ sins. People may never see the sin, but God does. Things begin to go wrong and fall apart, and the person wants to know why.

Today all a believer must do is repent, turn away from the sin and turn back to God. Jesus has already paid the price for that sin.

Do not allow any ‘small’ sins be hidden. God already sees them and knows about them.

There will be times when you will sin. Strive to keep from sinning, but if you do, immediately turn back to God and repent. God is waiting there for you to restore you. He does not want to destroy you, but to build you up. That is why God sent Jesus to pay for your sins.

Do not let sin destroy you. But let God restore you.

I pray today that you will turn to Jesus for everything; that God will help you turn from all sin; that God will build you up in Jesus; and that you will know God’s forgiveness and love. 

 

Joshua 3:14-15a Step Out In Faith

Flooded river

Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. Joshua 3:14-15a

Doing something new or different can be very scary for most people. In reality, the majority of people in this world have many opportunities to do things, but do not because of fear. They fear failure. They fear the dangers involved. They fear it will not work for them. They are told it cannot work. The number of reasons they fear is nearly infinite.

There are some people who overcome that fear and step out and end up doing great things. These few find that the majority of things that people fear, do not always happen. It takes stepping out to overcome.

God had told the Israelites that He was giving them the land of Canaan for their inheritance. That land was on the other side of the Jordan river from where they had come from in Egypt. They had to cross the river, but they had a problem. At this time, the river was at flood stage.

Most people know that at flood stage on a river, one does not go into that river, especially on foot. Yet, God told the priests to step out into the river in faith. As soon as they stepped out in faith in God, the river stopped flowing and the ground dried up. They were able to cross that river.

God did not dry up the river, until the feet of the priests had stepped out into that river. It was after they stepped.

They had to believe God’s word and take that step before God would do the miracle.

There will be times God will call you to do something different. It goes against all the norms of this life. It goes against the ways of this world. The world, and even many in the church, will say it can’t be done, it is dangerous, don’t do it. Yet, you must obey God’s word and trust Him.

As you step out, God can stop the raging waters and dry up the ground before you. Remember that God is always with you and will never leave you. If He called you to step out into the raging river, there is a reason for it, and He will provide the way.

Be willing to step out today in faith to see what God has for you.

I pray today that you will hear where God is leading you; that God will remove the fear of the raging waters before you; that God will give you strength to step out in faith; and that your faith in God will be raised higher.

Joshua 2:8-9 The World Will Be Afraid

Afraid

Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof and said to them, “I know that the LORD has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you.” Joshua 2:8-9

Joshua had sent some men into Jericho to spy out the city in order to take it over. They stayed with Rahab, a prostitute, who protects them. She tells them that everyone in the city has heard of the Israelites and that God is with them. Everyone was living in fear of the Israelites.

The people had reason to fear the Israelites. Word had been brought to them of the various battles that they had been in and won. Defeating Egypt and several other large nations and kings, they were a force to be reckoned with and feared.

In today’s society, Christians are also feared as the Israelites were. The world does not always understand or give the same reason, but they fear believers. It is very common for believers to be accused of hate crimes, because they are taking a stand against sinful acts that the world wants everyone to accept.

Judgments are brought against individual believers or churches, because they refuse to accept or participate in a sinful act.

These actions by the world, though seen as persecution (and it is), is also done out of fear. They fear that Christians will cause them to change their ways and beliefs, that they will no longer be able to live as they want to live. It is a threat against their lifestyle.

The world feared Jesus also, even though He never did anything harmful. Jesus just lived for God and did what God told Him to do.

When you are fully living for God, the world will begin to fear you. As they fear you, there will be some who fight back and bring on persecution. Others will try to bring judgments against you.

Do not be afraid of the world, but stand strong and true to God’s word. God is with you and will not leave you. God, who is in you, is stronger than the world. The world does have a reason to fear, God will change their lifestyle.

Be willing to be a witness of Jesus to this world. Be willing to change this world for God.

Does the world fear you? Or are you on their side?

I pray today that you will live your life for God; that you will be a witness to this world; that the world will see Jesus in you; and that God will remove fear of this world from you.