Wednesday, March 13, 2013

You gotta have friends

I can't stop thinking about what I read in Joshua a few weeks ago. I have long since passed it in my Bible Reading but it still lingers in my mind as a thought with which I am wrestling.  "And the men of Reuben, the men of Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh crossed over armed before the children of Israel..." Joshua 4:12.  Profound, or you think I am losing it? Why this sentence to make me awestruck with wonder?  These men already had their promised land. They had fought their battles and settled in their inheritance on the East side of the Jordan. They could have said that it wasn't their battle to fight, that they needed to stay home and start planting their own fields. They needed to make a life for themselves.  They could have just sent their blessings, their good will to their Israelite brothers as they crossed to conquer Canaan, but they didn't. They led the charge and stepped into the split waters of the Jordan.  They stayed in the fight.

Friends, this speaks to me because God will ask you to cross a Jordan for the sake of your brother or your sister. He will ask you to be present and involved in moving your friends into their own "promised land".  You may think you are too busy with your own world, your own house, your own problems, but God...  He invites you to fight a battle that doesn't look to immediately benefit you.  He may ask you to lay down your own dish towel to clean a friend's house. He may ask you to bring your hammer to your neighbor's house instead of fixing your own fence.  He may ask you to go to your knees in prayer for a sister's son who is headlong on his way as far from God as possible. He may ask.  God may just ask you to go to battle for another's promised land.  Say yes!  Love your friend enough to stop and pray, listen, lend a hand, bring a meal.  Love your friend enough to not just say you will pray, but really pray, fervently with the passion and orthodoxy of God's Spirit flowing through you.  Fight the battle.

What did it benefit these brave men who crossed the Jordan before the ark of God?  They were circumcised on the other side of the Jordan.  Yikes!  It was painful but it meant they were marked for God.  They were set apart as holy. If they had not crossed over they may have missed out on the sign of the  covenant of Abraham.  They were also there in the midst of Israel when the walls fell down around Jericho.  They saw the miracle!  They were given an opportunity to see the God of the Universe show His muscle and His favour.   They didn't miss out on God.

When you are called upon to help a friend enter in to that place of promise you also get to celebrate with your friend in the faithfulness of God.  You get to be a witness to the miracle. You get to walk on a deeper level of intimacy with your sister or brother.  You also get to show the world that those of us in Christ really do love each other. We really are for each other.  We are One!

I ask you to pray for me to enter into that place that I believe God has promised to our family.  Jeff and I and even little Zack long for our family to increase.  We long to have another baby and adopt children into our family.  I am beginning to believe more and more God is asking me to invite others to cross this Jordan with us in prayer.  Please take a moment to really pray for God's blessing on our family.

Lord, bring the increase. Let us Webbs raise up warriors for your kingdom!  Remove any obstacles to fertility, and let conception happen.  Let our licensing with DHR go through and make our home the perfect place for a little one without a home to be loved and raised to love Jesus.   Release your blessings Lord.  Let your will be done on Earth as it is done in Heaven.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Battle Cry

 I have been reading in Judges and I noticed a curious thing.  Every time the "Spirit of the Lord" comes upon someone they are led into battle or made ready for battle.  A super strength and passion comes over them and they rise up to lead an army or even go alone to fight the enemies of God.  Check out these verses:
The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he became Israel’s judge. He went to war against King Cushan-rishathaim of Aram, and the Lord gave Othniel victory over him.  So there was peace in the land for forty years.

[ Jephthah’s Vow ] At that time the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah, and he went throughout the land of Gilead and Manasseh, including Mizpah in Gilead, and from there he led an army against the Ammonites.
There are a bunch more just like those.  Look at the lives of Samson, Gideon, Saul, and David. In each case God's Spirit was preparing them to lead others in battle to reclaim the land that God had already given to them. They went out to battle for their inheritance.  

Honestly, I need the message of the Spirit of the Lord compelling God's people to take their inheritance.  I need to know that the land that God has promised really is ours.  You see, the enemy of your soul has pitched his tent on your land. He has spoken his lies into your unsuspecting mind and he has established a place for himself, right there in the middle of your thoughts, and in your very own neighbourhood.  You need to take it back.  Is there a place in your redeemed mind that you are not believing God?  Is there a place in our country that God wants to clean up and make new? (I hope so)

So what does your inheritance really look like?  What is it that you are fighting to claim in Jesus name?  Dear friend, you have a rich inheritance, and remember, you don't receive an inheritance when you die, you receive when the giver dies.  Our Jesus went to his cross already, he has defeated death.  He has given us the gift of His Spirit. We are walking into our inheritance which is heaven, and we are living in our inheritance right now.  There is much more for us in the place Jesus has gone ahead to prepare for us, but there is also much more for us now.  In John 10:10 Jesus promised that he has come to give us abundant life.  Our inheritance of abundance begins in our salvation.  He has promised us a peace that surpasses all understanding to guard our hearts and minds.  He has promised us love, joy, patience, self control, goodness, and peace.  We are not just waiting to die, we are called to live fully right now. Our inheritance is Jesus, in this moment. 

Spirit of the Lord, fall upon us and give us passion to claim our inheritance in Christ. Give us a longing for more of you.  Give us a desire to see your Gospel go out to all the nations... to claim your inheritance in all the world, that in the end of it all every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  Today, let it be my knee bent, my head bowed, my heart surrendered... for you are my inheritance, and I am yours.
Let these verses wash over you and give you hope.

 Hebrews 9:15
That is why he is the one who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. For Christ died to set them free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under that first covenant.
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad.[b] There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
 Ephesians 1:11
Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.
 Psalm 16:5
Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine.
 Psalm 2:8
Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession.
 Psalm 37:18
Day by day the Lord takes care of the innocent, and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever.
 Psalm 61:5
For you have heard my vows, O God. You have given me an inheritance reserved for those who fear your name.