This is easily one of the most powerful verses you can
find anywhere in the Bible. As a young man Joshua was
confronted with the awesome task of leading the children
of Israel into the Promised Land. Moses had died and the
mantle of leadership had fallen on him.
It was not going to be an easy task because even during
Moses leadership, the people had shown themselves
to be very rebellious and ungrateful. It was not going
to be easy to lead them. The road ahead was going to be
rough. What he had to do would terrify or discourage even
the bravest person.
It is in this situation that the words of the Lord are
addressed to him, to assure him that God would be with
him; that he would not be alone. He should therefore be
strong and courageous and not be terrified by what was
ahead. If you study the military exploits of Joshua, you
will see how God stood by him and gave him victory after
victory over his enemies. The fall of the walls of Jericho
was just one of those instances.
There are times when we are tempted to be discouraged
when we are faced with lifes difficulties. We all
face many problems on a daily basis which sometimes threaten
to overwhelm us. Some of them cause us to be terrified.
But just as God stood with Joshua, so will He stand by
you in your hour of need. Instead of being terrified by
lifes circumstances, allow the love of God to wrap
you in its embrace. Allow His quiet, silent power to strengthen
you and see you through whatever difficulty you may experience.
Pray this prayer with me:
"O God, I thank you for the gift of your presence.
Fill me with your love and power and drive far from me
the spirit of discouragement and depression. These and
other mercies I ask in the precious name of Jesus. Amen."
In this beautiful Psalm, a favorite for many, the writer
expresses what is the essence of the worship that is due
to God. It is a yearning of the soul, an earnest desire
to come into the presence of God. When we go to church
we do so with the intention to worship him in sincerity
Of course we know that God does not dwell within the confines
of a church. About two thousand years ago Paul told his
listeners on Mars Hill that God does not dwell in temples
made with mans hands. He cannot be contained within
the confines of our beautiful edifices. We cannot bind
him with our neat and well planned liturgical traditions.
We release ourselves in freedom and allow God to enter
into our lives at a point where we may not have experienced
him before. In this freedom that we allow ourselves, true
worship becomes more than just the singing of hymns, the
reading of wonderful scripture or even the fellowship
we have with each other on the day of worship. It is a
matter of the heart, of our souls yearning to be nourished
by his heavenly grace, by our total beings being strengthened
by his almighty power at work in us.
Therefore our heart and flesh cry out for him as we are
in need of constant nourishment. When was the last time
your heart and your total being cried out for him? Is
worship for you an experience lacking in vitality? Do
you merely drag yourself to the place of worship and pray
that the minister gets through the service as qucikly
as possible so that you can go on to other concerns? If
your answer to the last two questions is yes, you need
to carefully take a look at what you understand worship
to be. It should begin even before yo reach the place
of worship for worship is first rooted in a relationship
with the living God.
Pray this Prayer….
As pants the deer for the waterbrooks so pant our hearts
for you, O living God. Restore the fallen and give us
hearts that cry out to you. Nourish us with your grace
and draw us closer in your eternal embrace, o lover of