29.4 Moses 29, Day 4

Avoiding Battles?

Deuteronomy 33:26-29 reads like a battle cry to rev up the troops to take up arms.  Look at the language:

  • He will drive out your enemies before you
  • “Destroy them!”
  • Ride across the heavens to help you
  • On the clouds in His majesty
  • You will live in safety, grain, new wine, heavens dew
  • He is your shield
  • Your glorious sword
  • Your enemies will cower before you
  • You will tread on their heights

All of this language convicted me of how much I hide from battles in my faith walk.  How often I don’t say something because it might come across the wrong way.  My fear and doubt of possibly offending someone that prompts me to not speak when I should.

I’m not talking about taking up arms to slay the enemy and I’m not talking about going out and picking fights.  But when you read this language of God, I think there is a message that we aren’t supposed to “just go along with the crowd so we don’t make waves” either.

It just made me think about the times I don’t speak up, the times I don’t speak Jesus’ name, the times I sit quietly in the midst of what I know to be sin, the times I fail to witness or to comfort or to just speak the truth.  Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel.”  Am I so afraid of battles that I come across as ashamed of my faith and my Savior.

One of the central themes of the book of Acts, when the new Church was being formed, is the call to speak boldly. (see below).  Paul’s letter to the Ephesians calls us to be strong in the Lord and put on the full armor of God.

Are you like me?  Do you need to speak up?  Do you need to reach out?  Do you need to face the fight with the truth of the gospel instead of hiding it under a basket?

The greatest news of all in this, and throughout the bible, is that when we choose to stand for God, He always stands in front of us.  God never takes the position of having our back.  He always takes the front.  He may require us to take the first step into the water, but then He lifts us up to walk across it or parts it as we move forward.

Here are some of the bold references from Acts – Take Strength Mighty Prayer Warriors!:

Acts 4:29
Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.
Acts 4:31
After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
Acts 9:28
So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.
Acts 13:46
Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.
Acts 14:3
So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to perform signs and wonders.
Acts 18:26
He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.
Acts 19:8
Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God.
Acts 28:31
He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!

 

My Answers:

8.
Because they were the Lord’s possession, His portion.  He was their king.  He is holy.  There is no one like God.

9.
There is no one like the God of Jeshurun. He rides across the heavens to help you. On the clouds in His Majesty. The eternal God is your refuge. Underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemy before you. “A people saved by the Lord.” He is your shield and your helper. He is your glorious sword.

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06.5 BSF Matthew Week 6, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

I don’t think Christians are called to be ignorant pansies that are constantly taken advantage of, bullied and abused.  We are not called to be a doormat for others to simply wipe their feet on.

We are called to follow our mission.  If we are following it fully, if we are truly committed to that mission then it and it alone is critical in everything we do and every decision we make.  When you are a soldier in battle you don’t decide to ignore the mission because you don’t want to get your uniform dirty.  When you are a surgeon with a patient on the table you don’t decide to operate of some other part because it is easier and quicker.  You stick with the mission – it is what it is all about.

Our mission is simple.  We heard it last week.  Be salt and light to the world.  Take the strength and word and light of God and use it to witness, heal, baptize and save.  Period.  That is the mission.

If walking a mile accomplishes that – walk the mile.  If giving up a shirt accomplishes that, give up the shirt.  But, in all of it, stay true to the mission.  If giving someone your shirt does not bring them closer to God, then the mission is not to give shirts – it is to figure out what brings them closer to God.

One of my friends talked about an interaction with a homeless person this week at a coffee shop.  The man asked my friend, “can you help me?” and he gave him a few dollars.  But that weighed heavy on his heart.  There is nothing wrong with giving the money, and God can use that, but what if he had, instead, invited the man to sit down with him and bought him food that they shared together.  How much more could the investment of 10 minutes meant in the mission my brother carried?

I can get so focused on “what is rightfully mine” that I fall back into the trap of justice = revenge or getting even.  But this is based on a mindset of finite resources.  For me to get even I have to take it back from the person who wronged me.  But I am the child of an infinite God and creator.  There is so much more.  God honors that which honors Him!

My Answers:

12.
a.
If your yes is yes and your no is no, then there is no “qualification” to speaking the truth, you just always do.  There is no provision for falsehood

b.
“To be honest with you…”  These words imply that at other times you are not honest or don’t mean it.  Hard to tell when is when and what is what

c.
Know the truth and stick to it.  No “white lies”.

13.
a.
Fear and Concern over being a doormat keeps me out of ministry opportunities and witnessing to others.  I need to keep in mind what is truly important (bringing others to Christ).  If being slapped or giving a shirt or walking a mile helps with that, then, by all means, that is what I should be doing

b.
God will honor that which honors Him.

14.
Gal: walk with the spirt not gratify the desires of the fleshEph: Put off old self and deceitful desires, new in attitude, righteousness and holiness like God
Phil: Obey, work out with God and allow Him to act in my to fulfill His good purpose
Phil: think about: true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy