Wednesday, January 23, 2013

January 23, 2013 … In ALL Your Ways!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 23

Passage of the Day: Joshua 5: 9a [NLT] … Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the shame of your slavery in Egypt.” …

Contextual Study of today’s passage: Joshua, Chapter 5 [NLT] … Go to this link … 

Reference Passage #1: Proverbs 3: 5-6 : [NKJV] … {Trust in God in ALL YOUR WAYS – that’s not SOME OF YOUR WAYS !! } …  
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct [or “make smooth” or “straighten”] your paths. 

My Journal for Today: My friend, I’m humbled if you’re reading along with me here; but if you are, may I exhort you to use the ink above and read ALL of Chapter 5 of Joshua’s Bible Journal.

Historically, Joshua had taken God’s chosen people across the Jordan, under God’s care and provision, and into the Promised Land. They had been wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, feeding off God’s provision of manna and watched over by His protection. Now their faith was to be tested as Joshua led them into harms way; and in Chapter 5 of Joshua, we read of God instructing Joshua to insure that all of the men were circumcised.

Ouch! …For orthodox Jews, male circumcision is a physical act of surrender to God. Concerning God’s chosen being led out of Egypt into the promised land, Os Hillman, in my devotional for today, personalizes this image for us as he writes … “Circumcision is bloody, personal, and it exposes all that you are. God was saying that before you can become His army, you must roll away the reproach of the Egyptian way of life. You are no longer a slave to the ways of Egypt. It is a time to put aside the old way of life. … Many are walking around as goats in sheep's clothes, practicing a form of religion without the true source of truth and power.” 

In other words, God wants HIS army … i.e., His chose/adopted ones … to set aside the ways of Egypt and to march into the promised land of His provision and protection by giving ALL of ourselves to Him … TOTAL surrender … voluntarily being circumcised of the heart to follow our Lord. Hillman points out that in that one act of circumcised surrender, following Joshua, God’s leader, God’s army of caterpillars became transformed into butterflies with their wings taking on the colors of God and given the power to fly, as long as they flew their course following God’s protection and provision in surrendered, circumcised obedience.

Have we – i.e., you and me - crossed over the Jordan from Egypt into the promised land; and are we circumcised with hearts which are TOTALLY and UTTERLY surrendered to our Lord? Proverbs 3: 5-6, copied above, is truth; and it charges us to surrender our ways to God’s way. It commands us to trust God (i.e., with a clinging, abiding trust), surrendering ALL of whom we are to ALL of WHOM HE IS. So, … are we circumcised to leave Egypt behind and knowing His way from His word, to follow His will?

Answering “YES” to this challenged today likely means that we are experiencing all the fruitfulness God’s Spirit can pour into our lives (see Galatians 5: 22-23 linked here). However, answering “NO” likely means that our hearts may not be fully circumcised in surrender to our God; and we’re likely experiencing too much of Galatians 5: 19-21.

I’ll leave it to you to take that POP QUIZ from God today ... 

My Prayer for Today ... Lord, I stand circumcised and ready to enter Your promised land. … Amen

No comments: