Thursday, August 29, 2013

August 29, 2013 … Going Against the Flow

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 241

Devotional Song: Go to this link ...  PLEASE don’t bypass this link and take in this poignant and powerful song sung by Kathy Troccoli, singing I Will Choose Christ, exhorting Christians to be willing to give their all in service to our Lord.

Highlight meditation passage – Numbers 14: 5-10 [NLT]:  
5 Then Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground before the people of Israel. 6 Two of the men who had explored the land, Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, tore their clothing. 7They said to the community of Israel, “The land we explored is a wonderful land! 8 And if the LORD is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey, and he will give it to us! 9 Do not rebel against the LORD, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the LORD is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!” 
10 But the whole community began to talk about stoning Joshua and Caleb. Then the glorious presence of the LORD appeared to all the Israelites from above the Tabernacle. 
 Highlight reading study #1 of Mark, Chapter 10: Go to this link … 

 Reference Passage #1: Joshua 1: 9 [God’s calling will always be His empowerment.] … [NLT] …
9 [God speaks to Joshua] “ … I command you—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Reference Passage #2: Luke 9: 23 [Yes, I know – repeating again – Jesus’ call to discipleship.] … [NLT] …  
23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow me.

Reference Passage #3: Proverbs 3: 5-6 [But do we trust Him?] … [NLT] …
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths.

My Journal for Today: Before you began reading with me today, I hope you took the time to use the You Tube link above and listen to Kathy Troccoli, especially paying attention to the powerful lyrics which are included in the You Tube piece. It’s a powerful song which gives a witness to what we Christians must do when we choose to be disciples of Christ. And if you’ve read my reference passages, copied above, you’re probably saying something like, “Bill, how many times do you have to repeat the Luke 9: 23 and Prov. 3: 5-6 citations?”

Well, I think I end up repeating them so often because I personally (BTW, this is MY devotional journal) need to have them repeated so often. So often, as today, these verses just bubble up out of my consciousness as I’m generating these journal entries; and I just know it’s God’s Spirit speaking to me, reminding me – with emphasis – how I need to be a closer, more trusting, follower of where God is leading me. And then when I reheard Kathy Trocolli’s song, which also came to my attention today, I was under total conviction that I need to be much more serious about following where God is leading me as I do life in this counter-God culture.

Today’s highlight passage, brought forth by Os Hillman’s devotional today was from Numbers, Chapter 14, where Joshua and Caleb, after spying the Promised Land, were confronting the people who’d become convinced by ten other spies that they should avoid going into that land promised by God because, in their estimation, it was too dangerous. But Joshua and Caleb, as we know, bucked the tide of public opinion, having total faith in God’s promises, that God would give them this land of “milk and honey,” and their stance for God almost cost them their life.

But from all of these passages in God’s word, and Kathy Trocolli’s song, we’re reminded that God’s calling and His promises will always become His empowerment and enablement to follow Him to what He’s promised.

Has God called you to take a stand that’s unpopular in our culture? Is He leading you to email your congressional Representatives or Senators about unGodly governmental laws or proposals? Is God calling you to minister or witness to people who need help; and He has given you the gifts or experience to help those in such need? And perhaps the trek God is calling you to take is way against the poplar tide of opinion or the “politically correct” ways of doing things.

Well, I certainly identify with Joshua and Caleb, being called to lead a ministry which daily calls me to take a stance for righteousness and against the public will to take the actions which God would lead us to take. Sometimes, being director of Battle Plan Ministries (see this link –, I feel like God has called me to empty the ocean with a tea cup. But I know it’s the right thing, and even more importantly, I know it’s what God has called me to do. So, …….. I move onward … and prayerfully upward!!

What about you? What’s God calling you to do to empty the ocean with your teacup? How about it, … join me and dip your cup in with me? Let’s do it together!! Let’s choose Christ today, … no matter who is standing against us.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, I stand with You and follow You wherever You lead me. … Amen

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