ISRAEL: SECOND REPUBLIC … PT 9

Lessons from the book of Joshua

Joshua 3

Joshua 2:1 – Hind sight

Joshua sent out 2 spies as against 12 like it was done in the days of Moses – in Joshua’s own days as a spy. Interesting that in his experience, it took only 2 men, himself and Caleb, to bring back the report needed to move forward.

Isaac Newton is credited with an amusing definition of insanity. He said it is doing things the same way but expecting a different result.

Learn from your predecessor’s experiences. It would have been stupid if Joshua had sent another 36 men just to carry everyone along like they did the last time.

Learn from your mistakes; that’s what your 20-20 hindsight is for. I’ve read somewhere that those who ignore history are bound to repeat it and that one major benefit of history is that we don’t have to make the same mistakes again and again.

Don’t be afraid to do things in a different way. Sometimes, it is better to send an elite team than a politically correct army.

ISRAEL: SECOND REPUBLIC … PT 8

Lessons from the book of Joshua

Joshua 3

Joshua 1:9 – One With God

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God [is] with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Learn to encourage yourself in the Lord. The normal course of life goes through times of trouble marked with abandonment by everyone but God.

1Samuel 30:6  And it greatly distressed David, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, each one for his sons and for his daughters. But David encouraged himself in Jehovah his God.

Forget about people understanding what you’re going through. The strength you have left is not for you to get people to understand your troubles but for you to overcome. Paying attention to the fact that nobody understands is focusing and wasting your energy, which is meant to be used to overcome the problem at hand, on what is not the problem.

As it has been said, “One with God is the majority.”

ISRAEL: SECOND REPUBLIC … PT 7

Lessons from the book of Joshua

 Joshua 3

Joshua 1:3; 14:9 – Walk the Talk

Wherever the sole of your feet shall tread upon, it shall be yours for your possession. This was one of my Dad’s favourite scriptures. He’s in heaven now; with my mom … I miss them.

Anyway, notice that the inheritance was already theirs but they had to be personally involved by stepping on the property in order to possess it.

Many of us are claiming and believing God for stuff but we are not willing to do what is required for us to get them or receive them as the case may be. We tell God and tell people that we are believing God for stuff and we are not seen making any move in that direction at all. For example, trusting God for admission into a university and you’re not reading or preparing at all for any exams? You’re trusting God to get married soon, but you’re not learning what it takes to keep a home.

 James 2:17  Even so, if it does not have works, faith is dead, being by itself.

Talk is cheap but faith requires both speech and action. We have to be seen taking affirmative action in the direction of our speech; that is what God does. So starting from today, let’s learn to take a walk of faith.

Put your feet where your mouth is; walk the talk.

Q&A: Baby Steps

Hi there.
I had an interesting conversation with a lady friend (I’ll refer to her as “Elly”) about her very young marriage, less than a year old in fact. She was having some sort of problem that I think is very very common and I decided to share it here.

As always, it is with permission and you will learn a thing or two.

Elly: Good afternoon sir. How is work and the family?

PD: All is well. God is good.

Elly: Good to hear that sir.

PD: How far with you?
How is your home?

Elly: I’m fine sir…I bless God sir.

PD: Hope you’re taking good care of your husband?

Elly: Yes sir.

PD: Do you submit to him in everything? Or do you struggle sometimes?

Elly: Honestly Sir, I really struggle at times. It’s not easy at all.

PD: How so? Don’t you love him?

Elly: Hmmmmm … It is well Sir…. I love him but sometimes he does what I don’t like and that makes me to get tired.

PD: Is your submission or love for him based on when he does things you do like?

Elly: Not at all sir … I submit to him and respect him but it’s not always I concur with him…there are times we disagree and he won’t admit his fault by apologizing.

PD: So, you wish you could get a cane and flog his bom bom.

Elly: Hahahhahhhahaa

PD: What if he also thinks you’re wrong and is waiting for you to apologize?

Elly: That is the problem here … I’m always the one apologizing.

PD: You think that is a problem?

Elly: He will never admits his wrong.

PD: When he admits he is wrong, will you eat the admission? Or will you forgive him and move on?

Elly: I always forgive him and move on cos he won’t feel it so I just have to forgive and move on with life.

PD: Blessed is the woman who seeks how to get a thank you from her husband more than she seeks an apology.

Elly: But the devil always has a way of hurting someone….Sir I thank God that a burden was lifted off me via the just concluded Bible School … the evil thought has seized from my mind cos initially a thought will be coming to seek for divorce and sometimes I will be saying in my next world I won’t get married … but thank God those thoughts have gone … I’m happy now.

That’s the honest truth sir.

PD: 😊

Elly: And, Sir, I’m pregnant.

PD: I’ll share something with you.

Elly: Ok sir.

PD: Your marriage is young … Very young. … And you look around at marriages around you that look beautiful. You want yours to be as sweet as theirs. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Elly: Yes Sir… I want it to be sweet sir.

PD: But most likely, all the marriages you’re admiring are many years older than yours.

Elly: Hmmmmm….that’s true sir.

PD: Do you realise that a marriage gets better as it grows? It’s called maturing. It takes patience to enjoy a marriage.

Elly: Thank you sir.

PD: It’s just like having a baby. Every woman wants to have have her first baby. She’s eager for it. Gets excited when she’s pregnant. And when she eventually gets to term she has to labour and push the baby out. And then she thinks the worst is behind her … nothing could be further from the truth.

Once the baby is outside your body, it starts to exert its own will on your life. It makes selfish embarrassing demands which you must fulfill. You can’t sleep when you want, you can’t sit quietly for any length of time. The baby becomes so demanding that you nearly forget that you love the baby. All you see now is the stress.

I’ve heard of women who abort their pregnancies just because they already have a stressful baby in the house they are still trying to deal with. You know, the easiest way to end all the stress is to throw the child away but you see that most people don’t. You know why?

Elly: No Sir …why?

PD: Its because they know it’s just a phase.

Elly: Yea that’s true.

PD: They know from watching others that after some time, this stressful baby, with time, will grow up into a helpful young man or woman and mommy will start to enjoy some rest.

Elly: Hmmmmm.

PD: Hmmmm.

Your marriage is still a baby. It’s soiling itself, messing up everything, spilling things, wasting things and so on.

Its a phase.

E: Ok Sir…thank you very much. God bless you.

PD: If both you are genuine in your love for each other, and more importantly for God, you will weather the storm and then you will rest down the line.

Elly: God helping us. I’m really relieved this evening and I’ve also learned a lot this evening. I’m very grateful Sir… God bless you and your family.

Oh no … my ba3 is low now.

PD: I’ll leave some messages for you to read up later.

As I said earlier, Blessed is the woman who seeks how to get a thank you from her husband more than she seeks an apology.

You entered your marriage with the intention of making someone happy, not to make him sorry. Why not focus on the good you can do to him rather than the apology you so much want. Even if he apologises today, he will mess up again tomorrow so apology will never and but if for lack of apology, which is not in your power, you cut out gratitude, which you can do something about, your marriage will be a complete pain.

I learned something from a friend years ago, his name is Harry Doghor. It says, “Lord, help me seek to understand more than to be understood”.

So rather than fight to make someone understand my point, I will calm down and try to understand his point. The more I understand him, the better I can handle him and his errors in the future but in the meantime, my calming down has cancelled the present fight.

Of course, that makes you look like you lost because your rights were not respected but that is the way of the world. Instead of being denied our rights, we as sons of God are taught to give up our rights like Christ did when He became human and in the end became our saviour. You may have lost your rights but You have gained peace in the place of a fight in the now, and in the future, you get to be the saviour of your marriage.

If you can do his consistently, after some time, you will notice your husband will get the point, that you’re trying to help, not trying to fight and that is when he begins to respect you in that special way that you see in older marriages. At that point, you will be the winner for all to see but your victory starts now as you choose Gods way of winning.

Most times, when we mention submission, lesser men think it’s the excuse to oppress their wives and lesser women think it means being fools.

Those who know it for what it is know that it is the way for women to win their husband’s to their side.

1Pet 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, [be] in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives.

You can win without fighting if you choose the way of the bible.

Elly: Thanks so much will abide by the way of the Bible so I can build my home. God bless you for me😀

PD: If your husband were here, I would pull his ear for making my sister cry but … you be strong. Going God’s way means God is with you.

Be at peace.

Elly: Amen… Thank you sir. 

PD: 👍🏽

Elly: Thank you Sir.

17 days later…

Elly: Good morning sir. Happy Easter to you and your family.

PD: Iyawo (means wife or, in this context, new bride). Happy easter o.

Elly: Wish you same here sir….Thank you Sir.

PD: How are things going with your hubby now?

Elly: Good afternoon sir. We are doing great sir…Thank you so much sir.

PD: 👍🏽
Would you be willing to share your experience with other young couples to help them too?

Elly: Yes sir…I will sir
Thank you so much sir
PD: Great.

With your permission, I will share our chat with friends so they too can benefit.

Elly: No problem sir

PD: 👍🏽

ISRAEL: SECOND REPUBLIC … PT 6

Lessons from the book of Joshua

Joshua 3Joshua 1:7-8 – Can’t miss it.

Joshua 1:7-8  Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it [to] the right hand or [to] the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

 I don’t understand, sometimes, why it is that many Christians are against prosperity. Some of us think it’s wrong to preach and teach it claiming there are more important things in the kingdom to talk about but here, God is talking to Joshua for the very first time and in less than 10 minutes, God has not only brought up the topic of prosperity but has also shown Joshua how to get it.

I think it’s because we are better skilled in defining our existence using the negatives than we are with the positives. Try it sometime, ask someone to define the word “good”. Very likely, the first attempt at definition would be “not bad” whereas they could have gone for words like beneficial, well intended or benevolent and advantageous. In the same vein, we find it easier to recall the dark parts of our past than it is to recall the beautiful ones. No wonder David had to charge himself to “forget not His benefits”; it’s just too easy for us. So, when we hear the word prosperity, most of what comes to mind is the poor representation of people who thrive on ill-gotten wealth or those who have abused their wealth or given up the faith to get it.

Truth is prosperity is not just about money; it is so much more. The word translated “Prosper and prosperous” actually represents acting circumspectly and hence intelligently, to be an expert, instruct, prosper, deal prudently, be skillful, have good success, teach and have understanding and make others understand, have wisdom, be or behave wisely. Granted, I have access to Hebrew and Greek Dictioniaries but even without that, it’s still says “that you may prosper wherever you goandmake your way prosperous.” If it had said prosper in your business endeavours or make your pocket prosperous then one would well think it referred exclusively to money but since it does not, I see that it refers to a person’s whole life, existence and pursuits. This is reflected in another scripture,

Psalm 1:3 … and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Since prosperity means much more to God than money, it makes sense that we adopt God’s view of it. Yet, even if it was only about the comforts of this life, it’s not something we even need to pursue as a matter of greed. Greed turns away from some of the instructions of God so whatever is acquired thereby is not prosperity.

Joshua 1:7 … do according to all the Law which My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may act wisely wherever you go.

Isaiah 30:21  And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left.

Matthew 6:33  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.

Prosperity, in all its ramifications, is not a matter of greed but a matter of inevitability; it is as straight as the arrow flies … a straight up bull’s eye. The issue is not how we as Christians can prosper; rather it is how come we don’t. The only way to avoid being prosperous is to turn to the right hand or to the left from the laws and commandments of God contained in his word. As long as you keep following the voice of the Lord, prosperity in all its ramifications is a matter of time.

 

You can’t miss it!

Israel: Second Republic … PT 5

Joshua 1:6 … and there was courage!

Joshua 1:6  Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.

Joshua 1:7  Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it [to] the right hand or [to] the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.

Joshua 1:9  Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God [is] with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Joshua 3

Within the space of three verses (or four if you include verse 8) God used the words strength and courage three times each. For those who can relate to some codes that some scholars have identified in the bible, in which three is the number of God, it would mean that God was saying to Joshua that He would be the source of Joshua’s strength and courage. Whether or not you can relate with the cryptic messages believed to be hidden in the text of the bible or not, it is clear that God was making a point that it takes strength and courage to be God’s man and do the will of God.

Many times we forget that this world, although it belongs to God, is actually anti-God and by extension anti-everything-that-takes-sides-with-God and we get shocked and upset that the world around us doesn’t rise in roaring applause when we take a stand with God especially when it is against popular beliefs.

 

Jesus said,

John 15:18-21  If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before [it hated] you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.

Mar 10:29-30 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

But then he also said,

John 16:33  These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

When God speaks, He does more than announce or inform, He creates whatever He speaks. It is why having an encounter with God cannot leave a man remaining the same as before the encounter. God doesn’t merely issue instructions; He, with the instructions, supplies what is needed to carry out the instructions because His word cannot return void; it must be fulfilled and the only way God can guarantee the fulfillment of His word is to fulfill it Himself. I learnt from practical experience a few years back while serving under one of my pastors that with every instruction given, the grace to carry it out is given also; receiving the instruction is receiving the grace as well and dodging the instruction is dodging the grace attached to it. For example, when God says “Be holy”, He is not merely instructing us to be holy but he is also empowering us to be holy. His word is power! So, in speaking those words to Joshua, God was infusing into him strength and courage. By telling Joshua to be strong and courageous, He was giving the man the strength and the courage he needed to deliver on God’s task for him. He said “be strong and of good courage” just like He said “let there be light.”

1Corinthians 16:13  Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

So, let there be courage!