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For when Quitting looks pretty good {Day 33}

 
 
The speaker, he gets up and fumbles with his notes. Apologizes for being flustered.

Gets his powerpoint up and running.

Then the electricity goes out.

We’re all waiting to see what the Lord will say through a bumbling speaker and no electricity and a dry passage with a bunch of no-names from thousands of years ago.

But in case you didn’t know? The Holy Spirit? Well He knows how to bring it, even when it’s against all odds.

{That’s why you need to go to church today.}

And the speaker puts up this little map of the tribes of Israel, the kind I remember being in the back of my Bible as a kid. As a kid, I wondered what in the world that thing was there for? I mean, it was in every Bible I ever saw and it seemed so ancient, so un-relevant.

Then the speaker reminded us that there were two parts of the conquest of Canaan… the victory and then the possession.

It wasn’t enough just to defeat the enemy; they had to take possession of the land, make it theirs.

And some of the tribes of Israel? They were unwilling to take possession because they were convinced it was too hard.

The speaker points out from our passage, Joshua 17, that Ephraim and Manasseh weren’t satisfied with what God had given them because they wanted something easier. They didn’t want to have to work for their inheritance.

Victory was already theirs. The land was theirs and God was with them. But they had to clear the land. They had to run out the enemy.

They were convinced they couldn’t.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, the speaker then talks of the Danites.

This tribe had been given a good land but were unable to run the people out. They were driven into the mountainous region of their territory and couldn’t take the plains, the good land.

So instead of sticking at it and persevering and taking possession of the land God promised them, they went way up north and took a different city, an unsuspecting one, an easy win. 

They opted for the easy way out instead of the hard win God had for them.

 

tribes of Israel

 

Some of us in church are squirming in our seats.

Because some of us are good at running away from our hard and finding an easier camp to call home.

On the way to that new place, then Danites found them a little Levite and a little false god and they up and turned their backs on the God who had given them the victory. In despising their inheritance, their lot in life, they turned their backs on their God.

I remember it from today’s devotional, how perseverance is a family value and  how we. can’t. quit. Even when the enemy has iron chariots. Even when there is much work to be done to clear our land. Even when the inhabitants are numerous. Even when the obstacles to possessing our promised land are too numerous to count.

We can’t give up. 

Because the course of an entire family’s legacy can be traced back to the map of one person’s unwavering faith. One person’s perseverance.

Or not.

Jesus said regarding those who call out to the Father for intervention, that God will “defend, protect, and avenge them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will He find a level of persistence in faith?” (Luke 18:8)

It isn’t that God doesn’t answer; it’s that we aren’t giving it long enough a go. We bail and head for the easy win.

I return home from church and help husband pack for his late night flight. I cook dinner and bathe the kids and clean the kitchen and tuck everyone in bed.

Then I get out my Bible and re-read the story of Dan.

This is my chance to get it right.

This is my chance to be persistent in faith.

This is my chance to take on some iron chariots.

Alone at the kitchen table, I look my enemy in the eyes, those wolves that prowl the human heart.

“You’re going down,” I tell them. “Even if it kills me, I’m not backing down. I’d rather die fighting than give up. You’ll not be rid of me that easily. So get ready for a fight because my God and I have one heading your way.”

No. There will be no quitting today.

 

31 days of trust without borders

 

Day 33

 

1. The Bread: Read John 18

2. The Devo: Read Day 33 in Trust Without Borders

3. The Plunge: Are there any areas in your life where you’ve given up? Maybe you started strong but encountered such opposition or hardship that you’ve just given up. Have you been worn down and finally just quit?

So here’s the real question: Have you taken the easy win in lieu of the hard work required to possess your inheritance?

According to Jesus in Luke 18:8, faith has to be persistent.

If we are going to possess those hard to win areas in our lives, we’ve got to not stop believing.

Today is the day for renewing your faith in those areas where the win takes blood, sweat, and tears. Will the Son of Man find persistent faith in your corner of the world?

Please pray for me today, friend? I’m renewing my faith as well and would appreciate your prayers!

See you tomorrow, Lord willing :)

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