Friday, April 2, 2010

Be Strong And Courageous

Joshua 1:8-9 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Proverbs 22:2-5 The rich and poor have this in common: the LORD is the maker of them all.
A prudent man sees evil, and hides himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.
By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honor, and life.
Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; he who guards his soul will be far from them.

Everyday students in America spend up to $200,000 or more to be trained at a university on a hope that they will be able to succeed in their chosen field of life. Others pay thousands to attend a seminar for a few hours. And as I posted previously, Guy Spier and Mohnish Pabrai bid and paid $651,000 to have lunch with Warren Buffett in hopes to gain knowledge from him. They swear it was worth it ... but I really rather doubt it.

How much would you pay for information that you know for certain is absolutely true? If you had access to principles that you could stand on day after day, year after year for the remainder of your life and know you would always make the right decision by simply following this truth? It will never fail you. Now that would be invaluable … don’t you think? OK then … why do we so often take it for granted? I didn’t search for these truths to write about … they were simply there waiting for me when I turned to “train up a child” The Bible is full of such passages. Maybe I should search out 365 of these truths and turn it into a daily devotional and call it: ”Absolutes You Can Stand On” … Co-author anyone? Principles that by simply looking at them, we can say without question: this verse is absolutely true. I believe the verses above fit this definition. Do you agree? If yes, what would the Lord have us do with these special words to us? The Lord says we are to meditate on his Word. Have you done much of that lately? For a few moments, let’s meditate on how the Lord might want us to apply these truths to make a difference in our lives.

The rich and poor have this in common: the LORD is the maker of them all. Now only an atheist would question this truth … and he would be wrong. When you view our world from this perspective, what do you see? If you are poor, rich people are no better than you from God’s perspective. Rich people have a false sense of worth. God made us all and loves us all as his sons, more than we can ever understand. If I am down, He will deliver me because I am His son. If I am faithful, He will honor my faithfulness. If I am a loving person to others, He will bless my life. If I lack courage, He will encourage me. Since I am his son, I am wealthier than the richest man in the world, but this is not about money. If I seek out his guidance, He will give me wisdom. If I pray to him, he will always answer my prayers. He has given me His Holy Spirit, to guide me every step of the way. If I follow Him, I will have a victorious life. If I model His character qualities, others will be drawn to Him through me. If I am puffed up, He will humble me. Everything I have is His, and what He gives, He can take it away. If I choose to sin, He will discipline me in His time, but He will always forgive me. He promises me grace, peace, and joy beyond what I can imagine. Since God made all, he is the maker of me, and all of his promises apply directly to me. Wow, after a few minutes of meditating on this … my head is spinning. I could write for an hour on this one until the power of his promises overwhelms me. But now that I’ve got you started here … Stop and meditate on this verse. You be overwhelmed!

A prudent man sees evil, and hides himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished. Once again, no one can deny this simple truth. Are you the prudent man or the simple man? Think back over the decisions that you have made in the past ninety days. Were you a prudent or a simple man? I stand convicted. I have definitely been the simple man. How can something be so simple, yet be so heavy? How can a simple proverb have so much power? We can’t see it, unless we meditate upon it. Who is the prudent man? The prudent man considers his steps carefully. He asks himself, "What would Jesus advise me to do? He looks into God's word for direction. He is the one who prays for God’s guidance … before he acts and has the courage to follow God. Who is the simple man? He is the one who allows his life to run on autopilot ... the old man is still in control. He allows his lust, flesh, pride and the wisdom of the world to drive him off the edge of a cliff or down a road that leads away from God. And then he says; Oh Lord, how did this happen? How did I get over here? How could I be so stupid? Forgive me, Lord! In what ways have you been prudent or simple? Is it not possible for you to admit you have been the simple man? Pray that God will reveal it to you, so you can move forward in wisdom and maturity. If you have been prudent, pray a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord that He gave you victory over your enemies, and also the maturity and the wisdom to slow down and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Prudent or Simple … which man are you? … really?

By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honor, and life. Okay here we are, more powerful than anything Warren Buffet could ever deliver in that $651k lunch. "riches, and honor and life" Compared to this Mr. Buffett can only offer the life of a pauper. Are you humble? What is standing in you way? What do you need to give up in order to win here? The promises are too great to resist. You and I must pass this test. Think ... meditate. What is God saying to you? Here is what I hear: Bob, humble yourself to my word! Meditate on it … do what it says and know that I am with you wherever you go. Stand strong and courageously; when you follow my guidance ... you will have victory. But know and be fearful … if you should choose to follow your lust, pride, or the cares of the world; rather than the leading of the Holy Spirit … you will suffer the consequences. DO NOT GO ON AUTOPILOT and allow your old man to take over and lead you off of a cliff. Autopilot is not an acceptable excuse. Your reward will be beyond your wildest comprehension. Trust Me! I will never, never, never fail you … your Lord and your God.

Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; he who guards his soul will be far from them. Have you been distracted away from that which is right or good? How would you know? Have you thought about it? How about a hundred times a day? The snares and thorns seem to be everywhere. The only place we are truly safe is right here … meditating on God’s word. Each of us needs to make a list of the thorns and snares in our life and ask God for wisdom and guidance in removing them far from our sight. We need to guard our soul … this means we are to flee evil lusts … as Joseph did with Potiphar's wife … or else we will be defeated by our enemy.

I am exhausted. But I am full, and I have much to do. What about you?

God Bless You My Friends, Bob

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting post! I love the name of your blog.