Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Power of the Invisible

After walking in circles for forty years it was time for the Jewish people to settle down. Out of the original adults that left Egypt on two could enter the promised land Joshua and Caleb, With the death of Moses Joshua was given the mantle of leadership. God instructed Joshua in when, and how, he was to lead the Jewish nation in the land of Canaan.

Standing on the edge of the river Jordan  Joshua's obedience to God caused the Jordan to dry up, allowing the Jewish people easy access to their land. Again, the obstacle of water could have stopped the people from acquiring their land. Joshua, listening to God, caused the obstacle to dry up. Upon entering their land one of the first obstacles in their way was the fortified city of Jericho.

Jericho was well fortified and quite large. The walls of the city were built of stone and close to ten feet thick. Behind the walls the soldiers were well armed and seasoned fighters. To the Jewish people the conquest of Jericho would be bloody and quite possibly, unwinnable. Joshua knew that the people were unsure of what was to come. Joshua's time with God would bring the answer, but not the one most people expected.

Joshua instructed the people to march around the city once a day. On the last day the parade was led by the priests. At the end of the march Joshua instructed the people to give a great shout. As the sound of the shouting Jews penetrated the stones they began to shake and crumble. And we all know the rest of the story. The Jewish fighters entered Jericho and the city was taken.

Why is it that the visual seems to be  more powerful that the invisible? The Red Sea and Pharaoh's army petrified the Jews, And, that was after they witnessed the miracles of the plagues and Passover. The report of the spies struck terror in the hearts of the Jews. It was as if Moses, and God, wanted the Jews to perish. And, this took place after the parting of the Red Sea and drowning of Pharaoh's army.

We give power to what we can see. That is not wrong. The speeding car is power. The airplane is power. There is substance to the visible. That my friends is our three dimensional world. But, isn't there another dimension? Is the invisible real? Yes, of course the invisible is real. Our modern electronic devices operate on the invisible, as did the old radios and television sets. The electricity coursing through your home and our entire country is invisible. We can transform that invisible power into images on testing devices, yet it remains invisible.

Is there another dimension? Is there a spiritual dimension in our world, in the universe? Many would say no. If not, how would one explain the power of love. How would one explain the power of sacrifice? What would cause a man, or woman, to sacrifice their own life for the life of another? Love and sacrifice are just two of the unseen spiritual powers in the world. There are many additional virtues that emanate from within the human heart.

We need to be looking past the obstacles before us and really see the gift of the Divine hand of God. He desires our families to be healed and whole. He desires our country to be honorable and Godly. He desires His children to become the shinning beacons of His light we are meant to be.

Look beyond the fortress of doubt and fear. Catch a glimpse of the glorious hope we have in Christ.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Obstacles to The Promise

With the Egyptian army on the bottom of the sea and the Jewish people on dry land God had the attention of both Jew and Egyptian. Now for the Jewish people, their promised land was just a short distance away. The promise that slept for hundreds of years was now awake. The Jewish people were soon to have their own land. A land that would give them bounteous harvests, grazing land, and water. The joy and excitement among the Jewish people would have been contagious. I would imagine there were many tears being shed over the goodness of God.

Moses made the decision to appoint one man from each of the twelve tribes to travel to the land of Canaan and check out the surroundings. His orders were specific. They were check on the richness of the land, and their opponents. Moses knew the land would be protected. A land of such reputation would never go untended and fallow. The spies were to come back to Moses and report on the cities, fortifications, and peoples. they were to also bring back some fruit of the land.

Upon returning the men carried some fruit from the land. All twelve men reported that the land was fertile and flowing with promises. And then the word every leader must face was spewed at Moses. The word, but.  But, we were like grasshoppers in their site. But the land is that of the descendants of Anak, the giants of old. But their cities are fortified with thick walls and fierce soldiers armed for battle. The opposition is too great for us to have victory. We can not enter the Land of Promise.

Two of the spies stood in opposition to the negative reporters. Caleb and Joshua stood firm in their conviction that it was the land God would give them and they should go in and possess the land. Their positive attitude and voice was quickly stopped by the "but" voices of ten and then thousands as the people listened to the negative message. All progress stopped.

The facts were obvious. The cities were fortified and heavily defended. The descendants of Anak were in the land. There would be many battles ahead. The facts, the visual, overpowered the heart and spirit of the Jewish people. A fortress with walls ten feet thick brought more fright than the promise from God brought courage. A soldier that stood seven feet tall in armor was more terrifying and debilitating than promises from God were calming and reassuring. The visible obstacles were more powerful than the invisible God they worshiped.

I would imagine that every person who reads this has faced fortresses and giants in their life. The career you desire takes sacrifice and working through obstacles. The dreams each of us have will, and must, face obstacles and setbacks. Our, your, attitude when facing your giants and obstacles is what will make the difference. I am facing down a giant in my life that I have ignored for many years. I pretended that he wasn't really there. My giant is real and so is yours.

God will give us the wisdom and strength to fight our giants and tear down the fortress of the enemy. I believe it and I pray you do as well.

More to follow in a few days.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Dreams and Obstacles to The Promised Land

Every dream will face obstacles. Every promise given can have a corresponding doubt. Four over four hundred years the Jewish people were suffering under the hand of the oppressive Pharaoh. They hoped that one day they would be delivered and the promises given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would be realized. Generation after generation of Jews died in Egypt, hearing the promise of a deliverer, but never experiencing him.

Moses arrives on the delivery schedule after a rather awesome and frightening bush fire. The talking Bush (really God), made Moses face the music of his calling. He was to be the one to face Pharaoh, announce coming disasters, and pronounce a death sentence. After nine episodes of God demonstrating His control over nature, Pharaoh still refused the Jews freedom.

The tenth experience to fall upon Egypt was one of crushing pain. Every first born of Egyptian males was to be struck down. The night of death was to come and Moses, along with at least one million Jews, were to be prepared to flee. Pharaoh's night of judgement came, death followed, women wailed, and men were crushed. In the midst of the Egyptian pain the Jews fled East.

The promise of God was coming true. The Jews were to have their own homeland. They would have their own grazing land and vineyards. They would know freedom for the first time in four hundred years. The free and excited children of Jehovah headed to the Promised Land until... Until the Red Sea stopped them in the sand. The first obstacle they faced in their new life brought tears, anger, and threats of revolt. Some said they would rather be slaves in Egypt with food then perish.

God told Moses to extend his hand over the water and watch. On the North side of the sea the waters rose as high as the hills. On the South side the water rose as well. With dead seaweed and flopping fish the Children of Israel walked across the dry sea bed to freedom. As the sound of chariots and snorting horses approached the waters flowed and Pharaoh's finest fighting force drowned.

Can you have a dream come true without obstacles or challenges?

I will continue this topic for a few postings. Please send me a comment or post one here on the blog. Visit my website at www.teddgalloway.com email me at tedd@teddgalloway.com