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Stand Up!

  
Depressed.
Discouraged.
Hopeless.
There are many walking wounded around us.
Hurt.
Down.
Just going through the motions.

Maybe me?  Maybe you?
Some days, maybe even struggling to get out of bed.
Not wanting to go on.
Not sure how to climb out of the pit.
Joshua tore his clothes and fell before the ark of Yahweh, with his face to the ground.  He and the elders of Israel had put dust on their heads, a sign of fasting and humbling oneself before their God.
Desperate.
Their army had just lost a battle, that they should have won.
They were confused.
Baffled.

The people’s hearts had melted and become like water.
No more confidence, strength, or courage.
Instead,
weak, 
scared, 
discouraged, 
paralyzed with fear.
They weren’t sure God was still with them.
They knew He hadn’t been there for that devastating battle, and He had allowed the destruction and loss.  Why?  Why, God?
Joshua began to question His God, “Why did You ever bring these people across the Jordan to hand us over to the Amorites for our destruction?…” When our enemies hear of this, “they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth.  Then what will You do about Your great name?”
Heart ache.
Why’s and How-could-you’s? permeated the air.
Lost. 
 
Alone.
Then Yahweh said to Joshua,
“Stand up!  
Why are you on the ground?”
These words can be said to us as well, can’t they?
Why are you wallowing around in your self-pity?
Why do you doubt the one and only living God of the universe?
Is your situation any more difficult than Joshua’s?
Are your circumstances so hopeless that the Creator of the earth cannot save and redeem you?
“Israel has sinned…. I will no longer be with you unless you remove from you what is set apart.”
Sometimes, we look at everything and everyone else, except the SIN that has crept into our midst.
God can no longer bless and work His mighty power through us and in us, when SIN has been allowed to run rampant in our camp.
We need to look closely at our lives and our family’s lives, and seek out what has no place in the life of a believer, and be rid of it.
In Joshua and the Israelite’s case, they determined that a man named Achan had stolen and hid some of the spoils from Jericho in the ground, in his tent, and they took him and his family and stoned them, and burned them.
Scary!  That was even after the man had confessed!
Today, when we have sinned, we confess and repent (walk away from that sin!), and receive forgiveness from our God, rather than the harsh justice system that the Israelites faced in the Old Testament.  This is our Heavenly Father’s gift to us, of grace and mercy that we do not deserve.  We have been given this gift, because of His Son, Jesus, who became that Lamb of God, sacrificed for our sins.
The only thing we need to do is to receive that gift, repent, and turn from our sinful ways.
The sad thing is, we often don’t.
We keep living and fighting our battles on our own, and wonder where our God is.
We stubbornly cling to our beloved sin, as if a long-lost friend.
We don’t want to part from it.
We’re attached to it.
To say good bye to our sin, means letting a part of us go.
Yet, when we do allow that sin to permanently camp with us,
We miss God.
We miss His mighty power in our daily lives.
We miss His ability to do great things in us and through us.
We miss His peace and joy and mercy.
Are we not crazy for clinging to a sin that has no place in our camp?
Take that sin, and get rid of it immediately!
Run from it!
Do not lay it down and then pick it back up again!
Remove it from your life and never look back!  Never.
And then we will see the blessings and goodness of the LORD in the land of the living, right now, right here, with you and me.  Isn’t it a beautiful place to dwell?  We are in His holy presence, seeking His face.  I am on the ground, not out of desperation, discouragement and depression, but because I am worshipping the one true God who has saved me from my pit,through His Son, Jesus.  The precious Lamb of God, whose blood washes me clean, and makes me holy and blameless in Yahweh’s sight.
How beautiful!
“I am certain that I will see Yahweh’s goodness in the land of the living.  
Wait for Yahweh; be strong and courageous.  Wait for Yahweh.”
Psalm 27:13-14.
“… praised Yahweh, the great God, and with their hands uplifted, all the people said, “Amen, Amen!”  Then they bowed down and worshiped Yahweh with their faces to the ground.”  Nehemiah 8:6.
Amen, Amen!

One Response to “Stand Up!”

  1. on 12 Aug 2011 at 11:58 pmDoubting Thomas

    Angela,
    Thank-you for providing another thought provoking and inspiring article…

  

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