I’m Marching! But Which Way Do I Go?

I’m beginning to think that the journey God has taken me on over the last few years is a tiny bit on the crazy side.  Actually, after talking with a friend today and sharing most of my childhood story I am just about convinced.  I’m reminded of the irrational battle plan He gave to Joshua regarding the city of Jericho, only I’m not sure I even have the “plan” yet.  I do know God is at work in every aspect of my life, and I feel He has me already in the process of marching, but He’s only allowing me to see one precious step at a time.  In certain areas of my life I feel like a small child just learning to how to walk.

I remember teaching my niece to take her first steps.  I would always make sure her path was clear of things that could cause her injury.  I stood behind her with my hands perfectly positioned at the right height for her to reach up and grab hold of my fingers.  I would wrap my thumbs just above her tiny wrists to support her, and have my other free fingers loose but ready to grab her at the first sign of harm.  Her face would brighten with a huge smile that literally stretched from ear-to-ear with every successful wiggly step.  She was gaining strength and confidence in her wobbly little legs with my support and by my willingness to be patient with her.  As my niece was focused on getting her not so cooperative legs to move forward, she was unaware of how I kept watch of everything around her – behind and ahead.  What lies ahead is usually most important, but I also wanted to be fully aware of where the dog was, along with the cat and anyone else who chose to come pouncing into the room.  There were times that I had to allow her to tumble slightly, so she could learn it was okay to fall and that she could get back up, but there was absolutely no way I was going to allow lasting harm to come to her.  She knew that “Mommy Shannan” had her!  Her confidence in my presence and her memory of my arms catching her in the past, allowed her to focus on learning her new ability.

As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him.  For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.” – Psalm 103:13-14

I do not doubt that my niece would have eventually learned how to walk on her own, but I cannot imagine the fears that could still grip her heart today had she had to face that lesson alone.  Who knows what her tiny little feet could have stepped on, or what harm she could have tumbled into? Even our feet have memories that can carry upward to our heart and mind.  These thoughts all fall into the “What if?” category, it’s just how my mind is operating today.  But if I, a flawed human being, can care about these tiny little details, how much more does God care for us?

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!“ – Matthew 7:11

Joshua was given a battle plan.  He was told to march around Jericho once every six days and do nothing else.  That is until the seventh day, when God commanded the priest to blow their trumpets and had all the people shout.  I can only imagine what Joshua might have been thinking and feeling during his seven-day parade.  I’m sure he felt a sense of urgency as he set out on his first day to march around Jericho’s city wall.  I can almost bet that his urgency turned to anxious thoughts that carried from his tired feet to his pounding heart.  His pounding heart would have caused his mind to scream questions like, “Is this really Your plan?”  Did I hear my thoughts or Your voice?”  I’m sure he battled moments of doubt.  “God, what are You waiting for?”  But Joshua continued to march in complete obedience to God’s command.  He chose to trust God even when He appeared to be a little crazy with His plan.  Joshua’s obedience led him to absolute victory.  When the trumpets sounded and the people raised their voices to shout the city wall fell flat and the army marched straight into the city and conquered it.

God’s ways may seem strange or impossible, but He is the God who causes a bush to burst into flames yet never burn.  He is the God who causes iron to float, seas to part, and storms to cease.*  How often do we forget that this same God who flattens cities with a shout is also the God who raised Jesus from the dead?  He knew before our time began all that we would need and He’s cleared our path.  Today as I wrestle with the anxieties of reality, as I know reality to be, I will choose to trust God.  I’m just waiting for the “seventh day” to see God shine.  Until then, I know God has a firm grip on me and He is keeping watch.  I know and trust that God will never allow me to fall into harms way without making a way of escape first.

…I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, and not forsake them.” -Isaiah 42:16

If we really believe God is all we confess Him to be, then we should be able to rest on His promises.  If we truly believe He is Holy and above all others and just in His ways, then we must be obedient to all His commands.  This will determine whether or not we have absolute victory or absolute defeat.

Just as my niece knew from past experiences that I was trustworthy to lead her in her new adventure of learning how to walk, Joshua also had many memories of God’s credibility.  God told Joshua that He would lead them and that He would give them “every place that their foot tread upon” (Joshua 1:3).  What God did for Moses at the Red Sea He also did for Joshua at the Jordan River.  God parted the water and dried up the earth underneath for all of Israel to safely cross over.  Joshua chose to remember what God had done then and chose to trust God as he stood before the walls of Jericho.  Will you trust God as you stand looking at the impossible wall before you today?

Yes, I’m Marching!  I will go forward in the way God leads, even if it’s baby step by precious baby step!


2011, Keeping It Real!

* Burning Bush – Ex. 3:2, Iron floats – 2 Kings 6:5-6, Waters part – Ex. 14, Joshua 3, Calms the storm – Matt. 8:23-27

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