“Claiming the Promises of God!”

“Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified.  It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said,” Joshua 14:12

At the age of 85, Caleb was more than ready to take what the Lord had promised to him.  You see, when Joshua and Caleb were sent as spies into the land of Canaan there was a promise left for their belief in God.  “Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God,” Joshua 14:9.  As of yet, Caleb had not gotten his promise.  But, now he was ready to take what the Lord had promised.

Only there was this one thing, the Anakim were there.  The Anakim were giants, nonetheless, their stature brought no fear in the heart of Caleb.  He was ready to “drive them out,” (Joshua 14:12).  In fact, when the rest of Israel was ready to run scared when God first brought them to the Promised Land, he and Joshua were ready then to take care of business.  Years later, this aged gentleman, as some would consider him, was still just as ready to take what God had promised to him.

A lot of times God gives us promises but in our eyes, it may look insurmountable.  Obstacles are in the midst of the promise that makes it appear as though one can never possess it.  I like that Caleb was 85 years old.  I like that it was over 40 years before he had the opportunity to go for his promise.  I like that there were giants in the land that made it look impossible.  I like these three points because they are some of the most popular reasons people use to give up on waiting for the promises of God.

1.  Caleb was 85 years old, this implies limitations.  Instead of looking to God for their source too many people focus on their own limitations, their own inabilities to get the job done.  Not Caleb!  He didn’t care about his age, God promised it and he was ready for it.  It is as the British Evangelist John Flavel stated, “Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.”  The Bible says that God is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,” (Ephesians 3:200.  Take the limits off of yourself, and more importantly, take the limits off of God.

2.  Over 40 years implies waiting.  This is something that is very hard for most people.  Many times over and over again in the Bible people waited quite a bit of time before they laid hold of what God said He would do in their lives.  If God said it then He will do it, but our job is to wait.  Here are some encouraging reminders about waiting on God:

  • “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength,” (Isaiah 40:31).
  • “The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him,” (Lamentations 3:25).
  • “Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me,” (Micah 7:7).

3.  There being giants in the land implies obstacles.  Many people look at their dreams, their hopes and the promises of God and can believe them for everyone else except themselves.  To them, it looks as if they can never possess it.  This is a hopelessness attitude that God does not desire to see in His people.  The Bible says, “The just shall live by faith.”  This is a key verse in Scripture and God made sure it was put in there four times in the Old Testament and in the New Testament (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11 and Heb. 10:38).  We are to have more faith in the God we serve, as Caleb did when he said, “It may be that the Lord will be with me,” (Joshua 14:12), then in the obstacles before us.

Don’t be afraid to take your mountain today!  Don’t be afraid to go after what God has already promised you.  Don’t look at your limitations, the waiting or the obstacles.  God can and will overcome it all to fulfill what He promised to you!  God bless.

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“Indulge in Nostalgia!”

nostalgia-001

“And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal.  And he spoke unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones?  Then ye shall let your know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land,” Joshua 4:20-22

One of my favorite things to do when the weather is nice is to open up all my windows and to put a fan in my bedroom window.  Why the bedroom particularly?  For some reason or another, no matter where I live, when there is a fan in my bedroom window, it makes the air smell just like my grandma’s house when I was growing up, particularly her upstairs and bedroom.  Sometimes, I long for weather not too hot and not too cold, just so that I can have a fan in the bedroom window that blows out that smell.  And when it does, I look for reasons throughout the day to visit my bedroom, to inhale deeply and to let my mind wander to another time.

Smells have that effect on me, nostalgically letting me remember times past.  While the fan smell is my favorite, another smell is stuff burning.  Not like a house catching fire or anything, but rather a pit-beef joint cooking or a log in the fireplace.  This smell reminds me of my paternal grandparents.  They live in the South and during the summer we would visit.  There I witnessed something I hadn’t seen before.  In the evening, they take their trash to a heap outside and set it on fire.  No trash trucks to pick it up twice a week.  They just light it up and watch it go.

It’s good to indulge in a little bit of nostalgia once in a while, especially when it comes to remembering God’s deliverance.  After a certain amount of time goes by, whether it becomes a time of prosperity or a time of hardship, it’s so easy to forget.  The daily grind and routine schedules tend to overshadow what previously occurred.  That can be a good thing when someone is trying to get over hurtful things, but when one wants to remember a glorious time it can be dangerous.

The danger of forgetfulness can leave us with a warped outlook on life.  “Why does this always happen to me?”  “Things never turn in my favor.”  “It’s useless for me to even try!”  Words such as “always, never and useless” denote negativity when used this way. This negative brow beating overshadows the good.  We use words so lightly, but if I were to really question, what would the true outcome be?  Do things really never ever turn in your favor?  Is it really useless for you to try?  The answer, most likely, would be no.

Through times of hardship and prosperity, our perspective on life can get blurred.  That’s why God mandated for these stones to be set up as a memorial.  These stones would stand as a physical reminder of God’s deliverance; of a time when He altered nature and did the impossible just so that His people could gain their promise.

We may not have physical stones, but I do believe we have “markers” in our memory that can transport us to our time of deliverance.  Things that help us to remember that no matter what state one may find themselves in now, God is still on the throne and He is still working it out on our behalf.  That’s why it’s good to indulge in nostalgia.  It opens the door to the good ole days.  The thought of it can instantly put a smile on my face.  Now, imagine doing that with God’s deliverance.  Sometimes we need to remember on purpose where He brought us from and how He brought us through.  Set that up as a “marker” to help no matter what life may bring.

“Give Me This Mountain!”

My Project 447-001

“Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified.  It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said,” Joshua 14:12

At the age of 85, Caleb was more than ready to take what the Lord had promised to him.  You see, when Joshua and Caleb were sent as spies into the land of Canaan there was a promise left for their belief in God.  “Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God,” Joshua 14:9.  As of yet, Caleb had not gotten his promise.  But, now he was ready to take what the Lord had promised.

Only there was this one thing, the Anakim were there.  The Anakim were giants, nonetheless their stature brought no fear in the heart of Caleb.  He was ready to “drive them out,” (Joshua 14:12).  In fact, when the rest of Israel was ready to run scared when God first brought them to the Promised Land, he and Joshua was ready then to take care of business.  Years later, this aged gentleman, as some would consider him, was still just as ready to take what God had promised to him.

A lot of times God gives us promises but in our eyes it may look insurmountable.  Obstacles are in the midst of the promise that makes it appear as though one can never possess it.  I like that Caleb was 85 years old.  I like that it was over 40 years before he had the opportunity to go for his promise.  I like that there were giants in the land that made it look impossible.  I like these three points because they are some of the most popular reasons people give up on waiting for the promises of God.

1.  Caleb was 85 years old, this implies limitations.  Instead of looking to God   for their source too many people focus on their own limitations, their own inabilities to get the job done.  Not Caleb!  He didn’t care about his age, God promised it and he was ready for it.  It is as the British Evangelist John Flavel stated, “Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.”  The Bible says that God is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,” (Ephesians 3:20.  Take the limits off of yourself, and more importantly, take the limits off of God.

2.  Over 40 years implies waiting.  This is something that is very hard for most people.  Many times over in the Bible people waited quite a bit of time before they laid hold of what God said He would do in their lives.  If God said it then He will do it, but our job is to wait.  Here are some encouraging reminders about waiting on God:

  • “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength,” (Isaiah 40:31).
  • “The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him,” (Lamentations 3:25).
  • “Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me,” (Micah 7:7).

3.  There being giants in the land implies obstacles.  Many people look at their dreams, their hopes and the promises of God and can believe them for everyone else except themselves.  To them, it looks as if they can never possess it.  This is a hopelessness that God does not desire to see in His people.  The Bible says, “The just shall live by faith.”  This is a key verse in Scripture and God  made sure it was put in there four times (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11 and Heb. 10:38).  We are to have more faith in the God we serve as Caleb did when he said, “It may be that the Lord will be with me,” (Joshua 14:12), then in the obstacles before us.

Don’t be afraid to take your mountain today!  Don’t be afraid to go after what God has already promised you.  Don’t look at your limitations, the waiting or the obstacles.  God can and will overcome it all to fulfill what He promised to you!  God bless.

“Give Me This Mountain!”

mountain-001

“Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified.  It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said,” Joshua 14:12

At the age of 85, Caleb was more than ready to take what the Lord had promised to him.  You see, when Joshua and Caleb were sent as spies into the land of Canaan there was a promise left for their belief in God.  “Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God,” Joshua 14:9.  As of yet, Caleb had not gotten his promise.  But, now he was ready to take what the Lord had promised.

Only there was this one thing, the Anakim were there.  The Anakim were giants, nonetheless their stature brought no fear in the heart of Caleb.  He was ready to “drive them out,” (Joshua 14:12).  In fact, when the rest of Israel was ready to run scared when God first brought them to the Promised Land, he and Joshua was ready then to take care of business.  Years later, this aged gentleman, as some would consider him, was still just as ready to take what God had promised to him.

A lot of times God gives us promises but in our eyes it may look insurmountable.  Obstacles are in the midst of the promise that makes it appear as though one can never possess it.  I like that Caleb was 85 years old.  I like that it was over 40 years before he had the opportunity to go for his promise.  I like that there were giants in the land that made it look impossible.  I like these three points because they are some of the most popular reasons people give up on waiting for the promises of God.

1.  Caleb was 85 years old, this implies limitations.  Instead of looking to God   for their source too many people focus on their own limitations, their own inabilities to get the job done.  Not Caleb!  He didn’t care about his age, God promised it and he was ready for it.  It is as the British Evangelist John Flavel stated, “Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.”  The Bible says that God is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,” (Ephesians 3:20.  Take the limits off of yourself, and more importantly, take the limits off of God.

2.  Over 40 years implies waiting.  This is something that is very hard for most people.  Many times over in the Bible people waited quite a bit of time before they laid hold of what God said He would do in their lives.  If God said it then He will do it, but our job is to wait.  Here are some encouraging reminders about waiting on God:

  • “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength,” (Isaiah 40:31).
  • “The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him,” (Lamentations 3:25).
  • “Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me,” (Micah 7:7).

3.  There being giants in the land implies obstacles.  Many people look at their dreams, their hopes and the promises of God and can believe them for everyone else except themselves.  To them, it looks as if they can never possess it.  This is a hopelessness that God does not desire to see in His people.  The Bible says, “The just shall live by faith.”  This is a key verse in Scripture and God  made sure it was put in there four times (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11 and Heb. 10:38).  We are to have more faith in the God we serve as Caleb did when he said, “It may be that the Lord will be with me,” (Joshua 14:12), then in the obstacles before us.

Don’t be afraid to take your mountain today!  Don’t be afraid to go after what God has already promised you.  Don’t look at your limitations, the waiting or the obstacles.  God can and will overcome it all to fulfill what He promised to you!  God bless.

“Indulge in Nostalgia!

nostalgia-001

“And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal.  And he spoke unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones?  Then ye shall let your know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land,” Joshua 4:20-22

One of my favorite things to do when the weather is nice is to open up all my windows and to put a fan in my bedroom window.  Why the bedroom particularly?  For some reason or another, no matter where I live, when there is a fan in my bedroom window, it makes the air smell just like my grandma’s house when I was growing up, particularly her upstairs and bedroom.  Sometimes, I long for weather not too hot and not too cold, just so that I can have a fan in the bedroom window that blows out that smell.  And when it does, I look for reasons throughout the day to visit my bedroom, to inhale deeply and to let my mind wander to another time.

Smells have that effect on me, nostalgically letting me remember times past.  While the fan smell is my favorite, another smell is stuff burning.  Not like a house catching fire or anything, but rather a pit-beef joint cooking or a log in the fireplace.  This smell reminds me of my paternal grandparents.  They live in the south and during the summer we would visit.  There I witnessed something I hadn’t seen before.  In the evening, they take their trash to a heap outside and set it on fire.  No trash trucks to pick it up twice a week.  They just light it up and watch it go.

It’s good to indulge in a little bit of nostalgia once in a while, especially when it comes to remembering God’s deliverance.  After a certain amount of time goes by, whether it becomes a time of prosperity or a time of hardship, it’s so easy to forget.  The daily grind and routine schedules tend to overshadow what previously occurred.  That can be a good thing when someone is trying to get over hurtful things, but when one wants to remember a glorious time it can be dangerous.

The danger of forgetfulness can leave us with a warped outlook on life.  “Why does this always happen to me?”  “Things never turn in my favor.”  “It’s useless for me to even try!”  Words such as “always, never and useless” denote negativity when used this way. This negative brow beating overshadows the good.  We use words so lightly, but if I were to really question, what would the true outcome be?  Do things really never ever turn in your favor?  Is it really useless for you to try?  The answer, most likely, would be no.

Through times of hardship and for prosperity our perspective on life can get blurred.  That’s why God mandated for these stones to be set up as a memorial.  These stones would stand as a physical reminder of God’s deliverance; of a time when He altered nature and did the impossible just so that His people could gain their promise.

We may not have physical stones, but I do believe we have “markers” in our memory that can transport us to our time of deliverance.  Things that help us to remember that no matter what state one may find themselves in now, God is still on the throne and He is still working it out on our behalf.  That’s why it’s good to indulge in nostalgia.  It opens the door to the good ole days.  The thought of it can instantly put a smile on my face.  Now, imagine doing that with God’s deliverance.  Sometimes we need to remember on purpose where He brought us from and how He brought us through.  Set that up as a “marker” to help no matter what life may bring.