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Monday, February 21, 2011

Marching Orders

“You and your fighting men should march around the town once a day for six days…On the seventh day you are to march around the town seven times, with the priests blowing the horns.  When you hear the priests give one long blast on the rams’ horns, have all the people shout as loud as they can. Then the walls of the town will collapse, and the people can charge straight into the town.”

Since Friday’s phone conversation with Amber, I’ve been completely consumed with the fact the Israelites couldn’t see on the other side of the wall. When God gave them their marching orders, they could only see tall, guarded, locked, bricked walls.

Instructed to march in silence, they did not speak. I wonder what they thought. Did they march with confidence believing God would do what He said? Did they wonder what God was actually giving them; what was really on the other side of the big walls? Did they wonder if Joshua really had a line to God?

Or did they march to the cadence of stories their ancestors told them about obeying God and the consequences for not? Did they replay the cross of the Jordan or imagine manna falling at their feet?

I can be just like this. Some days all I have to do seems possible, inspiring and wonderful. All I have to do is remember God’s promises toward me. If I focus on His good plans and loving thoughts toward me, my day is always successful

But when I choose to forget how He has rescued me time and time again, I wobble. I complain and I get tired. When I disregard His promises, I lose hope. And I need hope to make it through my days!

Marching around a fortified town six times and then seven more in a row was probably tiring. I imagine the people telling themselves, “This is nothing compared to wandering I the desert!” But I also imagine they felt more like they’d run a marathon than prepared for battle when they were done marching.

I wonder if they gave in to the enemy and thought there was no way they’d have any energy to take the town after all that silent marching. But they did. God renewed them after each day’s marching orders were complete.

They simply believed and obeyed.

And God came through.

As they took the land.

“But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
   They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don't get tired,
   they walk and don't lag behind.” Isaiah 40:31 The Message

I'm speaking at First Baptist Church Bryan's MOPS meeting tomorrow. If you are in the area, I'd love to see you! It starts at 9:30 and I'll be speaking at 10:30. 


Gretchen said...

"God renewed them after each day’s marching orders were complete." Lurve how you wrapped this up for me, Chica. Wouldn't I be growing ever so much faster if I'd just remember that I only have to follow orders one day at a time. You know...because tomorrow has enough worries of its own. And because He really gives me all that I need. Great stuff, Maynard. Heart you.

Kim said...

Your post is so timely in my life and really touched my heart. Thanks for the inspiration! Prayers and blessing to you!

kiddo1024 said...

Lisa, oh how I love that you went back! I know that AMber spurred you on, but you, Chica, rock my world. How easy it is to give into the weariness, but you found the energy to look again and that is PRECIOUS to me! I can TOTALLY imagine the Israelites getting up every day probably complain at some point that they are too tired to go on, and then comes the seventh day - 7 times around!!! Oh what a mountain to climb! BUT, you got it Sweet Girlfriend - if we just focus on that day and REMEMBER (that was one of our studies) God's promise and TAKE SHELTER THERE! Oh, Sister, how beautiful and springlike your words are! Love you!

Anonymous said...

I think so many times I read Bible stories too quickly and I don't even think about what was going on in between the verses. This made me think about what they might have been thinking as they marched.

Thanks for making this story even more relevant to me.