Monday, January 23, 2012

Have you ever faced a difficult transition? -- Devotion from Mike MacIntosh

Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass that the children of Israel asked the Lord, saying, "Who shall be first to go up for us against the Canaanites to fight against them?" And the Lord said, "Judah shall go up. Indeed I have delivered the land into his hand." So Judah said to Simeon his brother, "Come up with me to my allotted territory, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I will likewise go with you to your allotted territory." And Simeon went with him.Judges 1:1-3
Have you ever faced a difficult time of transition? Here in the book of Judges, the children of Israel are in transition. They've relied on the spiritual leadership of Moses and Joshua for all these years and now there's nobody to lead them -- Joshua lived 110 years before he died (Joshua 24:29).  So the book of Judges is a real eye-opener for us today as we see how to live for God, no matter the circumstances.
In the first three verses, take a look at two interesting things. First, notice that the children of Israel asked the Lord for guidance. Before they made a next move, they had enough spiritual insight to ask the Lord for His next steps. What a great lesson for us. For every need that you have, every step that you take, and every question about life, be sure that it has all been bathed in prayer, and seek the Holy Spirit's help in guiding your life's decisions.
Unfortunately, I've seen so many well-intentioned people over the years who start out asking the Lord for His guidance, but who stop when something happens -- a distraction, a difficulty, a frustration, even a blessing. Then they just go through life on their own, making their own decisions without God's counsel, and their lives fall apart.  In fact, later in the book of Judges, that's exactly what happened to the children of Israel; they asked, then they stopped and lived their own lives (and they were miserable). May I encourage you to keep on inquiring of the Lord. Keep on asking Him for direction, wisdom, and counsel.
Second, we see that the people are united. Notice that Judah says to Simeon, "Come with me to fight against the enemy and I will likewise go with you and do battle with your enemies." As the Body of Christ, we all need each other. (That's why He's called us a body). We can't rely on our own strength to do battle with the enemy. We need each other. Take some time to read the book of 1 John and underline all of the times that "one another" is mentioned. God is encouraging us to work together; that's how He designed us to function. We need each other. We all have gifts, talents, and abilities from God to work together to achieve what He wants us to do. Let's come alongside one another and help each other in the tasks that He has for us to accomplish.

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This devotional message is provided by Horizon Christian Fellowship.
© 2009 Mike MacIntosh. All Rights Reserved.

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