Category Archives: Musings

Fresh and seasoned thoughts about the practice of Sabbath.

Listening to God as Prayer

Our Study on Prayer as a Spiritual Discipline

At First Baptist Nederland we are in the middle of a sermon series on Spiritual Disciplines.  The first week we covered the topic of Sabbath.  You can check out that sermon HERE.

This past Sunday we moved onto Prayer. If you click HEREyou can watch that message in case you missed it.

We have over 200 people receiving text messages every morning at 7:00 a.m. as a reminder to tend to our spiritual disciplines.  If you are getting those, I hope that those morning scripture verses have proved to be a beneficial reminder to pray, study and spend a few minutes at the beginning of your day focusing on God.  It’s not too late to join us.  Follow this LINK for instructions on how to get started.

Job’s Prayer

We learn prayer by observing the prayers of others.

Sunday morning we talked about Nehemiah’s prayer.  His prayer was filled with right thinking about God, a remembering of all that God promised to his people, and a heartfelt plea for the city that Nehemiah loved so much.    Nehemiah’s prayer serves as a great example of the kind of prayers we need to lift up to God when we feel that our lives, or the lives of our loved ones, are being tested.

There is another example of prayer we will look at tonight at our prayer meeting. This evening as we gather for study and prayer we will consider Job’s prayer to God.

Job’s prayer has more to do with Listening to God than it does with Speaking to God.

“I know that you can do all things;
no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’
Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.
You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak;
I will question you, and you shall answer me.
‘My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.
Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”
Job 42:2-6 NIV

There are some ingredients to this prayer that make it powerful and effective.

1. Prayer that listens to God knows God.

Job was praying to a God he knew personally.  For the previous 4 chapters in the book of Job, God has been speaking thunderously to him.  God made himself known to Job in a way that very few others in the Old Testament experienced.  At the very end of Job’s story, God commands Job’s friends to bring a sacrifice to Job and have him pray for them since only Job truly new God and how great He is.

2.  Prayer that listens to God Believes God.

Job says, “I know that you can do all things…”

Job’s understanding of God allowed him to be able to trust God. We can easily fall into the trap of filling our prayer times with words, so much so that our prayers become a monologue directed at God.  We come to him with a list of what we want him to do and how we want him to do it.

Job’s prayer acknowledges enough trust in God to able to listen for what God wants to do and how God wants to do it.

3.  Prayer that listens to God requires us to humble ourselves.

Job quickly remembered his position before God when God first started speaking to him back in chapter 38. I love how the King James version renders the translation:

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
Job 38:1-3 KJV

As Job responds to God, he does so in humility.  When we humble ourselves before God, we place ourselves in a position to hear from him.

4.  Prayer that hears from God takes place when we stop talking.

Why dominate the conversation with God when God has infinitely better things to tell us than we have to tell him?  Jesus uses the prayer practices of the pagans to drive home this point.

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
NIV Matthew 6:7

Our ‘many words’ just crowd out God from being able to get a word to us.  After experiencing God, Job’s response was to use less of his mouth in praying, and more of his ears.

5.  When we hear from God we start to see clearly what God is doing around us.

Job said, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.”  God prepares us to experience Him through revealing Himself to us.  If our prayer times are dominated by our many words, we will miss out of seeing the many works God is doing amongst us.

Job came away from his encounter with a fresh and renewed perspective about how God was working in his life and in the life of those around him.

Think of how different our lives would be if we stayed in our prayer closets long enough to have heard from God and then enter the day excited about seeing God work in the through us!

 

The Anti-Sabbath Parable

I was looking at one of Jesus’ parables this morning. It was about a man who experienced a bumper crop and decided to store away all of his surplus grain in bigger barns and live the remainder of his days in ease and comfort.

On the surface, it doesn’t seem like anything is so wrong and that God’s judgment is severe.  After all, the man is just planning his rest and relaxation after a profitable harvest.

I’ve spent the better part of this past week pondering the subject of REST.  Last Sunday morning I preached on Sabbath.  Sabbath is the kind of REST God enjoyed at the end of the week of Creation.  God commands us to REST from our labors in order to know Him and enjoy a relationship with Him.

The REST that God commands is not a purposeless, endless, meaningless retreat from the world.  The REST that God commands us to enter is purposeful, constructive, and packed with eternal significance.

Consider these words the man speaks in the story Jesus tells:

Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, ‘You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.'”
NIV Luke 12:18-19

The point of the story is not that the man gains wealth. The point of the story is that he has NO regard for God.

In the first place, the man is SELF-SATISFIED.  The man refers to himself 7 times in the span of 3 verses!  He sees all of his gain as a product of his ingenuity and industry.  He doesn’t thank God, or consider God, as he counts the bushels of grains that are going into the storehouses.

Second, the man is SELF-FOCUSSED.  He doesn’t see his good fortune as being connected to anything other than what he can provide for himself.  The only expense he worries with is the cost of the new barns he has to build, the price of the wine he is going to buy, and financing his life of leisure.  It’s all about himself.

And third, he is ultimately SELF-DESTROYED.  God calls him a fool and demands his life from him.  Jesus says:

“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
NIV Luke 12:21

We facilitate our own demise when we focus only on ourselves and seek satisfaction in only what we can do.

The REST this man desired wasn’t not the kind of Sabbath REST that designed.  In fact, the kind of REST the man was planning for himself was antithetical to the purposeful life God created us for.

Whereas the man was focussed on being SELF-SATISFIED, to be rich toward God requires us to be GOD-CONFIDENT.  You can be GOD-CONFIDENT whether or not you have big barns, small barns, or NO barns.  Being confident in God, and fully trusting in the Lord, is not a function of what you have, or don’t have in the bank.  A life that is rich toward God is a life that trust God completely.

A life that is rich toward God is a life that is GOD-CENTERED.  The man in Jesus’ story would have enjoyed a much different outcome if he had expressed thanksgiving to God for the harvest, looked beyond himself for what to do with the harvest, or even considered God’s reason for sending him such a bountiful harvest.

A GOD-CENTERED life sees beyond itself and connects to the people God places around us.  It is concerned about the work of God. It believes that we are here to serve God with all that we have with all the time he gives us.

A GOD-CONFIDENT life that is GOD-CENTERED is a GOD-BLESSED existence.  Our time on earth is filled with meaning as we continually look to our creator.  Even our resting, relaxing, vacationing and leisure are GOD-BLESSED as they are connected to a life that is oriented toward the God who loves us.

When a person is GOD-CONFIDENT they can REST from their labors, trust God for his provision, and enjoy time that is set aside for tending to the things of the Spirit.

When a person is GOD-CENTERED their REST recharges them for service, ministry, missions and acts of love.

Ultimately, the one who learns to relate to God wholeheartedly hears the words all of God’s wise servant long to experience…

 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master.'”
NAS Matthew 25:21

 

Be sure to sing up for our 5 Week Spiritual Discipline Challenge.  Follow this LINK to get the text messages that go out each morning at 7 AM.



We Schedule the things that Matter to Us

Sabbath is about tending to that which is most important to our lives. 


By resting from our work, our striving, and our busyness, we make room for praying, worshiping and serving. 

The 4th Commandment is all about Rememberig to Stop, Rest, Reflect, and Rejoice in God. 

God calls us to remember that He rested in the week of creation. 

When we are serious about tending to something, we write a note to ourselves on our calendar or in our day planner. 

We write down our doctors appointments, our teacher conferences and our social meetings. Why wouldn’t we write down on our calendar our meetings with God?

Take a moment today and schedule your time with the Lord. Sabbath is about intentionally setting aside time to tend to your relationship with God. 

If you need a daily reminder to carve out time for God, sign up for our daily texts that are going out for the next 33 days at 7 AM. Sing up by following the instructions in the link below. 

https://www.remind.com/join/prayfbcn

I Thought It Would Be Easy

I tell myself, “I think this will be an easy repair ” 

That’s the problem with DIY projects around my house. 

I see something that needs to be done, and I immediately  underestimate the complexity of the situation. 

To exacerbate the problem, I tune into YouTube to view a few instructional videos to help boost my confidence in being able to complete whatever project has sprung up. 

I tackle most projects with lots of initial enthusiasm for the work, but wind up being frustrated when the work turns out to be more than I bargained for. 

Take yesterday’s project for instance.


Notice anything wrong with this picture? If you look closely, you’ll see that a shingle is missing. 

This wasn’t the only spot on my roof with a missing shingle. In fact, I had about 10 shingles I needed to replace. 

It took the guy on YouTube all of 2 minutes to repair a damaged shingle. He made it look easy. He was smiling the whole time he was in front of the camera. He looked like he enjoyed what he was doing. 

Fun and smiles and efficiency were not what I experienced. 

You would think I would have learned my lesson by now. The last time I got the ladder out to replace one little shingle turned into a major repair project. 

You will notice that I am NOT on the scaffold. This simple replacement turned into a costly repair project.


In spite of the lesson life taught me back when the above picture was taken, I decided to try my hand at roof repairs again. 

On a good note, I was able to replace all of the faulty shingles on my house yesterday. 

On a sad note, it took about 10 hours longer than what I expected!

In my mind, I imagined that all of the repairs on the roof would be done before lunchtime yesterday. I didn’t get started until after 9 a.m., and I was going to give myself plenty of time for moving ladders and admiring my work. 

What I didn’t figure in was an extra trip to the hardware store because I didn’t have enough materials or the right kind of tools. I didn’t figure in how out of shape I am and how quickly my resolve for finishing the project would dissolve in the heat of the day. I didn’t factor in all of the Dr. Pepper breaks that I needed. There are a lot of things you can’t “Figure In” until you’ve started a project. 

What I found out yesterday was that the 10th shingle I replaced was much easier than the first shingle I replaced. 

There is something to be gained from experience. 

I bring this up because over the next few weeks I’m going to be doing a study on Spiritual Disciplines. You’ll hear a lot about things like Prayer and Study and Fasting and Worship and etc…

When a person get’s serious about God,  Spiritual Disciplines become the necessary components of relating with God and responding to God. 

Like repairing that first shingle, they might seem like a daunting task, something that should be reserved only for experts. But when you have practiced them for a while, and become familiar with them, they not only become easier, but also a needful part of your life. 

The key is to be consistent. The guy on the YouTube video was able to smile throughout his on-camera demonstration of how to replace a shingle because he had replaced shingles thousands of times. 

When we make the Spiritual Disciplines a consistent part of our daily/weekly routine, we discover that, rather than taking away from our lives, they add an element of Joy and Purpose to our existence. 

So as we start looking at Spiritual Disciplines together, don’t approach them thinking it will be easy. Dive into them knowing that it will be worth it

Doing what is easy is seldom worthwhile. Doing what is worthwhile is hardly ever easy. 

Join me for a 5 Week Long Spiritual Discipline Challenge. 

Stating Monday morning , August 7th, I’ll be sending out a Text Message from the church (this is not a group text, so don’t worry about being stuck in a never-ending vortex of replies) with a Bible verse to get our thoughts focussed on God. After 5 weeks worth of morning texts, you will receive a thank-you text for participating, and the group will be deleted. 

To join, send a text from your phone to this number: 81010

With this message: @prayfbcn

If you have any trouble, just email me your cell phone number and I’ll get you plugged in. 

Pastorburden@gmail.com

Go Ahead And Make That Call

Stranded

Yesterday afternoon I was driving back to Nederland from a meeting in Bridge City.  Things seemed to be going fine.  The traffic was light, the sky was clear and the car was running well.

Then something changed.

Right before climbing up the Rainbow Bridge, I looked down at my car’s temperature gauge.  It looked like it was a little higher than normal.  But it’s August, it’s Texas, and sometimes these little cars heat up and then cool down.  I watched the gauge as I drove over the bridge. The higher I got on the bridge the hotter the car became.

I was starting to worry.

Thankfully, I made it to the top of the Rainbow Bridge.  I coasted back to terra firma hoping that everything would be fine once I got back on flat land.

But it wasn’t.

I didn’t make it 500 yards from the bridge before I had to pull over because the car was overheating.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been in a car that was overheating.

I parked, and picked up my cell phone, and called my son.  He was in Nederland and wasn’t tied up with anything major.  He brought me a couple of gallons of water, and off we went.  The added water bought a little time for us to diagnose the problem and make repairs.

I was glad I had my cell phone with me.  I was also glad the first person I called, Hayden, was available for me.  I was off the side of the road and back in action within 20 minutes of calling out to him.

A Time Before

I remember the first time I had to use the cell phone as a distress line.  I was 16.  Can you even believe they had cell phones back then!?!?

Kids these days would not recognize the kind of phone I had.  Only people over 40 can appreciate the Bag Phone.  My dad put it in my little truck when I started driving in case I ever needed to get in touch with him.

The time between when he put it in my truck, and the first time I had to use it, turns out to be an embarrassingly small amount of time.  I think it was the same day!

I was driving myself and my sister to school and we were playing around with buttons on the phone (which was silly because this was before the days of texting, games or chatting).  I took my eyes off the road and ran into a gate.  It’s a long story.  We were shaken up, but unhurt.

I called my dad.  He was there in about 60 seconds.  We got to school, though a little late.

I was sad and embarrassed that I had the accident. I was thankful I had a phone to use to call for help. I was, and continue to be, thankful for a dad to call to when I run into problems (or gates, or trees, etc…).

For All Times Ahead

I’ve been fortunate in that I have not found myself on the side of the road more often.  I suppose there has been a lot of “God’s Grace” that has kept me moving forward.

But for the times when I find that I’m stuck, I know that I have a resource in Heaven. I know that I have a God who loves me, and is ready to hear from me.  I don’t reach him by phone, but by prayer.

King David knew the worth of having a Heavenly Father to call on.  He writes:

Hear me, LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God;
 have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long.
Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you.
You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.
Hear my prayer, LORD; listen to my cry for mercy.
When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me.
Psalm 86:1-7 NIV

Sometimes, when we find ourselves stranded on the side of life’s road, we are reluctant to pick up the phone and call.  We are scared that no one will answer.  We are afraid that judgment, not rescue, lies on the other side of that call.

The longer we wait to call out to God, the more time we waste. Instead of making that call to God the last thing we do, make it the first thing, and see if he doesn’t line up the help that we need to get back on the road.



Focus Comes Before Obedience

In Joshua’s farewell speech, he commands the people of Israel to be obedient to the God who brought them into the Promised Land.

“…be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning aside to the right or to the left.” Joshua 23:6 NIV

The Distractions That Cause Us To Fall

When Israel entered the Promised Land, they entered a land that was full of temptations. The land of Canaan was full of prosperity cults, mystic religions, and foreign gods.  Israel’s neighbors were more of a spiritual threat than they were a security threat.

If you study the plot of the story of the people of Israel between the time of Joshua and the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, you will see that they rise and fall, not based on the size of their army or strength of their economy, but upon their obedience to God.

As Israel adopted the values, ethics, and deities of their neighbors, they fell into disaster.  But when they would return wholeheartedly to God, and God’s ways, God would build them back up.

This cycle of disaster and salvation is the theme of the book of Judges.  It didn’t take the people of Israel long to get bored with God and distracted by their neighbors’ gods.

In the Bible I’m using this morning, there is only ONE page between Joshua’s farewell speech and the first sign of disobedience among the Israelites.  Only 56 verses into the book of Judges we read:

Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals.
NIV Judges 2:11

When we read passages like this, we must not judge the Israelites too harshly.  We are just as susceptible to temptation as they were.  We are just as spiritually as needy as they were. And when we get distracted, when we take our eyes off of where we are going, when we start to pursue ungodly paths, we fall.

But THANKS BE TO GOD…He picks us up and sets us back on the right path.

The First Step Of Obedience Is Putting On The Blinders

Choosing to obey God requires that we narrow our focus.  If you’ve ever watched the Kentucky Derby, you’ve seen the blinders they put on racehorses.  These tools help the horse to stay focused on what lies before it. It helps them to respond to the commands of the jockey.  It keeps their eyes on the prize of the finish line.

In order to commit to obeying God with our lives, our first task in the morning is to make Him our focus.  When we focus on him, keeping our lives in line with his desires for us becomes infinitely easier.  It’s when we lose that focus, when we become distracted by the seductions of the world, that we stumble.

Our daily discipleship task is to fix our eyes on the person, work and witness of Jesus Christ.fixing our eyes on Jesus, the

…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
NIV Hebrews 12:2



Strong Like An Oak

When Joshua was 110 years old he gathered the people of Israel together to give them one final word of wisdom.  He passed along to them a series of commandments that would help them to prosper as a nation in the Promised Land.

The first commandment he gave them was the first commandment he received from God:

“Be very strong…” NIV Joshua 23:6

In the opening chapter of the book of Joshua, God commands Joshua 3 times to be Very Strong and Courageous.

Joshua’s courage and strength helped him to persevere, and to set an example for the people of Israel to follow.

The Secret To Being Strong

Think of the strength of the OAK TREE.  An oak tree is able to grow tall and strong because its roots grow deep.

At the beginning of an oak’s life, when an acorn first sprouts, most of its energy is spent on root development, with little growth above ground. The initial root is the taproot, which grows deep underground, seeking a dependable supply of moisture. Once this is accomplished, greater foliage and branch growth can begin. Soon the taproot is surpassed by an extensive root system spreading horizontally. This lateral mass of roots will bring the tree moisture and nutrients for its lifetime.

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/root-system-oak-trees-48319.html

When we choose to plant our roots deeply into the soil of God’s Word, we choose to BE STRONG.

The deeper we go with God’s Word, the more firmly we trust in his promises to us, the stronger we grow in our faith.

Joshua knew the people would face struggles after he was gone, so he gave them the best words that he could offer. Choose to BE STRONG today by trusting in God’s Word above all else.



The Power of Senior Saints

We’re winding down our study of the book of Joshua on Sunday mornings, but not without a grand finale.

IMG_6270.jpg
This weekend, we’ll be in chapter 14.  It is here that Joshua starts to divide up the Promised Land to the various tribes of Israel.  It is here that Joshua’s old friend, Caleb, comes to him and makes a special request.

Caleb was with Joshua as part of the original 12 spies Moses sent into the land to bring back a report to the people as to the value of the land.  Caleb, Joshua, and the 10 other spies did indeed bring back a good report about the value of the land, but the 10 sowed the seeds of fear among the people. They said that cities were fortified and that there were giants in the land (Anakites, or descendants of Anak).  Caleb tried to rally the people and dispel their fears, but the damage was done.  The people refused to follow Moses into the Promised Land, and instead, were condemned to wander in the wilderness for 40 years.

No Quitting

As we find Caleb approaching Joshua with his request in Joshua 14, we see that he’s an old man now.  He brags that in spite of being 85 years old, he’s just as vigorous and ready for battle as he was when he was 40 years old!

Caleb was well past retirement age, but Caleb had not learned how to quit!

That’s what I find among our Senior Saints at church.  They have served long and well, but they refuse to take their foot off the gas pedal.

If there are things to be done, they are ready to work.

If there is a ministry need, they are first in line to serve.

If there are prayers that need to be lifted up, they are the most faithful group in the church to call on God for help.

The power of Senior Saints lies in their perseverance.  They have not aged out of usefulness; they have matured into effectiveness.

No Fear

Caleb was specific with Joshua about the portion of the land that he wanted.  He desired the Hill Country, the territory with the Anakites.  As I alluded to earlier, the Anakites were giants.  Caleb could have asked for anything from Joshua, but he chose the rough terrain where the strongest enemies still lived.

Caleb had outlived his fear.  He didn’t have any fear of the giants. He knew that God was on his side, and that with God’s help, the giants who were left would just go away. And that’s exactly what happened.  The giants fled to the west and went into the land of the Philistines.

Our powerful Senior Saints are not held back from service or ministry because of fear. They have dealt with their fears, given them to God, and have realized that life is too precious to pine away being afraid of giants.  An army that cannot be made to fear is an army that can overcome any foe.

Fighting For The Next Generation

Caleb was not just thinking about himself when he approached Joshua.  He was thinking about his children and grandchildren, and all who would follow after him.

Caleb knew his children would need their share of the land, but he also knew that they would need to learn how to fight their own giants.  Caleb was going to teach them how to fight.

Caleb’s fighting had more to do with his faith than with his sword.

Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.”
NIV Joshua 14:12

A Senior Saint, who serves God wholeheartedly as Caleb did, is a force to be reckoned with. They are a living example of what it looks like to follow Jesus.  They give of their lives for the sake of their children, and in doing so, give their children an example of how to fight for their families and their loved ones.

We would all do well to honor those who have maintained the faith and have worked tirelessly to pass it down to us.  We own them so much.  And to make their joy complete, let’s persevere in the faith so that when our heads are crowned with tufts of grey, our children, too, will have a place in the Promised Land, knowing full well how to fight their own giants.

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No Stopping Now

We start with the end in mind.

Today, think about where God is taking you.

He has called you to be obedient to him.

He has given you the example of his Son to follow.

Through faith, his Holy Spirit dwells within you to empower you to do all that he desires for you.

This life of faith and obedience is a life-long adventure.  We never know what lies just around the next corner.  But we know God will be there with us.

The Apostle Paul encourages us to “PRESS ON.”  He throws caution to the wind. Getting to the goal God had for him was the driving factor in his life.

Pressing on means pressing through the difficult times.

Pressing on means no turning back.

Pressing on means staying focussed.

There is an interesting story that I came across recently about the famous pilot Charles Lindbergh.

In 1927, Charles Lindbergh reshaped history by becoming the first person to fly across the Atlantic.  Many had tried, but he was the first to succeed.  Much has been said about the modifications he made to lighten the Spirit of St. Louis so it could hold far more fuel than seemed possible. Maybe one of the most unique adjustments was that Lindbergh had the brakes removed, which was reflective of his commitment.  Brakes represented stopping and he wasn’t going to stop until he touched down on the other side.  That’s the kind of commitment that fuels success.
CharlesLindbergh.com

When God sends us on a mission, forget about the brakes.  Make his goal for you your only goal in life!

 

Spirit of St. Louis



Conditions for Rest

Rest from War

By the time we get to Joshua 11, the Promised Land has been fully taken. All that is left is to divide the land according to the tribes of Israel.

The last enemy to be driven out are the Anakites.

The Anakites were giants.  It was fear of the Anakites that kept the people of Israel out of the Promised Land under the leadership of Moses.

But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.”  And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size.  We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”  
NIV Numbers 13:31-33

At the end of Joshua 11, Joshua tells us that the Anakites fled; they survived.  A famous Anakite will make an appearance in the time of King David.  His name is Goliath, but that deserves a post all for itself.

Rest came to the people of Israel when they met certain conditions.

Recognize God is in Control

After following Moses in the desert for 40 years, and recently having seen God deliver the Promised Land to them in miraculous ways, the people recognized God’s control over all things.  When we remember that God controls the Sun, Moon, and Star, that winds and the waves obey his every command, we find rest in him.

Remember that God is Greater than our Giants

The GIANTS that kept Israel from the promised land during the time of Moses had not shrunk.  But Israel’s fear of the GIANTS had gone ways.  The GIANTS survived and fled to Gath, Ashdod and Gaza, but the fear of the GIANTS was annihilated.  God proved himself to be a greater than the GIANTS Israel faced.

Faith has more Control than Fear

Finally, to experience true and lasting rest in the land that God had given them, the people of Israel had to learn to be animated by their faith in God, rather than their fear fo their enemies.

Fear limits us.  It makes us small in the face of our GIANTS.

Faith propels us.  By faith, we face our GIANTS, but realize how small they are in comparison God.

A land gripped by fear can endure no rest.

A people who have learned to rest in their Faith in God can have rest in any land.

God is in Control.  God is GREATER than our GIANTS.  Our Faith in God overcomes our Fear of our GIANTS.