Transformation Garden - August 15, 2011

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“Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the Lord, saying, ‘Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?’”
Judges 1: 1
King James Version

EXPLORATION

“Who Will Lead?”

“When we fail to wait prayerfully for God’s guidance and strength, we are saying with our actions if not our lips, that we do not need Him.”
Charles Hummel

Everyday, do I ask God for His guiding presence in my life?

“I have lived, and seen God’s hand through a life time, and all was for the best.”
Robert Browning

INSPIRATION

“Trust God where you cannot trace Him.  Do not try to penetrate the cloud He brings over you; rather look to the bow that is on it.  The mystery is God’s; the promise is yours.”
John Macduff

Everyday of every year – don’t we want to be happy?  Isn’t this what we long for?  Happiness and fulfillment in the days to come.  Yet, none of us owns tomorrow or even has control of our future.  Sudden change and unexpected events can turn things upside down in a split second.

Today, I invite you to ask yourself a question that has been on my mind and in my own heart.  A question I have asked myself, “Who is going to lead me?”  I know that personally, it’s easy for me to say, “Of course, God is going to lead my life everyday, but then I have to ask myself honestly, “When trouble or pain, when calamity or grief invade my life, will I still trust God’s leading?”

For many of us, this has been a tough year so far.  And who knows what calamity looms in the future.  I know sometimes I feel faint-hearted, forgetting that the “One” who is leading me will be at my side to sustain and uphold me no matter what I face.

Author Merv Rosell penned this astute thought that reminded me of our God’s unlimited power to guide and deliver, especially in those times when we face the most devastating trials.  He wrote, “God could have kept Daniel out of the lion’s den…He could have kept Paul and Silas out of jail…He could have kept the three Hebrew children out of the fiery furnace…but God has never promised to keep us out of hard places…What He has promised is to go with us through every hard place, and to bring us through victoriously.”

As we continue our study in the book of Judges – let us remember that this book begins with the death of Joshua – a courageous and valiant leader.  As the children of Israel took possession of their promised home in Canaan, Joshua was the person they relied on to “get the job done.”  His spirit of unflinching boldness empowered God’s children as they faced one battle after another.  But after Joshua died, we find the first question they asked in Judges 1: 1 was a very reasonable one indeed. “Who is going to lead us?”  When their enemies came against them, when problems arose, they wanted to know who to turn to.

Frankly, I don’t think I’m much different from these people.  I want to know who’ll be leading me, too.  And one thing I know for certain, is that the track record of my heavenly Father is the best in the world.  As I review God’s leading in my life, even during the darkest hours and most painful moments, having His shoulder on which to rest my weary head; having His hand to hold in times of despair; and following His footsteps when I can’t see what’s ahead, is the only way I know to face the future with a heart full of hope.

The story is told of a Bedouin who lived in the desert.  Visited by a Christian missionary he asked, “How do you know that there is a God?”  His new friend replied, “In the same way that you know, on looking at the desert sand whether a man or beast has crossed the desert – by His footprints in the world around me.”

As we continue to follow God’s leading of His children throughout the Old Testament, may we be aware of the footprints of the One we have chosen to lead us.

While we have no idea what tomorrow will bring, in the words of one of my favorite preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “As sure as God puts His children in the furnace, He will be in the furnace with them.”

When I was a young girl, I learned a hymn that I still like to sing called, “Will Your Anchor Hold?”  Many times, however, the first and last stanzas were all that were sung. I’d like to encourage your heart, today by sharing the words to this hymn/poem with you:

            “Will your anchor hold in the storm of life,
            when the clouds, unfold their wings of strife?
            when the strong tides lift,
            and the cables strain,
            will your anchor drift,
            or firm remain?

            If ‘tis safely moored,
            ‘twill the storm withstand,
            for ‘tis well secured by the Savior’s hand;
            and the cables,
            passed from His heart to thine,
            can defy the blast,
            through strength divine.”

Priscilla J. Owens

Whatever blast hits you and me in the coming days, let us never forget we have a guide, a leader, an anchor that is strong, secure and never-failing.

“Cast all your cares on God; that anchor holds.”
Alfred Lord Tennyson

AFFIRMATION

“Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life in fear; rather look to them with full hope that, as they arise, God, whose you are, will deliver you out of them.  He is your keeper.  He has kept you hitherto.  Do you but hold fast to His dear hand, and He will lead you safely through all things; and, when you cannot stand, He will bear you in His arms.  Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow.  Our Father will either shield you from suffering, or He will give you strength to bear it.”    
Francis of Sales

SPECIAL INSERT:

 If you would like to purchase Dorothy Valcàrcel’s book, When A Woman Meets Jesus at a 30%-50% quantity discount for your Women’s Ministry Program or for Bible Study Groups, please visit: www.direct2church.com or email direct2church@BakerPublishingGroup.com

Your friend,

Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
Now available wherever books are sold and at
www.amazon.com and
 www.ChristianBook.com or
1/800-Christian
Dorothy@TransformationGarden.com

For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.

 
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