Day Twenty: Will your anchor hold?

READ:  Joshua 9:3-9, 11, 14-16

 

(3-6) The people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai and cooked up a ruse.  They posed as travelers: their donkeys loaded with patched sacks and mended wineskins, threadbare sandals on their feet, tattered clothes on their bodies, nothing but dry crusts and crumbs for food.  They came to Joshua at Gilgal and spoke to the men of Israel, “We’ve come from a far-off country; make a covenant with us.”

(7) The men of Israel said to these Hivites, “How do we know you aren’t local people?  How could we make a covenant with you?”

(8) They said to Joshua, “We’ll be your servants.”

      Joshua said, “Who are you now?  Where did you come from?”

(9, 11) They said, “From a far-off country, very far away.  You servants came because we’d heard such great things about God, your God–all the things He did in Egypt!….Our leaders and everybody else in our country told us, ‘Pack up some food for the road and go meet them.  Tell them, We’re your servants; make a covenant with us.’…

(14) The men of Israel looked them over and accepted the evidence.  But they didn’t ask God about it.

(15) So Joshua made peace with them and formalized it with a covenant to guarantee their lives.  The leaders of the congregation swore to it.

(16) And then, three days after making this covenant, they learned that they were next-door neighbors, who had been living there all along.

 

THINK:  “Is there a place in your life where you are susceptible to offers and flattery, so you can form attachments without asking God for input?  (Attachments refers to relationships and commitments to people, tasks, and organizations.)

 

PRAY:  “Ask God to help you go over your attachments by moving through the following questions as if God were sitting next to you with his arm around you.

          What attachments, if any, have you rushed into without investigating further, especially by asking God what you need to know about the situation?

          Ask God to show you where, if at all, you need to back off from an attachment.”

 

LIVE:  “Wait with an open heart for anything God might say to you.  If nothing comes to you, ask God to make it apparent in the next few weeks if there’s anything you need to know about your attachments.”

 

 

When I first started this blog (back way before this series), I just wanted someone to see me, to be noticed.  To use this as a way of doing something for God that might be important.  The thing is:  I didn’t care so much about it being important to God.  I wanted it to be important to my fellow man.  Surely, if I did something that made an impact in the lives of people around me, that would be good in God’s eyes.  And if that was good in God’s eyes, then maybe I would be  good in God’s eyes.  Doing good to gain approval has been my attachment for as long as I can remember.  Being good enough to be considered worthy of love.  In an effort to gain approval, I have over-committed myself far too often.  I have agreed to things before I’ve thought them out.  I’ve volunteered for things that I didn’t really want to do because I wanted approval.  Fear of rejection has been a pretty big deal in my life because I have believed the lie that I have to perform well to be accepted because who I am surely will not be enough.

 

Realistically, there are plenty of areas in my life where this has been demonstrated as untrue.  Amazing, isn’t it, how good Satan is at magnifying the areas where the lies we’ve believed seem to have proven true so as to overshadow the times the truth has shone out?! 

 

The truth of the matter is:  none of us can ever do anything “good enough” for God because all have sinned and fall short (Romans 3:23).  The Devil is so crafty, however, that he knows just how to twist that verse around in our minds so that he can use it against those who desire acceptance and approval just so they can feel loved, or believe they are loved.  It’s like he says:

“See, even the Bible says you are not worthy, that you have fallen short.”

 

And if you just stop there, it would be easy to believe that there will never be any hope for people such as this, such as me.  However, because God is good, He made a way for us to escape that “fallen-short” state.  Satan knows this, which is why He never volunteers the rest of the sentence (continued in Romans 3:24) or the context for the verse (all of Romans, but specifically chapter 3).  The rest of the sentence (Romans 3:24 says):

“and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ.”

 

If my attachments are based in on Earth, I will always fall short.  Those attachments will always disappoint.  Nothing here can satisfy the longing of a soul that was designed to love God and be filled by Him.  However, if I continually place my faith and hope in the Lord, I will always be satisfied.  I will always be loved and accepted.  Even when I am disappointed by things that happen on Earth.  Even when God allows me to walk through things that hurt or leave me wondering where God is, I can know that it is BECAUSE He loves me and wants me wholly reliant upon Him for my fulfillment and satisfaction. 

 

But, of course, since we are humans, we will forget this.  We will tether ourselves to something here on Earth that will

disappoint us.  We will attach ourselves to things or people that were never meant to be our anchor.  And God, because He is a jealous God, will graciously allow those moors to fail us.  He will allow us to go through something that will force us to place our faith in Him ALONE.  And then, He will not disappoint us.  He may not remove the storm from our lives, but He will calm our spirits so that we can weather that storm.  And we will be able to walk calmly because we are securely tethered (attached) to the only One who has never failed or faltered, and who will never leave us nor forsake us.

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