One thing really spoke to me early in this study. Priscilla Shirer says, "The Israelites thought having access to some of the promised land was better than having to fight for all of it. So, comfortable and complacent, they chose to enjoy the relative quiet rather than risk upsetting their equilibrium by obeying God completely. They had every right to all of the land- in fact, they already owned it- but since they chose not to possess it, they weren't able to enjoy it.... Our shortsightedness often makes partial obedience appear to be the best, safest, most reasonable choice, but it always leads to future hardship, eventually making our lives more difficult than they need to be."
The result of this kind of action leads to emotional weakness, physical exhaustion, and spiritual deflation. Um.... most of you don't know me in real life, but this eroded description fits me perfectly right now. It's heartbreaking to realize that I got my own self here simply by letting fear rule some decisions, when faith would have been the life-saving option. The good news that followed melted my aching heart and restored hope. I don't know where you're at as you read this, but I desperately needed to know there was a sweet promise ahead, as I repented and grappled with my own mess.
God's redemption plan for humanity. She says, "From beginning to end, Scripture spells out the divine rescue plan God is orchestrating to bring people back into relationship with Himself." I loved that she showed a circular graph for those of us who are visual learners. The thing that often happens is;
1) a rejection of God's way. (In choosing fear over faith, I rejected His purpose and plan for my heart, my decisions and my life.)
2) Decline in God's people.
3) Consequences allowed by God's hand. And finally, when you can't take it another minute and you crave God's outpouring of favor on your heart, you come to;
4) a restored relationship to God's presence.
I am taking huge gulps of fresh air as I circle around to #4.
And then He gave me this old favorite. Joshua 1:9 “Here is what I am commanding you to do. Be strong and brave. Do not be terrified. Do not lose hope. I am the Lord your God. I will be with you everywhere you go.” (emphasis mine)