Devotional for May 5, 2021

Greetings in Christ,

  Why do we do what we do when we do it?  This question has been asked in the past, but it has many applications to our lives in our actions we take in our lives.  Why do we let fear have a place in our thoughts, and in our hearts?  Why do we let the things of this world bring out the fear in us, fearing the things we should not fear?  Some may call it worry, anxiety, or doubt, but we all have a tendency to let fear grip us.  It has plagued mankind since the downfall of Adam and Eve.

  In the book of Joshua, the land has been sectioned off and given to the sons of Joseph.  Some have come back to Joshua to complain their tribe was large in numbers and the land portion (size)would not sustain them.  Joshua’s response was for them to clear the wooden areas and overtake the people who occupied the land just beyond the wooden areas.  Their response to Joshua was they had chariots and were strong warriors.  Joshua replied and told them they had more strong warriors and they could overtake them if they so desired.  The sons of Joseph feared the unknown, or at least what they thought was the unknown of what could happen to them.

  The sons of Joseph looked to the other people as their enemy, but they considered their enemy to be greater than they ever could be.  They feared moving forward to conquer the land for they imagined things which could happen to them, and they let their imagination take them down paths of thoughts which did not lead to positive results.  They let fear be the fuel which drove them to believe what they imagined could happen to be devastating to their own people.

  Someone made this statement, “Worry is the waste of a good imagination.”  While the sons of Joseph feared what could happen, they let their worry of what they imagined could happen get the best of them instead of relying on what they knew and had been taught while they wandered through the wilderness.  They had been rooted in traditions and heard the stories of what God could do for them, but they chose to worry and let fear rule in their lives.

  Paul wrote to the Thessalonians telling them to remain steadfast in their traditions they had been taught and to keep the faith in the truth.  Paul was reminding them they had been chosen by God for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit, and it is God Who will give them eternal comfort and good hope by grace.  Paul wanted them to look beyond themselves to see what was possible in God for their own good.

  Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus addresses the crowd telling them they need to ask God for the things they need, seek and they will find, knock and it will be opened.  Jesus is quite clear people must ask before they will receive.  Jesus sets the tone for them to pray for what they need, and it is through prayer God will supply what they need.  It shows their dependence on Him.

  The sons of Joseph did not lean towards their traditions, nor did they ask God for help.  They chose to let the fear of the unknown fuel their imagination of what could happen.  They chose to ignore the past actions of God providing for them as they had wandered through the desert and ignored God’s promise of the new land of milk and honey. 

  Why do we do what we do when we do it?  We let fear fuel our imagination letting us go down the path of all the things we think will happen instead of turning to what we know, and what we should do.  We need to be grounded in the truth, the truth we read in the Bible; and to ask God for what we need.  There is something about praying to God that humbles us, changes us, and guides us.  It is a time where we connect with God on a level which gives us hope of the eternal life we will have in heaven.  We have been chosen by God to His children, and God wants to provide for us, but we must be humble enough to ask Him for the things we need, and to have the faith in the truth to know God will give good things to those who ask.

“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth, who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!  From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength because of Your adversaries, to make the enemy and the revengeful cease.  When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him?  Yet You have made him a little lower than God, and You crown him with glory and majesty!  You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, whatever passes through the paths of the seas.  O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!”  Psalm 8

  Lord may we be grounded in the truth of Your word and ask for Your help when we need it.  We will give You praise for all You do.  Amen


  Mark Johnson
  Psalm 8, 24,9,84;Joshua 17:14-18; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17; Matthew 7:7-14

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