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July 12, 2013 – Joshua 16-17

poutThere’s always a bit of tension between God’s blessings and our own work.  Jesus tells us that we should not worry about the future because God will provide all our needs, yet he also tells us to be wise with money. Will God bless us or does it all depend on us? How do we reconcile these two seemingly dissimilar ideas?

Imagine with me, if you will, a wee lil puppy (warning: shameless attempt at cutess in the illustration). If one is teaching a puppy to trust his owner, do you just fill a giant tub up with dog food and throw the dog in so he knows his needs are met? The answer is no; even if you tried it a bunch of times. Hypothetically. In order to teach a puppy to trust, you put the food in a dish on the floor, and the puppy wags and wiggles his little way over to the smorgsabord.

“BUT THAT HILL IS SO FAR AWAY”

In the book of Joshua, the descendants of Joseph faced a similar quandry. After the conquest of Canaan, they were all given a certain piece of land, but the Manassites (joseph’s decendants) felt that they had gotten ripped off with a parcel that was too small for them, and they asked Joshua for more land. Joshua answers “sure, you can have all the land over that hill over there, just go get it.” But the people said, “umm…there’s other people there. and they have cool rides. Can’t we just have land right here from one of the other Israelites?”

See the problem? God was providing a blessing for them, but they had to go take it. They had to put forth the effort and trust that God would give them victory; God did not just hand it to them.

BEHOLD, I AM THE GREAT GENIE OF THE LAMP

What is it about us that wants God to just provide our needs without any effort? We seem to have this idea that if God loves us, he should give us money to get out of debt; He should give us a new car (doesn’t he know how bad it stinks?); he should take care of that boss (doesn’t he know what a jerk he is and how much better we could run the company?). Would you give your children any and every thing they wanted? Is that what a loving father teaches his children?

Perhaps our concept of God’s Love needs a little rethinking.  Maybe He’s asking us to go take the hill with Him, instead of giving us the easy life in the plain.  Sometimes the best lessons come with a little struggle. Maybe He’s not so interested in granting our every wish and desire as helping us mature and, gasp, learn to trust Him more.

Are you willing to put forth the effort to find out?

One thought on “July 12, 2013 – Joshua 16-17

  1. One thing I’ve come to realize from our examples in the Bible; when men of God asked something of God it was usually to fulfill the work that God had given them. When we ask God for things, is this the intent of our heart? Or are we asking to fulfill our own desires?

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