Time can be said to be like a staircase, and invariably we find ourselves moving up or down in one direction or the other. Jacob in the Bible dreamed a dream of a ladder reaching from the rock he laid his head on that night, to heaven. Messengers from God were ascending and descending. Most of us, like Jacob, are goal oriented and are looking for the right path that will take us to our goal. This is, in essence, what the ladder represented: access to God.
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The Cosmos makes its own pendulum clicking sound, like clockwork ticking. You can't tell that from this video clip. It produces a very satisfying rhythmic sound. It is mesmerizing.
Realistically though, life is neither orderly, nor linear. The staircase model is rather the product of our subconscious desire for things to go as we plan, according to our will. What we are presented with is something like this cosmos kinetic motion desk sculpture I have. I like this and other motion gadgets like Newton's cradle because of the sounds and the motion. But, real life presents as quite erratic. Some things are heading one direction, while others in our lives are headed in a totally different direction. And, we can't control this. Life is going to appear erratic to us from inside the sphere.
I use the definite article "the" rather loosely here, seeing that this gadget is composed of multiple spheres. You have the fulcrum half-sphere the whole thing hinges on, the external wire in the shape of a sphere, the middle wire sphere, the third interior wire sphere, and the solid sphere inside which all those spheres revolve around. Then you have the two internal black spheres. Then the weighted spheres, which are magnetic, three in all. So, there are multiple spheres. I like to think of myself sitting on one sphere, the middle wire sphere. That sphere is "the" sphere, the one I see everything else in relation to. Pardon the dangling participles, but I have granted myself permission to leave them hanging tonight. Sometimes Grammar must be sacrificed in the interest of Science.
From where I sit on this one thin wire, I see flashes of wires across my horizon. I feel myself going up, then I am going down. I am rising and falling. But, from here in my chair outside the whole darn contraption, I realize that it's just perspective that makes it seem that way. From out here, I know that my life is not rising and falling, but revolving around the center, in a logical pattern. It fits.
Ephesians 4:16 From whom the whole body being fitly joined together and knit together by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
I believe life is like that. When life seems to fall to pieces, it's all an illusion of perspective. Things are really falling "into place." In the same manner, dancing is falling. When you dance, a woman at least, you fall continually into your partner's arms. It doesn't seem that way, but you do. His arms are catching you. You just don't notice the falling. You think of it as gravity. But, what is gravity? Gravity doesn't exist. It is a name for something that we can't explain. For some strange reason, objects near a sphere are drawn towards its core, unless they resist, with muscular strength.
If we resist too hard, we do not make good dancers, for dancing is falling. The best thing in this life that we can do is to fall deeply and madly in love with the will of God. As long as we are spinning around Him, we know that we are on the right path. Good night. Sweet dreams!
I have reasons to believe in Jesus. Can someone else build your faith? Where does faith meet reason? How do you meet the Spiritual needs of Christians? As a Christian blogger, podcaster, & writer overcoming a physical disability, I have found myself trying to answer these questions on a daily basis, one or more at a time. But, I have a concrete faith in God & His Word. Therefore, I continue to share my faith through my experiences as a teacher, wife, mother, & child of God, as well as my experience of over 30 years in various ministries, with you day by day. Using videos, poetry, Spiritual fiction, and creation essays I try to build faith in God; your faith and mine. This faith-based devotional content that you see is created as a force-field in effect, a Spiritual shield of faith which you and I can come inside and grow, even while we are facing the attack of the enemy. Ephesians 6:16
No, I don't have all the answers to the above questions. But, Jesus does. It is advantageous to me and you that we endeavor to keep the faith, even when we are unsure of ourselves. After all, our salvation is not dependent on us, but on the cross-work of Jesus at Calvary. So, I talk about Jesus while I'm shaking in my boots. I fight my own battles with fear, by speaking truth from God's Word. I do deal with questions about much of what I write on a near daily basis. There is always a needling fear of inadequacy or concern that you, the reader, might find my gift "scoff-able." And, my skills are poorly developed. I have so many irons in the fire that some projects I have planned get shoved to the back for awhile. Fortunately, the only thing I am not lacking in is ideas. Ability is in short supply. Also, my physical condition fluctuates. I have good days and bad days. So, I ask that you forgive my shortcomings as I introduce a new feature to my online efforts, the mobile app.
Reason 2 Believe Him App
Android Market Download page
Price: Free Desktop, Laptop Browser App Download:It should work on IE, FireFox, Chrome, & Apple Safari
on your computer as well.
The App provides mobile access to content on my websites, including Reason2BelieveHim, Sunrise Scriptures, Animated Faith Zone for Kids, ¿dónde está Dios?, and a sneak peek at my newest unpublished site still under construction, Go-Minister, which will include free wallpaper and ministry resources.
Screen Shots for the App:
I have been working on the app for a number of months, sporadically, and it is a first for me, so I think it is reasonable to say that you can expect a few errors to be found. Be nice and point them out for me as soon as you spot them. Just make sure to include what type of device you are viewing the app from, as well as any problems you experience, so I can iron them out quickly. What are friends for, if not to help you improve? The app is now available in the Droid App Store under the name "Reason 2 Believe Him" with spaces. It contains immediate access to the Reason2BelieveHim blog and the podcast, as well as my Scripture Tweets, Animated & Feature YouTube videos, Cross Walker content, my Sound Cloud Greek/English Bible readings, and all my content on the web. It includes hotlinks to all five websites and contact information, and it will include personalized extras as available for app owners.
I noticed that the podcast files aren't playing directly from the app, without clicking the link. I will update that tomorrow so it is smoother. One of my linked websites, Go-Minister.com, has been recently created and is still under construction. That site will feature ministry resources, tutorial videos, free wallpaper, and Devotional Scripture widgets when completed. So, expect empty boxes on some pages. :)
To all of my usual readers, I love you all for coming back day after day, and I would love to hear from you. If nothing else, write a review in the app store. I will get it uploaded into the IPhone, IPad, Windows Phone, Blackberry, and Bada app stores tomorrow hopefully. I have no training or experience, so I'm slow. You can go ahead and access it on your browser in the meantime. If you navigate to my website home page on your browser, I installed code that detects when you access it on a mobile device, and notifies you how to download the app independent of the app store.
It is my hope that this will provide some cohesion to all of my "content" so that you can easily access everything in one place. However you access this website, I pray that you find the answers to your questions somewhere in God's Word.
There are reality shows on TV where contestants must survive on an island. They are kicked off the island in turn until a winner is left. I've told you all I know already, as I have never seen that show, and I don't know a lot about television. That's not where my interest lies. If I messed the summary of it up, just comment below and make it right. :)
There is a children's animated movie called "Finding Nemo," and I watched the video again this afternoon. Nemo is taken, presumably to save his life by a dentist. His father and friends see it as a kidnapping. His father goes in search of Nemo and encounters sharks, Torch fish, and Jellyfish hazards which he must survive to reach his son.
In the reality show, I believe they are motivated by a prize packet, money. Marlin is motivated by love for his son Nemo. In the former, the risk is loss of money. The latter movie entailed a risk of life.
I wrote a blog titled: Soul Sustainer: Oceans of Mercy a few weeks back. There I talked about an analogy to God's sustaining power. It is that power of God that will enable our souls to survive this life. There is a death of the soul, and it is hell. Hell is the loss of all things Spiritual and the loss of communion with God, the Creator of the Universe and of us. Our goal, as Christians, is to survive life with our soul's intact. It is no secret that much of what we encounter in life is against our survival. We have an enemy and his hatred for us is a source of opposition to all our goals. But, opposition is an amazing thing. It can either blockade you, or propel you forward.
Ephesians 2:15-16 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
Our job is to turn opposition into a catalyst for good. Remember, we can overcome any trial that is in our path through Christ. Hebrews 13:21 He will complete in you that which well pleases Him. Don't let opposition stop you. Move forward. 1 Samuel 30:8 Pursue!
Some days I think it can't get any better than this. Time with family is the biggest blessing God bestows. Nothing life throws at us matters in the moments we spend with the ones we love. But, it's moments like these that remind me of just how wonderful heaven will be. Heaven will definitely be an upgrade for each of us.
Ephesians 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the
redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Earnest money is a good faith payment made in advance for real estate or a contract of employment to demonstrate that the buyer is earnest or serious about his intentions to buy. In ancient times, the earnest payment was called an earnest penny, and also known as Arles penny, God's penny. It was money paid to legally bind a deal, or the purchase or hiring of a servant. The wording is easier to read in the New King James, and can be seen by hovering over the reference above.
This passage tells us that the Holy Spirit of promise(taken from verse 13) that we have received here on Earth is only the minescule fraction of what has been promised us in heaven. This means that we can take the idea that "it's going to get so much better than this in heaven" two directions. If you are having it tough... it's going to be better in heaven. If you are in pain, or suffer death, or loss... it's going to be better in heaven. If, on the other hand, you have the greatest comfort... it's going to be better in heaven. If you have unimaginable happiness here and now... it's going to be better in heaven! What an awesome promise that is for us. Hebrews 11:39 says that God's plan was not completed with the Patriarchs. The heros of faith did not receive the inheritance before they died. They only received the promise. Is Heaven an Upgrade? Remember... we are not home yet!
Today many will celebrate "Black Friday" as the day most businesses begin to make a profit for the year. It is said that until today, they operate "in the red," with expenses exceeding profits. As of the end of today, they will be in the black ink again, due to Christmas shoppers getting a jump on the holidays. Sounds good. Sounds a little hopeful actually. It would probably be a miracle if very many stores really see the black ink today at all.In this economy, I don't think the smaller businesses will do well this year. Debt piles up. Many small businesses have closed their doors for good in the last three years. I don't see one Friday making all that big of a difference.
But, then again, one Friday 2000 years ago made a magnanimous difference in the books of Heaven. We owed a debt without any real hope of ever paying it off. We were paying on the installment plan, spotless sheep here, turtledove there, only to have the debt rolled away for another year. Then we sank deeper in debt.
But, that one Friday, the ultimate purchase was made, the purchase that no one was waiting in line to make. Jesus Christ stepped out of the masses and was raised up into the sky on a cross to die for our debt. He hung between Heaven and Earth, as if to say, take me, not them Father! He took our sins on Himself. Now, we are in the black. We are debt free! What an awesome relief of our burden. I hope that you are in line for this purchase. First come, first served. One per customer, please. One size fits all.
Don't miss the bargain of the ages. You can literally pay nothing, and walk away with a steal of a deal. "For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of
yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8,9 Happy "Black Friday!"
"How much do you love me?" I asked Larry this afternoon. He smiled as he answered that he didn't think you could measure love. My husband is not a wordy person. Don't get me wrong, he can and does talk a lot. The first time he called me, we talked for four hours. He's a great conversationalist. But, he doesn't use "extra" words. Being from the North, UP Michigan, he speaks in choppy phrases as well. I don't talk nearly as much as he does. But, I like words. The way I see it, words are free. So, I spend a lot of time selecting just the exact words to convey my thoughts and feelings. Calculate in the fact that I have a Southern drawl, and Larry manages to get quite a bit said, while I am still looking for the right words.
Not only do I use extra words, but I think that love can be measured.
And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able
to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's
love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths!
Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17, 18, 19(The Message)
The first measurement involves the inward dimension. What is your love doing inside of yourself? We can love with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Mark 12:30 We can also love with any amount betweern zero and a full tank on any of these inward guages. For example, we can love with full mind, a lot of soul, half-heartedly, and three-quarter strength. You get the picture.
The next measure involves an outward dimension. What is your love doing, outside your own feelings? Larry loves me enough to share his life with me, to work, to share in my problems, to hurt when I am in pain, to listen to my words that can trail on and on. :) Jesus loves us enough to die on the cross.
There is a third dimension. What is your love doing, inside of someone else? This is the most private kind of love most people experience, and the dimension that many people find difficult to talk about. This is usually the dimension that people who like to talk about love want to know about. For example, how often do I ask myself what my love is doing to the heart of God? Or, what is my love for God doing inside of you? How does it make you feel when I talk about Jesus? If you are feeling anything at all, then I have accomplished something, for this is my goal. I want you to experience my love for Jesus. I hope that by experiencing my love for Jesus, you are led to experience even more of Him for yourself.
This is my husband Larry, watching football after church, and then later in the afternoon. He's moved on to playing a football video game now. (I'm vegging out in my recliner on my computer.) He is definitely a football fanatic. And, he is a fanatic about me, too. He makes my heart do flips. He takes me to church and talks about His faith in God to me. Next weekend he is taking me shopping, to a movie, and out to dinner for my birthday. He takes up for my son when I am mad at him. (No fair, two against one. And, Travis takes up for him, too.) But, that does indescribable things inside of a woman when you are nice to her son. He is sweet and gentle, yet strong and passionate. He makes me feel loved by the way he responds when I feel bad, or hurt, or mad, or happy. The way he respects my feelings even to sacrificing his own shows me what he is feeling inside.
Likewise, God stirs feelings inside of me. One Chirstmas Eve, Travis and I were driving around town looking at the christmas lights. I thought to myself, I wonder how it makes God feel to see us celebrating His birthday. My expectation in asking myself that question was that it must make Him happy. But, immediately, I realized that God was probably shedding tears because not only could He see our turkey feast, but He was seeing the homeless man under the bridge on Christmas Eve. I didn't want to feel those feelings, but there they were. I felt them because God created and stirred those feelings inside of me. Not only does God make me feel good inside and happy, but He stirs feelings of sadness for the suffering in this world. I have to be willing to share those feelings with Him and work to ease the suffering if I am to make God happy. It has nothing to do with salvation, but everything to do with a lovewalk.
Many of the "beautiful words" in literature and historical speeches were inspired by the Bible. Take Elizabeth Barrett Browning's famous sonnet. I memorized it when I was small... just because I liked it. (It was not a school assignment.)
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
Elizabeth must have read Ephesians 3:18 for the inspiration of the breadth, length, depth, and height of Jesus' love. Then there is Patrick Henry who spoke the famous words, "Gentlemen cry peace, peace, there is no peace... as for me give me liberty or give me death." The no peace duo is from scripture and was a direct quote from Jeremiah 6:13-15 and Jeremiah 8:10-12. And, likewise Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. carried his dream from Isaiah 40:4-5 where all flesh shall see "...every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places smooth."
The history books don't tell you about the Biblical influences on the classic literature. It's not a conspiracy or anything, of course. It's just that I doubt it is obvious to people who haven't read the Bible. It takes a familiarity with both literature and the Bible to see the connection.
But, the Bible inspires me, just as it has generations of Christians before me. I open the pages of the Book to find "beautiful words" to lift me in the dark moments and in the light of day. There is nothing more comforting than these words that swirl around in my head like the Autumn leaves in Fall, saturating my heart with their love. I am eternally indebted to a long line of Sunday School teachers, who like marathoners passed the torch to my hands with a smile and urged me to run. This is one thing I will take with me to the grave and beyond; God's beautiful Words.
Too sweet to live, hair like sand hanging down almost to her shoulders, her face was rosy in the glow of the firelight. She warmed herself in front of the fire, a brick bundled in a blanket she cuddled in her arms. She had no dolls. Her family had little. But, little Patricia was her oldest sister Glenda's dollbaby. Folks said she was too sweet to live...pretty as an angel. Rocking it in her arms, Patricia cooed and sang to her brick baby. When a spark from the fire caught at her gown tail, Glenda screamed a warning, and would have grabbed her. But, afraid of the flames licking at her, Patricia ran the other direction, down the hall to their Mother, and the flame became a blaze.
After over a week in the hospital, Patricia caught pneumonia on the day before they planned to graft skin and died. This was a blessing from God, not only because of the burns that covered most of her body, but because of the life she was spared any more than six years of, with a Father who was abusive in every way imaginable. Charles made moonshine in the woods behind their house. And, more than once he had beaten their mother and thrown her and the five children out in the pouring rain to walk the streets. The caretaker of a local historical site, the Chief Vann House in Spring Place, had seen them one evening, and out of pity allowed them to sleep inside out of the rain, despite the fact that this was against the rules.
I grew up in Dalton, nestled there between the North Georgia mountains. I always felt like they were the big strong shoulders of God, watching over me. Glenda, my Mother, came into the world while her Mother was separated from Charles. The exact circumstances were never shared with her, but she knew Charles was not her Father. She lived with an Aunt and Uncle after her Mom took Charles back, up until her Aunt died. She thought they were her parents, they loved her so much. Then she was sent back to her Mom and stepdad at the age of twelve, where she laid in bed at night hearing Charles curse about the "bastard" who wasn't his. He gave her many reasons to be glad that she was not his daughter. My Mom, Glenda spent her teenage years with this man, her Mother, and her younger brother and sisters. But, when she asked her Mother who her Father was, Pauline told her to "look in the mirror," and she would see him. She only knew his name and that he looked like her.
Uncle Roy got a job in fifth grade, and missed a lot of school to work long hours. The Truancy officer pulled him out of the lunchroom one morning after several missed days to paddle him, without questioning why. Roy ran home, and never went back. One day he came home from work to find their Mother lying on the couch. He called out for her to cook dinner, but after shaking her, realized she was dead. He screamed so loud that my Mother heard him from a couple trailers over, where she lived with me, a toddler.
This left the remants of this torn family to fend for themselves. Glenda, Roy, Gerldine, and Barbara, in that age order spent the next several years struggling to take care of themselves, under Roy's protective arm. Charles had left with another woman years before. Oddly, my Uncle Roy is the only person I have ever heard speak well of his Father. Roy loved Charles until his death many years later. I wouldn't call the times they had spent together Father/Son bonding, when even Roy admits it included the gift of his first "hired woman." But, somewhere in the dark heart of the man, Roy saw his Father, and he loved him. There are those poor souls on Earth that have not a single spot of light inside their dark hearts. But, no matter how much of a monster they may seem, someone in this world loves them. I think Roy was afraid of not loving someone... anyone.
My Mother remarried when I was in Kindergarden. We spent time around our cousins, aunts, and uncle Roy growing up. Gerldine and Barbara both had married abusive men when we were small. Barbara's husband beat her badly and threw her out of a window once. Eventually both men were out of the picture while I was still very small. But, I still remember Hershel. Though he was Barbara's husband, and she had his name tatooed on her right hand, those same letters were inked on Gerldine's knuckles. She had taken him at some point. Then he was gone. It was many years before Roy married. He was too busy taking care of their children. That name was visible plain as day on Barbara's hand in the coffin today.
It was about that time that our Mom grew apart from the others. We didn't really have alot to do with them for years. They wandered around from Florida, to Tennessee, and back to Georgia, then to Kentucky, and Ohio, and back and forth together. Social Services have been involved in the raising of most of Barbara's children and grandchildren. I am a Christian believer. But, I strongly believe there is a time for a single Mother to have a conversation with her sons, that involves explaining how a condom is used. (Surely salvation of the soul is worn somewhere on the outside of our clothing. When stronger passions take over, even among Christians who are saved, salvation is the first thing to be dropped to the floor.)
My sister raised one of Barbara's granddaughters. Mamma remembers when her and Angie were in court and the judge gave them the baby. Barbara cried pitifully, "You mean a piece of paper can say that she is not my grandbaby anymore?" The judge told her that my mother was the baby's grandmother now. This breaks my heart to think about. But, Barbara had even had a chance to try to take care of the baby herself, and had even had that right taken. Gerldine's two boys have spent hard time in prison, (as have two of Barbara's.) One murdered a cab driver in Florida while he was drunk, over the cab fare, threw him into the trunk of the cab, and drove him to Georgia, where the police intercepted him at his mother's house. One of Barbara's daughters is in prison now, and the other couldn't come to the funeral because she had to be in court today for failure to pay child support.
When my baby sister was seventeen, my stepdad ran off with his best friend's wife, a girl my age, leaving my Mom alone in midlife. It wasn't long before she cheated on him with another friend. And, then my Aunt Gerldine married him...my stepdad. A perfect record... she scored both her sister's husbands. Both my Mother and my Aunt Gerldine share the same last name now... and they share a lot of anger and hurt feelings. But, the man has moved on to someone else. I can honestly say, aside from the trick of giving me a coke can once that had beer in it, just for a laugh to see my expression, when I was in first grade, neither one of them ever did anything to hurt me. They seemed to love us well enough. And, I love them, despite the drinking, and cursing, and drugs, and wild living. But, I could see few things I had in common with this family. Though, I can certainly look at this scheme of family interaction and understand my Mother's distance from them. I often wondered how we could be related to them at all. I wondered how I fit in with this family, when I felt so different. I felt no connection, like I had no legacy but pain and hate.
When I turned seventeen, it occurred to me that Mamma's real father might be living right there in Dalton, and I told my Mom. I picked up the phone book and we looked up his name. Sure enough, the last name was there, and I called one that looked similar to the name we knew. We learned that though her father had died years before, he had several children, all younger than my Mom, living right there in the area. And he did look just like Mom. The next day, we met my Aunt Anna, at her business. She was just like me. I felt like I had found my missing relatives. Mamma had one sister who looked just like her, and another who she bonded instantly with. But, out of my mother's two sets of half siblings, my Aunt Anna and my Uncle Roy were the two I loved the most. Roy has given me the love of a Father all these years, and my odd sense of humor. And Anna gave me the pride of knowing who I was like in my family. For the first time I felt like I fit, because I found the piece to which I was connected.
Now, thirty years after meeting this "second maternal family," two of the uncles and the Aunt my Mom bonded with have all died. Aunt Anna, too passed away in a motorcycle accident earler this year. Now, Barbara is gone from the "first family." Listening to the Chaplin at the Funeral home this afternoon speak of all of our relatives that Barbara had seen buried by them, (he had to think of something respectful to talk about) my mind turned to little Patricia, who was too sweet to live. Yes, I too had grown up there in the North Georgia mountains. But, while this side of the family wandered aimlessly like lost ships, I always felt like the mountains were the shoulders of God, looking over me. Therein lay the secret to where I belonged. I belonged under the big strong shoulders of a loving God. I am a part of the family of Heaven. I took after Him, with all his goodness, and his love. I have my father's heart. This is my legacy.
Ephesians 3:14-19 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That
he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened
with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts
by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend
with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to
know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with
all the fullness of God.
Joshua was a keen military commander, with an eye for strategy. He was definitely gifted at conquest! His campaigns are easy to follow in the book by his name. Joshua 10:1 is a good place to start for the record of the Southern invasion of Canaan. You see, God had promised Abraham Canaan Land for his descendents. But, it didn't come gift wrapped. God knew that the Israelites were not prepared for ownership of vast amounts of land at once. His plan was for city by city conquest.
Joshua was the right man for the job. After the Israelites had wandered for 40 years in a circular way through the desert, and God claimed the body of Moses, Joshua sent spies in to spy out the land, and especially Jericho. Joshua led the Israelites across the Jordon River, and entered Canaan from the East. This was definitely a tactical advantage, because of the distance from Philistine naval strength on the Mediterranean Sea. Then he miraclously won battles at Jericho and Ai.
The next city in the path of the Israelites was Gibeon. They resigned themselves to defeat, and tricked Joshua into making a treaty with them, so as not to suffer a certain defeat. From there, Joshua turns South and blazes a path of conquest through Canaan towards the Red Sea. All the Kings of the area tried to resist but he conquered them all with speedy marches and surprise attacks. This was an ingenious path, much like Sherman's later march to the Sea in Georgia in the Civil War. He effectively cut off the cities in the South from the cities in the North, and decimated them all one by one.
Word spread quick that a champion was on the march. Joshua's take over in the South spurred King Jabin of Hazor to recruit a massive army from the cities of the North to start a war with Joshua. But, Joshua's shock tactics demolished these armies as well. These victories were quick and decisive, but by no means total conquest. Small pockets of resistance had to be overcome with continuing guerilla warfare. These two campaigns were the foundation for the nation of Israel, but conquest was in no way complete by the time the book of Judges began.
The incomplete conquest of Canaan and the worship of foreign gods caused the young Israelite nation many problems in the time of the Judges. And, as you can see, they are still engaged in guerilla warfare today. The point of the story is that God had instructed them to conquer Canaan and totally drive out the inhabitants, which they never really did. The treaty with the Gibeonites should have never happened. And, they quit conquering way to soon. When Joshua died, his sword must have been buried with him.
God never intended for his children to be fighting small battles day by day. He meant for us to conquer and live victoriously. Christians are warriors. We were created to overcome this world, because we are the children of Light. John 12:36, Ephesians 5:8, 1 Thessalonians 5:5 Light always overcomes the darkness. John 1:5 says that the light of God shined in the darkness and the darkness could not overcome the light.
Joshua was more than likely born in slavery in Egypt. He was a young soldier under Moses when the spies first spied out Canaan and all but two returned with a bad report. These two, Joshua and Caleb were still around 40 years later to lead the armies of the living God into victorious battle. Moses may have been a Prince of Egypt (adopted) but Joshua was nothing more than a runaway slave, just like the other Israelites. There was nothing inside of these warriors that made them special beyond the power of God.
And, that my friend, is where you and I come into this picture. We are just like Joshua. We just need to unsheath our swords and take the land, for it is before us and God gives us the victory. Go ahead, take it... it's yours!
Ephesians 6:23 promises peace to the brethren, and love with faith. This occurs similarily in 1 Timothy 1:14, which says God's grace is abundant with faith and love. Love with faith or faith and love, it definitely shows a coorelation between believing in Jesus and loving one another. Jesus doesn't just ask us to believe in Him, after all. He wants us to love Him and our neighbor.
When these things are hardest to find, that's when God expects us to display them most. I love riding my bike, even though I can't. The inability to ride can not change the fact that I enjoy riding. Some things are lasting, like good memories. The wheels keep turning.