“The LORD said to Joshua, “Get Up! Why have you fallen on your face? (and likewise, Why has your countenance fallen and you look sad and discouraged?) Israel (representative of “the Church”) has sinned; they have transgressed my covenant (binding agreement) that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted (that which was to be “set apart” as devoted entirely to the LORD) things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings. (sound familiar?) Therefore the people of Israel (representative of “the Church”) cannot stand before their enemies. They turn their backs before their enemies; because they (these things in their lives) have become devoted for destruction. I will be with you no more, unless you destroy the devoted things from among you.” Joshua 7: 10-13. (English Standard Version- with my own insights added.) Today’s Church, those who claim to be the followers and representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ, have frequently compromised and broken their binding agreement with Him, both individually and collectively. Consecrated living is living as God commands of us. To “hold back” anything from the Lord is to make an idol of our belongings. It doesn’t even have to be a “material thing” per se. Many are the thoughts, emotions, attitudes, and behaviors that we feel we can never offer up to the Lord. Yes, ‘anything’ or ‘anyone’ can be that which keeps us from worshipping the Lord exclusively! Unknowingly and unconsciously we may let anything or anyone become our Life Love. That all consuming passion then will become our “god” that sits on the throne of our hearts. Uncontrolled inclinations and impulses can work, just like any enemy, to separate us from our absolute devotion to our Lord. When we examine our minds, hearts, spirits, and souls are we “consecrated” completely? If not, then we have work to do.
“Do not work (labor, strive after) the food (nourishment for your souls) that perishes, but for the food (true nourishment) that endures (lasts) to eternal life, which the Son of Man (the last “Adam”) will give you. For on him God (the Father) has set (permanently placed) his seal.” (mark of approval, the Holy Spirit). John 6:27. (English Standard Version- with my own insights added.) People are content, for the most part, with seeking only material fulfilment in Life. Despite the miraculous that occurs right before our eyes; we would rather have our physical needs met with strength or help for the temporary moment. Jesus calls us to make our choice. We can either chase after the material charity God provides for us, or we can instead seek the enduring “spiritual” charity that far surpasses anything of this world. We intuitively know that everything of this Life is perishing. Yet, we will hold tenaciously on to those things of material existence which are fleeting. None of that can surpass what God has to offer us. All of our present attachments to physical, mental, or emotional loves are pale in compare to the True ‘Gift-giver’ of ‘God Himself’! We truly are like children who are constantly seeking for this or that, only to eventually realize upon the final analysis that our wants are not the “best” for us. Our desires will often betray us, because we really don’t know oftentimes just what satisfies completely. To question our Heavenly Father’s grace and ignore His promptings towards the better; is to follow a truly self-seeking, selfish impulse towards ingratitude! Ingratitude, because Life is ‘constantly’ there to provide just what we need. We ignore God more often then we care to admit. Anything can take the place that God should rightly have in our hearts. Do we dare to seek “God First”?
” My soul cleaves unto the dust: (My life adheres and is attached to material existence, belongings, and this world) quicken thou me (illumine and bring life to me) according to thy word. (as I observe to do your word.) My soul melts for heaviness: (My life is weighed down with burdens). Strengthen thou me according unto (by observing) thy word. I have chosen the way of truth: (I have chosen the True Way to live) thy judgments (your decisions) have I laid before me.” (have I chosen to follow.) Psalm 119: 25, 28, and 30. (with my own insights added.) Our attachments of any kind can only burden us daily. Living the True Way as God directs will liberate us from evil. Let us constantly choose His way over ours.