Whenever one begins to grow in faith, there will quite expectedly be growing “pains”.
The word, Acaia, means scourging. Scourging means to whip, or chastise severely. In the growth process there will be a time of the training of the will. The will that is set on obedience won’t need serious scourging, but it’d be better to be scourged, as needed by a resistant will, than to perish eternally.
So the disobedient heart is the one that suffers most. That would infer that the obedient heart suffers the “pains” of growth minimally.
That is a lesson, in and of, itself.
One could make a decision right here and now which heart they will be inclined to. To make that decision, before any circumstance arises, to tell one otherwise, would take discipline and commitment to one’s word. God expects us to keep our words even to our own “hurt”. That does not mean don’t say it, it means say it, and follow through, whatever it takes!
The goal is to be a reflector of His light, to be made into His image and likeness. It is not for us to remain who we are and have His blessing on us. It is for His light to reveal to us how we are not yet like He is and then to make the necessary changes. This would also takes a decision with committed follow through and discipline. Thus we are disciples, always being changed into another image and likeness.
Joshua (the same word for Jesus in the NT) was leading them to Jericho. Jericho means reflector of light (moon). Remember to get there one must go through the Jordan. Remember what Jordan always means, on this pathway? Humility, “get off your high horse” type of humility. To bow down in reverence of another’s honor and will. Gotta GO there.
The spies, participants of the journey towards eternal life, were laid down and hidden under harvest fruits, on a threshing floor, a floor where change is beaten out of what was originally brought in. Amen. They were hidden that they could be revealed in another form. This is the true witness of Him, that I yield to change. I allow Him to change me.
If I plan to just stay as I am, why would I expect to be a witness of Christ to anyone? People come to Christ as they search for answers to their problems in life. They want someone who has been changed in order to show them that change is the way. If I won’t change, I breed stubbornness and rebellion in others who would otherwise learn to yield. I speak of independence to a people who have failed independent of Him. I tell them we are ok left just like we are, and we don’t really need to become like the Lord, the Maker and Creator of all. In fact we’re fine without His help. We have our own great ideas about life, our own successes and we don’t need our thought patterns altered by the One who made our very beings.
Have people watched you take land? Have they seen you stomp on and trample over disobedience and bring it into subjection to the will of God, because you decided to? Have they watched you conquer over fears and illnesses? Do they know what your God has done for one who lies on the threshing floor willingly? Or do they see how God gets a few in here and there all the while He has to continuously fight the rebellion in your life to get a victory in? Have they heard through others, the testimony of you? Of how your God has come through for you? Are they afraid of your King in an awe-inspiring reverence? Do they stand up to Him defiantly or readily bow down?
What rumors do they hear of me, my family, my life? Is God magnified in all these? Do they hear and fear His name through watching me? Do they want to know how to get where I’m going on this eternal journey, enough to take their whole family line there too?
Do they magnify the name of your God before you?
Do they beg Him to show them mercy?
Do they have a taste in their mouths so satisfying that they have to make covenant with you and yours?
Do you give your life for it?
Some may say, why would I give my life, or lay down my rights or desires or dreams for an unsaved person, especially one who is not so deserving in nature? What if they do something to me that will harm me? Why would I allow them to walk on me or take away my rights?
May I ask, Who is your protector? Who is your guard? Who is He who will keep you, even if your body (or mind) were harmed? Who is well able to save your soul? Do you know Him? Does that sinner know Him through you?
Rights? What rights? The right to be right? Why? To show He is right in how much love He gave for the world, or to show how great you are?
He laid down His rights and then said, lay down all you are, sell out all you have gained in this life, and follow after Me!
He, the Lord of All, God’s Son, Master of the Universe. He came down as a man and laid down on the threshing floor of earth, willingly, to be beaten to a pulp and loose His physical life to show us how to gain eternal life and lead others straight into it!
Love gives- period. It does not take or insist on it’s own ways, ever. Ever.
Covenant is defined simply, “Your good, at My expense”. Number one sign that there is a covenant is enacted; there is evidence that blood was shed.
Jesus blood was shed for the salvation of many. Those who shed theirs willing in return, have an activated covenant with Him. His was done even if no one reciprocates it. The reciprocation of it is where the reciprocator benefits.
Rahab had to show her response in order for her part of the covenant relationship to benefit she and her family. The scarlet cord was significant of her own life’s blood, willingly given, into the activation and continuance of the covenant.