Wait upon the Lord

Victory’s Battle Cry-A Study in Joshua—Part 5; Wait upon the Lord

Isaiah 40: “31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

 

Eagle going to the sun - 3D render

photo courtesy of istockphoto.com

Waiting, patience sound so simple; yet, the performance is so much harder. How often have I heard God’s promises or heard Him command me to obey with the promise that He has everything worked? Then, I obey and things appear to get worse for a while. What do I do then? Do I keep on believing or do I throw in the towel because of my inability to wait and stand firm on God’s plan? True faith is demonstrated best when I am willing to wait, standing firm upon the truth of who God is and not waiver because of the way things look at this moment. It is also important to learn how to patiently, calmly wait for God to clear the path ahead before running ahead. I have often taken off running when I heard God say go only to fall deep in the river in front of me because I did not wait for

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From Gentile Harlot to Faith’s Hall of Fame

Victory’s Battle Cry-A Study in Joshua-Part 4-From Gentile Harlot to Faith’s Hall of Fame

So, under the leadership of Joshua the people are preparing to cross over Jordan into the land that God had promised them. Their fathers had stood here once before; but, the people didn’t trust God and became afraid when the “spies” had returned with a fear filled report about the giants—that is all the spies except Caleb and Joshua. Caleb and Joshua had said, the land is good let’s go, God will give us the land as He promised. Because of the lack of faith of the majority, God’s judgment was that they would spend 40  more years wandering in the desert until that generation of faithless people would die and Joshua is now to lead the next generation into the land. In Joshua 2, he sends out two spies to view the land—particularly he sends them to Jericho. He knew and had been a part of the history, so why would he risk a repeat of the previous story?  Why would he send out spies?  Now, I wonder if he really sent the men to check out the land or if at God’s command he sent out the men, not even knowing that God’s plan was to find and save Rahab. Precisely it was her home where they ended up at and where they were hidden by her. Rahab was a harlot in Jericho; but, Rahab had heard the stories of this God of Israel and she believed with all her heart that He was the one true God over heaven and earth.

iStock_000025913516Small

photo courtesy of istockphoto.com

She had heard of His miracles and she believed that God would lead His people into the land and to be victorious in taking that land. She believed that God was the one and true God who would deliver this land into the hands of His chosen. Rahab had seen God as Glorious and so worthy of her humble adoration, fear and awe. So when Rahab saw the men, she ushered them onto her rooftop where she hid them.

Listen to the conversation that followed.

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Leaving All to Lead the Way

Victory’s Battle Cry-A Study in the book of Joshua-Part 3: Leaving All to Lead the Way

As we saw in the first two lessons from Joshua, Moses has died and Joshua has been chosen by God to lead the people into the Promised Land. So, He now prepares the people. Among the Israeli nation, there were two and a half tribes that had been given the land east of Jordan because they were the tribes that raised the livestock. They had large herds of livestock including cattle and sheep. This land had been appointed to the descendants of Reuben, Gad and half-tribe of Manasseh (descendants of Joseph) by God through Moses. This we can find by reading Deuteronomy 3: 12-22. These tribes had already been established along with their wives, their families and their herds in the land God had given them east of the Jordan River.  They have known peace, prosperity and have rested from their wandering.  They had no need to go across the Jordan River with the remaining tribes to claim any land. They had already arrived to their destination.  Yet, Joshua has now commanded all their men that could fight  to cross over to the west side of the Jordan River ahead of the remaining tribes who would enter the Promised Land west of the Jordan.  Imagine this, they now must leave their wives, their children and all of their possessions behind to go in front of the remaining tribes and to lead them in battle and they are not going to possess any of that land.  Once the remaining tribes have secured their land and position, these men will cross back over the Jordan to rejoin their families.

Pilgrimage

photo courtesy of istockphoto.com

Along this Christian journey, we must not become so comfortable in our current situation that we are not willing to go forward in the frontline to assist other Christians. We must not become too comfortable during our moments of great blessings that we forget our brothers and sisters in Christ who are struggling. We must not get so comfortable that we forget those Christians and missionaries who must risk their life everyday for the gospel. We cannot become so complacent that we do not speak up for the truth of the gospel when it is not “politically correct” to stand for Christ.

Indeed, when Joshua called these men out to go ahead of the fellow Israelites, they essentially said; “here we are—send us. Only be strong and Courageous!”

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God’s Battle Song

God’s Battle Song

by Effie Darlene Barba

 

In the Battles of this life

All the trials all the strife

I hear God’s voice, this battle cry

His song of love that fills the sky

Chorus:

“Cast aside your pain and fear

For I AM always near

I have promised, so wait and see

You will have the victory

It is my Joy, My strength, my song

So take courage and be strong”

 

In my battles deep within

My heart so bent to sin

I hear God’s voice this battle cry

A song of love that fills the sky

Chorus:

“Cast aside your pain and fear

For I AM always near

I have promised, so wait and see

You will have the victory

It is my Joy, My strength, my song

So take courage and be strong”

 

When sorrow breaks my heart

When I don’t have strength to start

I hear God’s voice, this battle cry

His song of love that fills the sky

Chorus:

“Cast aside your pain and fear

For I AM always near

I have promised, so wait and see

You will have the victory

It is my Joy, My strength, my song

So take courage and be strong”

 

One day I’ll face my setting sun

When my life on earth is done

I’ll hear God’s voice, this battle cry

His song of love that fills the sky

Chorus:

“Cast aside your pain and fear

For I AM always near

I have promised, so wait and see

You will have the victory

It is my Joy, My strength, my song

So take courage and be strong”

© 2014 Effie Darlene Barba

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to any brands, products or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides regarding the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Be Strong and of a Good Courage

Victory’s Battle Cry-A Study in Joshua Part 2—Be Strong and of a Good Courage

So Joshua was chosen by God to lead the people across the Jordan into the Promised Land. Before Moses had died he was told by God to instruct the Hebrew nation and to anoint Joshua to be the leader of the nation. In Deuteronomy 31

warrior 001

Drawing used by written permission Ronald Barba,

 Moses commanded Joshua and the people three times “Be Strong and of a Good Courage.”  We will soon see these same words repeated to Joshua by God in the first chapter of Joshua.  Those words become Joshua’s battle cry to his own heart over the span of his lifetime. Are they yours?

  At God’s instruction, Moses then took Joshua with him to the tabernacle where God appeared in the in a pillar of a cloud. One might think that God was going to tell them that the people would never again be rebellious; but, that was not what God told them.  In fact, God told them that the people would once more seek after other Gods and idols once they had tasted the pleasures of the Promised Land. God knew they would be unfaithful; yet, God remained faithful to His promise and God had a plan of redemption for all who would believe in Him.

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From Servant to Commander in Chief

Victory’s Battle Cry—A Study in Joshua-Part 1; From Servant to Commander in Chief

There was an incredible Christian lady I met once at a conference who declared that in the book of Joshua was found every secret needed by a child of God to be victorious in every battle against the forces of sin within and the enemy without. So, I have decided it is time to embark on a journey through the book of Joshua.

As an introduction to the history behind Joshua, let us quickly review the scene on which this book begins. Moses had been chosen to lead the Israelite nation out of Egypt where they had been enslaved and into the Promised Land that had been given to Abraham so long before. God had promised this land to Abraham and his descendants.

Joshua

Despite the grave moments of failures in faith and the sin filled hearts seeking self exaltation, God had preserved His remnants of faithful followers who sought after God with all their heart and soul. Despite their own human frailties they had seen just enough of God’s Glory that they knew Him to be their greatest treasure and they became those who were chosen to carry on the message of God from generation to generation

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My Betrothed

My Betrothed

By Effie Darlene Barba

 

My betrothed hath gone to distant land

Preparing all that He has planned

Majestic Castle I am told

With streets and walls of purest Gold

And one day soon He comes for me

So I His Glorious Bride might be

What Gracious, wondrous love He’s shown

He paid the price, made me His own

 

How was it that He saw beneath

My filthy rags and did bequeath

His Crown to place upon my head

While taking all my shame instead

 

There’s nothing in this heart of mine

Could e’er deserve such love divine

I’ll never know what He did see

And yet, He did, He’s chosen me

 

He sent His counselor to prepare

My every flaw to then make fair

A righteous robe to then adorn

One day soon, One precious morn

 

My Lord, sometimes, I feel so frail

And fear my love for you will fail

Oh Love, my Love, I need you near

Your face to see, your voice to hear

 

Your letters pressed against my breast

A whispered prayer at each night’s rest

Awakened at some midnight’s hour

I feel your strength in me empower

 

Each day I live, I love you more

That on that Joy my heart doth soar

The trials, pains all fade away

While I await my wedding day

 

My betrothed hath gone to distant land

Preparing all that He has planned

Majestic Castle I am told

With streets and walls of purest Gold

And one day soon He comes for me

So I His Glorious Bride might be

What Gracious, wondrous love He’s shown

He paid the price, made me His own

© 2014 Effie Darlene Barba

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to any brands, products or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides regarding the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

A Love Song for A Queen

Fountains of Wisdom—A Study in Proverbs Part 57—A Love Song for a Queen

What a beautiful and fitting conclusion to the book of Proverbs!! God is so amazing in the writing and positioning of the scripture.

 

me

photo courtesy of Tony Moran © 1981

Proverbs has been a book which cuts like a surgeon’s scalpel.  For the tender hearted who desire with every ounce of their being to please God, it cuts deep at times.  If I could only learn when to keep quiet, when to speak, and how to cling tight to God’s joy in the midst of every circumstance; then I could feel worthy of God’s love for me.   Perhaps if I were slower to judge others or if I could be more discerning, I wouldn’t have to end the day seeking God’s forgiveness once more.  Perhaps if I just knew a little better how to manage money, then I would have more to give God and He would be pleased with me.  Oh, these are the knives that cut my heart.  Yet, in the midst of all the wisdom found in Proverbs; there is presented as a healing balm the truth of God’s love, grace and mercy.  There is found the truth that I am strong in Him, by Him, and through His everlasting hope, His wisdom and His never-ending, unconditional love for me.  So, how perfectly fitting is that Proverbs would end with this love song as is written in Proverbs 31:10-31.

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Bathesheba-A Portrait of Grace

Fountains of Wisdom—A Study in Proverbs-Part 56—Bathesheba-A Portrait of Grace

As we begin the final chapter of Proverbs, I want to say how much I have enjoyed this journey with you and look forward to whatever study we embark on next.  Believe me, I am open to suggestions as to whether we start through a book again or return to a more spontaneous form of messages—so I would love to hear from you.

Chapter 31 begins with “the words of King Lemuel”; however, there never was a King Lemuel in the history of the Israel nation and most scholars conclude that this chapter was also written by King Solomon.  Since he was writing down the wisdom of his mother, he chose to use a pseudonym.  Was that to protect his mother from scandalous gossips?  Perhaps that is the case.  Do we know truly that much about Bathsheba other than the fact that she was the mother of Solomon, the most beloved of all of David’s wives, and by all accounts the one David had called to the palace while she was married to Uriah. 

Grace

Picture is the artwork of Ronald Barba and is used herewith the direct permission of Ronald Barba

Nowhere does the scripture tell us whether Bathesheba resisted or if she was so smitten by the King that she willingly was a part of the adultery.  Yet, I tend to see Proverbs 31 along with the truth that God chose Solomon as the successor to the throne of David as a perfect picture of God’s grace, mercy and the truth of a woman that had been stained by sin and washed whiter than snow by Grace as she truly feared the Lord and was raised high as the example of the virtuous woman.

As I have so failed at moments in my life, saved only by a gracious, patient and forgiving God; I find this chapter particularly sweet and encouraging.  God chose this chapter as part of His word, perhaps for that reason.  We will begin with verses 1-9 and listen to the words spoken by Bathsheba to her son; perhaps with greater understanding of the wisdom learned from all that she had lived.  So, what are the three admonitions given to Solomon by his mother?

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The King Above All Kings

Fountains of Wisdom—A Study in Proverbs Part 55—The King Above all Kings

As we began in Proverbs 30, so shall we end that chapter with the glance at the glory, majesty and beauty of Christ glorified even higher when contrasted against the foolishness of pride filled mankind. Once more, Agur uses the portraits of that which surrounds us to show forth the beauty of the Creator.

Proverbs 30:”29 There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going: 30 A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any; 31 A greyhound; a he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.” So, let us look at these 4 comparisons.

lionandlamb

Drawing used with written permission of Ronald Barba. © 2012 Ronald Barba and is protected under copyright laws Click on the photo for more information

1. So stately stands the lion with no fear as the enemy approaches. The lion so majestic in its walk steps slowly one foot before the other and never turns aside for fear of anything. Such is the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

As He goes before His accusers, Christ never retreated in fear. He walked steadily forward into the Garden of Gethsemane, knowing the events that were to come. He stood before His accusers in the courtyard with calm, steady resolve to do the will of His Father and to take upon His shoulders the sin of the world. He did not flinch when the flesh was torn from His body, nor when He was nailed to the cross. He could have called a legend of angels to save Him and yet, He said nothing to save Himself. After all, if He had decided not to die for us and left us to die in sin, isn’t that what we would have deserved? Yet, with the steadiness of a lion; He marched on to finish the work He came to do. 

2. The word translated greyhound in Hebrew was “girted in the loins”. The

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Fighting for Joy In a Chaotic World EFFIE DARLENE BARBA

Are you fighting to hold tight to the joy in Christ throughout the trials of your life? Join me and know that we can do this together.