Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Valley of Berachah

Often as I check in with the blogs I have kept as my favorites or get the few remaining blog updates in my inbox, I read something that bears further thought and study. If I am lucky, that happens sometime during that day. Otherwise, I get to it when I stumble across my notes about what I read. Which is what happened yesterday. I had every intention of journaling about what I read in Colossians (thanks to Lysa TerKeurst's online discussion study of said book) when I stumbled across some scribbled notes about powerlessness, victory and bridges in 2 Chronicles 20:1-24. I was drawn to these notes as I am feeling somewhat powerless over what the future of Dana's employment with this company and what exactly am I suppose to do in life - Did I mention that yesterday was my 43rd birthday? That sounds so old and I feel so immature and uncertain like a young girl. Where, oh, where, is maturity and confidence? I digress.
So I wanted to know more about how to experience victory over powerlessness. The story picks up with Jehoshaphat looking at the armies of Moab and the armies of the Ammonites among OTHERS about to attack the Israelites. Can you imagine so many against you at one time? Well, I can. That is my life! My weaknesses, my sin, insecurities, trials and worries of mothering two blessings, household management in this economy with the threat of unemployment, tying to be a better wife that someone like Dana deserves plus the demands and expectations of children's minsitry - Don't even go there with the feelings of failure and inadequacey! I feel such immense powerlessness just as the Jehoshaphat must have.

Look at what happens in 2 Chronicles 20:4-24 NIV (with some editing by me)

4 The people of Judah came together to seek help from the LORD.....6 and said:
"O LORD, Our God .... You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. ......9b we will stand in your presence ....and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.' .....

12 O our God, ... we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you."

There is the POWERLESSNESS! I do not know what to do, Lord!

15 ..... This is what the LORD says to you: 'Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's. .... 17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, .... Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.' "

20.... Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith ... and you will be successful." 21 .....sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness ....
"Give thanks to the LORD,
for his love endures forever."

This is the BRIDGE! The way to victory!

22 As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against (the enemies), and they were defeated. 23 .... destroyed and annihilated.

25 .... plunder,... more than they could take away.... 26 ....assembled in the Valley of Beracah (Valley of Praises), where they praised the LORD.

27 Then, .... (all) returned joyfully ...., for the LORD had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies.

Here is the VICTORY! Overcoming and conquering the enemies of my life!

What I get from this passage is this reminder-- My battles are not mine alone. The battle belongs to God, who is all powerful and mighty to conquer! I am powerless to conquer my enemies, the battles and trials of my life alone. I am constantly trying to go it alone and take care of everything alone. I always end up defeated, pushed down and pushed back. Defeated with only more pity, more frustration, more discouragement and more fear. The battle belongs to God, who is all powerful and mighty to conquer!

Here is the sad part of everything- I know who is my Savior and my Protector. I know what I should do to get help but I don't... sigh

Look what Jehoshaphat reminds me to do... Look to God, Seek Him. Alone I don't have a clue as to what to do or how to manage but God does. God, I am sorry for when I don't cry out to You. I don't trust You to take care of everything. I should know that You are always here for me-always! I am sorry that I get so afraid and so incredibly discouraged about so much of my life! I don't want to be afraid and discouraged! I want to be able to stand firm and watch You do Your mighty and glorious work in my life and in the lives of my family! Amen

I do not have a passive role in this battle. I should be praising God! I should be watching and recognizing the power, might and splendor of God at work and praising Him for all of His love for me and my family!

The means of my leaving my powerlessness behind me and moving on to victory- PRAISES! PRAISES and thanksgiving to God for His love endures forever. His love will last and always be present no matter what! I must turn my sight, my focus to Him, have faith and be aware of His glorious work in my life. PRAISE GOD! I should be living in the Valley of Beracah ! I should name the things I am grateful for daily despite my circumstances, despite my reality. PRAISE GOD!

Victory will be mine because God will ambush, destroy, annihilate my worries, my frustrations, my sin, my weaknesses, my failures, my lack of faith and trust, my insecurities. I will no long be powerless over these things, but finding victories in life because the I stood firm, sought God with faith and watched and praise Him for His love, might and power endure forever. The Valley of Beracah sounds like a lovely place to be settled. Praises and joy that comes from seeking and focusing on God's glory and work in my life against my enemeies. It is time to cross that bridge from powerlessness to victory against the enemies of my life.

Ephesians 6:10-12 (NIV)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

1 Corinthians 16:13 (NET)
Stay alert. Stand firm in the faith. Show courage.Be strong.

Isaiah 25:1 (NIV)
O LORD, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done marvelous things,
things planned long ago.

Psalm 63:1-5

1 O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.

3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.

4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.

5 My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome, thank you for posting such a wonderful Word from the Lord!