Most mornings you can find me at my dining room table in the chair on the left side of the table facing the window with a cup of coffee, my black journal, Bible my parents got me in college, and New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp (affectionately dubbed PDT by some Bible study friends of mine). This is my safe place. My “Sadie and Jesus” time. Often, this is where/when I spend my quality time with my good, good Father.
Several times over the past few weeks I’ve felt that I could spend every post on this blog about PDT and what God is teaching me through my time in this devotional. I’ve mentioned this to my sweet mentor to which she has replied, “Then share it!” In the vein of feeling insecure about having a ‘voice,’ I’ve brushed off her charge. Except this morning.
Since the beginning of May, I’ve struggled with anxiety/worry/fear in a way I haven’t in quite some time. Couple hard conversations with students, tragedies in families I work with, mission trip season for my ministry, and general fallenness with inconsistent weather and allergies that make me dizzy and you have my past few weeks. CB (aforementioned sweet mentor) has consistently encouraged me to praise God for these trials, not just in them. And this morning’s devotional brings me to this: we can praise God for these trials because He is near. He sees us. He sustains us. And so much more. Bear with me and read an excerpt from the May 20th devo which references the story of Joshua and Jericho:
God was teaching Israel that they must no longer look at life from the vantage point of human wisdom and strength because they were now the children of the Lord almighty. Their world of weakness and limits had been invaded by One of awesome grace and glory. As they walked around Jericho, God was confronting Israel with their inability, vulnerability, and dependency, and comforting them with the reality that he would be with them wherever they went and whatever they faced. They would face no enemies on their own. They would carry no needs by themselves. They would not have to bear the burden or carry their destiny in their own hands. Grace and glory had come to them in the presence of the Lord, and in the power of the Lord the walls would come down.
If you’re God’s child, you too must remember who you are and what you’ve been given. It is never you against the world, because your life has been invaded by the grace and glory of Immanuel. Say no to fear and live with the hope and courage that come only when you remember that the Lord is near.
May 20th | New Morning Mercies, Paul David Tripp
So, all this to say: whatever Jericho God has you walking around today, this week, this month, this year—say no to fear. And not because you can work out what’s going on in your own strength but because we have the promise of God in Scripture. “…for He, God Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake you, nor relax My hold on you! Assuredly not!” (Hebrews 13:5 AMP) As CB reminded me yesterday at lunch, fear/embarrassment/shame are tools the enemy has used since the Garden. Call out the lies of Satan and replace it with the truth of God. We can’t do this on our own or in our own strength. Praise the Lord for His constant presence. He is near.
Learning alongside you,