Sunday, 1 March 2020

Jesus Christ gifts Perfection

I don't need to tell you that we're all broken. You already know this. But each of us is a beautiful mosaic being restored by God, using all our broken pieces. He is healing and restoring us, creating us into something beautiful - a new creation.

Back in March 2012, God showed me that the word in the Hebrew for perfect means

 “whole, complete, blameless, free of blemishes, both physical and spiritual, to meet all the requirements of God's standard both internally and externally, to be finished in refinement”. 

I was then reminded of

Matt 5:48 “Which says “Be perfect therefore as your Heavenly Father is perfect”.

I thought, that's great!
I want to be perfect, whole, complete, free of blemishes, both physical and spiritual, but how do I do it?
How do I restore this broken state that I am in?
Isn't He supposed to do it all?
Isn't that His role?
I submit my will and He does the rest.
I mean what was He thinking giving us a command like that?
It kinda implies that I have to do something?
Was I missing something here?
I was praying, reading my bible, asking Him for enabling in a lot of things.
What else was there?
So with some trepidation I asked, “am I missing something here?”

and He led me to Hosea.

Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed / cut off / perish for lack of knowledge. Because you reject the knowledge, I also reject you as priests”

The well respected commentator Matthew Henry says of this verse “We have the light, We've always had the light but we did not learn because we did not want the light to shine in certain areas of our life for fear of what may be found.” and so I asked God

 “Where do I not want the light shone for fear of what may be found? Shine your light on this knowledge.” 

And He led me to the book of Joshua. It is from Joshua that I want to share  today. To show you the things He showed me. Things that have made a huge difference in my walk with God and in the restoration of my brokenness.

If you remember the book of Joshua, the people had finally spent enough time in the desert to trust God to take them into the promised land. The land He had promised them all those years ago. They cross the Jordon and enter the land of Canaan. Wow it was beautiful and plentiful just as God had promised. The only problem was it was riddled with the enemy. But God had given them a promise and a command in one. The enemy were “devoted for destruction” - a phrase that is repeated numerous time in Joshua. Way before in Deut 20:16 – 18 Moses had declared that all the inhabitants of Canaan were “devoted to destruction” by execution (death) for their idolatry and it's accompanying moral corruption. When something is "devoted to destruction" it means that God in His holiness says that that thing needs to be destroyed and that to do so is a holy thing. 

Lev 27:28, 29 says that when the Lord has declared something is devoted to the LORD for destruction the decree can not be redeemed. 
The decree is irrevocable.
In other words, God will destroy what he has declared / nominated must be destroyed. 
There is no backup plan or alternative.

And so we head back to the book of Joshua and God's command to destroy all the enemy - the first being Jericho where a very valuable lesson was learned. In Joshua 6: 17 – 19 God tells the Israelites that after the walls of Jericho come down, they are to destroy everything in the city and keep nothing for themselves. Everything was to be irrevocably given over to the Lord.

Joshua 6:18 “keep away from the devoted things so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it”. 

Did they do it? 
Did they obey? 

A lot of you will know the rest of the story. No they didn't. Joshua 7 starts with

“but the Israelites acted unfaithfully in regard to the devoted things... and so the Lord's anger burned against them.” 

As you may know, Acan one of the Israelites kept some of the plunder from Jericho in direct defiance to God's command. He took it and hid it, thinking no-one would know. But everyone did know, because they lost the next battle. When the Israelites went out against Ai in their next battle they lost miserably. It was like a neon sign that something was wrong. Joshua knew God had promised to destroy all their enemies but here they were losing? God answers Joshua in 7:12, 13 where He says

“ I will not be with you any more unless you destroy whatever is among you is devoted for destruction... You can not stand against your enemies unless you remove it”. 

To Acan it seemed such a teeny weeny thing, but to God it was a big deal.

So how does this all apply to you and me?

Perfect is our promised land. God has declared our victory. His word says that

“No weapon formed against us will stand” Is 54:17 
and in 
Matt 16:19 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven”. 

But just like the Israelites in Canaan, there are lots of battles but they are only won when we destroy those things that are declared by God to be destroyed. We can't stand against our enemies when we hold onto things in our lives that have been nominated by God for destruction.

It destroys us. 
They must be removed. 

To hold onto something that is devoted for destruction means we are not willing for this to be removed from us. To do so affects our relationship with God, our relationship with others, our prayers being answered and gives Satan a foothold in our life. In other words we're letting sin reign where it has no right to reign.

And so on April 5 2012, I prayed and asked God to show me the things in my life that He has devoted for destruction, that I had hidden away, not wanting his light to find and shine on , for FEAR of what may be found.

The first thing he showed me was control. “Your will, Your way, You have full authority”. Frustration in my life was a symptom of “my will, my way” and a lack of letting Him lead me in the battle. 

Frustration with my health, frustration with my husband, frustration with my kids... 

You get the picture. It seemed like such a little thing. Each day, over time, as I asked Him, He has shown me more and more things I have hung onto unwittingly, that He had declared to be destroyed. At times I was like the Israelites, overwhelmed with the “vastness of the army” but each time, He reminded me of His declaration of victory.

How does this fit into the concept of a mosaic? We are broken. But we can only be made whole when we look to the only One who is perfect. 

Because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. Hebrews 10:14
Nothing is to be kept to ourselves. I would like to encourage you to read through Joshua 5-8. To ask God to begin to show you the things you have hidden away, sometimes unaware of, that He has devoted for destruction. To shine His light on the things that fear keeps you from dealing with. To show you where you are rejecting His knowledge. Just start with 1. Then ask God to restore this part of you, since you desire to no longer keep it from Him. He did it for me!

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