April 27: Walking in Circles
Joshua 18:1–19:9; 2 Corinthians 12:1–10; Psalm 56:1–13
I often wish things were more obvious. I ask God to help me understanding His timing so that I can easily act. I ask for everything to happen at the right moments. I ask Him to give me such clear directions that I can’t fail in following them. I used to think this was a good thing, but I realize now that all my questions could indicate a lack of faith. It seems that my questions lead to more questions. Like a man losing his memory in old age, I end up walking in circles around the block rather than finding my way home.
Maybe it’s not the lack of knowing that disturbs me, but that when I really know what God wants, I will have to act. In general, this seems to be the problem with faith in western Christianity. We say we don’t know what God wants. However, if we’re honest with ourselves, perhaps we don’t really want to know what God wants. In our hearts, we’re certain that knowing will mean uncomfortable change.
Joshua calls the Israelites on this type of faith problem: “How long will you be slack about going to take possession of the land that Yahweh, the God of your ancestors, has given you?” (Josh 18:3). The same question applies to us. How long will we wait? We really know what we’re supposed to do? If we don’t, might the reason be that we don’t want to know?
Often we hesitate because we’re afraid of our weaknesses—that we don’t think we have what it takes. Paul addresses this when discussing his own weaknesses: “And [God] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, because the power is perfected in weakness.’ Therefore rather I will boast most gladly in my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may reside in me’ ” (2 Cor 12:9).
Rather than live in fear, we should boast in our weaknesses. Christ is working in us, to use us, in spite of them. No one is perfect; only Christ has the honor of perfection. And while we are weak, He will give us strength in Him. His strength can overcome whoever we are, wherever we have been, and whatever we will do.
Rather than walking in circles looking for home, let’s realize that we are already home. Our home is Christ.
In what ways are you currently walking in circles? What should you be doing instead?
JOHN D. BARRY
- And the whole Congregation of the children of Israel came together at Shiloh: for they set up the Tabernacle of the Congregation there, after the land was subject unto them. Now there remained among the children of Israel seven tribes, to whom they had not divided their inheritance. Therefore Joshua said unto the children of Israel, how long are you so slack to enter and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers hath given you? Give from among you for every tribe three men, that I may send them, and that they may rise and walk through the land, and distribute it according to their inheritance, and return to me. And that they may divide it unto them into seven parts, (Judah shall abide in his coast at the South, and the house of Joseph shall stand in their coasts at the North.) Ye shall describe the land therefore into seven parts, and shall bring them hither to me, and I will cast lots for you here before the Lord our God. But the Levites shall have no part among you: for the Priesthood of the Lrod is their inheritance: also Gad and Reuben and half the tribe of Manasseh have received their inheritance beyond Jordan Eastward, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave them. Then the men arose, and went their way, and Joseph charged them that went to describe the land, saying, Depart, and go through the land, and describe it, and return to me, that I may here cast lots for you before the Lord in Shiloh. So the men departed, and passed through the land, and described it by cities into seven parts in a book, and returned to Joshua into the camp at Shiloh. Then Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the Lord, and there Joshua divided the land unto the children of Israel, according to their portions. And the lot oof the tribe of the children of Benjamin came forth according to their families, and the cost of their lot lay between the children of Judah, and the children of Joseph. And their coast on the North side was from Jordan, and the border went up to the side of Jericho on the North part, and went up through the mountains Westward, and the ends thereof are in the wilderness of Beth Aven: And this border goeth along from thence to Luz, even to the South side of Luz (the same is Bethel) and this border descendeth to Ataroth Addar, near the mount that lieth on the South side of Beth Horon the nether. So the border turneth, and compasseth the corner of the Sea Southward, from the mount that lieth before Beth Horon Southward: and the ends thereof are at Kirjath Baal (which is Kirjath Jearim) a city of the children of Judah: this is the West quarter. And the South quarter is from the end of Kirjath Jearim, and this border goeth out Westward, and cometh to the fountain of waters of Nephtoah. And this border descendeth at the end of the mountain, that lieth before th evalley of Ben Hinnom, which is in the valley of the giants Northward, and descendeth into the valley of Hinnom by the side of Jebus Southward, and goeth down to En Rogel, And compasseth from the North, and goeth forth to en Shemesh, and stretcheth to Geliloth, whic his toward the going up unto Adummin, and goeth down to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben. So it goeth along to the side over against the plain Northward, and goeth down into the plain. After, this border goeth along to the side of Beth Hoglah Northward: and the ends thereof, that is, of the border, reach to the point of the salt Sea Northward, and to the end of Jordan Southward: this is the South coast. Also Jordan is the border of it on the East side: this is the inheritance of the children of Benjamin by the coasts thereof round about, according to their families. Now the cities of the tribe of the children of Benjamin, according to their families, are Jericho, and Beth Hoglah, and the valley of Keziz, And Beth Arabah, and Zemaraim, and Bethel, And Avim, and Parah, and Ophrah, And Cephar, Haammoni, and Ophni, and Gaba: twelve cities with their villages: Gibeon, and Ramah, and Beeroth, And Mizpah, and Chepirah, and Mozah, And Rekem, and Irpeel, and Taralah, And Zelah, Eleph, and Jebus, (which is Jeruslalem) Gibeath, and Kirjath: fourteen cities with their villages: this is the inheritance of the children of Benjamin, according to their families. And the second lot came out to Simeon, even for the tribe of the children of Simeon, according to their families: and their inheritance was in the midst of the inheritance of the children of Judah. Now they had in their inheritance Beersheba, and Sheba, and Moladah, And Hazar Shual, and Balah, and Eizem, And Eholad, and Bethul, and Hormah, And Ziklag, and Beth Marcaboth, and Hazar Susah, And Beth Lebaoth, and Sharuhen: thirteen cities with their villages. Ain, Rimmon, and Ether, and Ashan: four cities with their villages. And all the villages that were rounda bout those cities, unto Baalath Beer, and Ramah, Southward: this is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Simeon, according to their families. Out of the portion of the children of Judah came the inheritance of the children of Simeon: for the part of the children o fJudah was too much for them: therefore the children of Simeon had their inheritance within their inheritance. Joshua 18:1–19:9
- It is not expedient for me no doubt to rejoice: for I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether he were in the body, I cannot tell, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth) which was taken up into the third heaven. And I know wuch a man (whether in the body or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth.) How that he was taken up into Paradise, and heard words which cannot be spoken, which are not possible for man to utter. Of such a man will I rejoice: of myself will I not rejoice, except it be of mine infirmities. For though I would rejoice, I should not be a fool, for I willl say the truth: but I refrain, lest any man should think of me above that he seeth in me, or that he heareth of me. And lest I should be exalted out of measure throught he abundance of revelations, there was given unto me a prick in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, because I should not be exalted out of measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect through weakness. Very gladly therefore will I rejoice rather in mine infimrities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in anguish for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. 2 Corinthians 12:1–10
- Be merciful unto me, O God, for man would swallow me up: he fighteth continually and vexeth me. Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for many fight against me, O thou most High. When I was afraid, I trusted in thee. I will rejoice in God, because of his word, I trust in God, and will not fear what flesh can do unto me. Mine own words grieve me daily: all their thoughts are against me to do me hurt. They gather together, and keep themselves close: they mark my steps, because they wait for my soul. They think they shall excape by iniquity: O God, cast these people down in thine anger. Thou hast counted my wanderings; put my tears into thy bottle; are they not in thy register? When I cry, then mine enemies shall turn back; this I know for God is with me. I will rejoice in God because of his word; in the Lord will I rejoice because of his word. In God do I trust; I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. Thy vows are upon me, O God, I will render praises unto thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, and also my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living. Psalm 56:1–13