Keep Fighting!

Our family is following a program to read through the Bible in one year.  I haven’t done this in years, but I was encouraged by my prayer partner as she explained how her family was doing this together in 2019.  I asked my husband and talked to my children and we all agreed to start Jan 1st.  My prayer partner and I prayed, as each of our families read through God’s word, that God would reveal Himself and open our hearts to HIM.  It has been an exciting adventure!  My youngest listen to the bible from a dramatized CD version, so they were just re-telling me in a dramatic way what they heard this week.  My teenagers follow their own plan and reading schedule, so they can stay on pace.  Then we watch bible teachings on the book we are reading or discuss it throughout our days or at meal times.  Hearing God’s word permeate through our home is transforming.  We still have daily struggles, arguments, ups and downs, but we also have a common Rock to point to when we get off course.  It has been a blessing!

Something the Lord has been showing me through all of this is a common thread… God, our Creator, our Savior, our Deliverer created us in His image and formed us and is with us.  He walks with us, leads us, and helps us.  Humans, us, sinners, fallen, disobedient, weak, are stubborn yet constantly striving and fighting to do right.  God created us, but we must realize we are in slavery to sin and that we must follow Him to be free.  And then once we are free, we must still fight within ourselves to trust Him and follow Him and let Him lead us to complete freedom, to Christ.  And even then, we must still look to Him to provide and protect and redeem us.   Those like Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Caleb, and Ruth…  They see Him.  They know Him.  They obey Him, walk with Him (Genesis 6:9), and some He even calls His friend (Exodus 33:11, James 2:23).  Then there are those generations that “forget God”  or do not “obey His voice” or they “do what is right in their own eyes”.    You know, either journey taken, knowing Him or forgetting Him, there are battles and there is heartache.  But with God, the journey is full of strength and victory and redemption.  That is the message I want my kids to learn.  That is what I want my goal to be… That they would KNOW HIM and the POWER of HIS RESURECTION (Philippians 3:10).

As I read battle after battle in the book of Joshua and saw the Lord working victories through Joshua’s faith and obedience, I received such hope!  I want my kids and you to see that hope too!

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As we listened to a preacher last night discuss the book of Joshua in review, he said, “When a godly man dies, God’s work never dies.”  (Or something like that!)

Joshua fought valiantly.  He exhorted the Israelites to serve and love the Lord with all of their heart.  He fought the good fight and finished his race set before him until the Lord called him home.  But then, at the end, I thought, “Is he done?  Did he conquer all of the land before he died?”  Well, in the beginning of the book of Judges, I found my answer…

“[The Lord said…] I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations that Joshua left when he died…” Judges 2:21

I don’t know about you, but in my early parenting years, I had the notion that it was my “job” to protect my children from making mistakes and teach them God’s ways, so they didn’t have to fight any battles… but the truth is, none of us can avoid the fight!  They need to learn to fight for themselves.

Read below what the Lord said in Judges 2:21-22 and some of Judges 3:

“I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations that Joshua left when he died, in order to test Israel by them, whether they will take care to walk in the way of the Lord as their fathers did, or not.””
‭‭Judges‬ ‭2:21-22‬ ‭
“Now these are the nations that the Lord left, to test Israel by them, that is, all in Israel who had not experienced all the wars in Canaan. It was only in order that the generations of the people of Israel might know war, to teach war to those who had not known it before.”
‭‭Judges‬ ‭3:1-2‬

Yes, we need to keep fighting for our children until our last breath, serving the Lord like Caleb :  “And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, just as He said, these forty-five years since the time that the Lord spoke this word to Moses, while Israel walked in the wilderness. And now, behold, I am this day eighty-five years old. I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming. So now give me this hill country of which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day how the Anakim were there, with great fortified cities. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the Lord said.”  Joshua 14: 10-12

Yes, we must keep ourselves strong and keep fighting.  But we also need to show our children that they need to fight with the Lord leading them.  Let us prepare them to be warriors for the their own battles that the Lord is going to bring their way, so they can take care to walk in the way of the Lord for themselves for His glory!

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By The Goodlin Family

We are a family of 10, now 11 through marriage, seeking Jesus and living for the praise of His glory. Our desire is to encourage each other and others in our daily walk with the Lord, our Journey to Jesus.

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