Category Archives: God is with us

Joshua 1:9

Joshua 1:9 – “ Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

 

This verse was part of my daily devotional yesterday.  And I’ve read it many times before.  But I never noticed or thought about our part that God spells out.

 

God is giving Joshua a pep talk and setting him into motion.  He has had plenty of time to grieve his mentor Moses, and now it is time to get up, wipe away his tears, gather Israel, and march into God’s promised land.  Literally.  As Israel’s leader.  And he saw first hand how Israel treated Moses.

 

So God is reassuring him He is in control.  He will be with Joshua to guide him and help him.  He will take care of Joshua and Israel every day.

 

Joshua just needs to make the right choices every day.

  • Be strong
  • Be courageous
  • Be not afraid
  • Be not dismayed

Joshua 1v9

Because Israel is going to see unbelievable things.  They will be bombarded by fear.  They will encounter giants.  They will be surrounded by obstacles.

 

But none of it will be more powerful or bigger than their God.

 

So they have no reason to fear.

They have no reason to succumb to hopelessness.

They should never be discouraged.

They should never wallow in despair.

 

They need to choose to look at God instead of the giants.

They need to choose to trust God instead of their emotions.

They need to choose to walk with faith instead of being dragged by fear.

 

They need to choose courage.  They need to think strong, stand strong, and speak strong.  They need to decide not to lose heart at the intimidating things they will see and hear.

 

They need to choose faith.  They need to have complete confidence that God will see them through.  They need to trust that God is taking care of them, protecting them, and placing them.

 

They need to remember who God is and what He has promised.  And just in case anyone forgot, He repeats Himself – “the Lord your God is with you”.

 

Your God.  Not any other people.  Specifically you.  I am God with you.  Always.

 

So every day remember ….

No matter what you see and how scary it looks, I will be with you with mighty power and signs.

No matter what you feel when faced with obstacles, I will be with you with peace and strength.

No matter how difficult the battle looks, I will be with you with strategy and victory.

 

And trust Me.  Completely.  Let go of fear, distress, and terror.  Never pick them up.  Never drape them over your thoughts and words.  Never surrender to their wrong influence.  Never follow their misleading direction.

 

Instead, choose to gird yourself with courage.  Choose to strengthen yourself with faith in Me.  Choose to focus on Me and what I can do for you.  Instead of looking at your limited abilities.  Be bold in My name.  Be bold in My power.  Be bold in My promise.

 

Remember I am for you.

Remember I am with you.

 

And choose strength.

Choose courage.

Choose to be fearless.

Choose to be hopeful.

 

Choose to follow Me.

Every day.

And the journey will be a story worth telling.

 

Marie Fremin.  6/28 and 7/9/17

Walking to Bethlehem: An Advent Study

Have you ever read something in God’s Word that got you thinking?

 

For me recently, it was Jesus praying in the garden just before His arrest.  Mark 14:36And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”

 

Not what My emotions want.

Not what My thoughts want.

Not what My body wants.

But what You deem best, Father.

No matter how hard it is going to be.

No matter how many times I am going to want to walk away.

 

And reading this, seeing the ultimate commitment Jesus has for us, God showed me that these same attitudes run through the story of Jesus’ birth.

 

It is the story of person after person after person being given the choice to say “not what I will, but what You will” to God’s invitation into the miraculous.  It is an aged couple being asked to believe beyond the physically impossible to step into the miraculous.  It is a young teenage girl being asked to defy tradition and convention to step into the miraculous.  It is her fiance, a simple man, being asked to believe in the possibly of the miraculous to also walk against the expected and embrace the unbelievable.

at-the-manger

So I felt compelled to go through and study the birth of Jesus.  It started way before the journey of a young and faithful couple from Nazareth to Bethlehem.  There is so much more to this story that is full of grace – and angels.

 

Want to journey with me?  Each day is a study and several questions to make you think.  If you walk with me, God will speak to you.  God will expand your understanding.  God will pour His love into you.

 

Marie Fremin.  Originally posted 11/30/16.  Edited and reposted 12/18/16.

 

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9/11/01 – Religion Tried to Reign

I am just going to say it.  I hate religion.

 

I hate the “have to” rules that divide instead of draw close.  That promote self instead of love.  That set works up at the standard instead of the Savior.  That cause us to devalue other lives instead of honoring and respecting them.

 

It was religion that hijacked two planes on 9/11/01.

It was religion that placed value only on the message and no value on all the lives on board.

It was religion that said “death to the infidels” and took precious lives without remorse.

It was religion that said death would reap worthy rewards because it took “unworthy” people with it.

It was religion that gave care only for the cause and not for the method – of taking hostages.

It was religion that aimed at three occupied buildings because they were occupied.

It was religion that tore families apart without a chance for goodbye.

It was religion that buried peace and contentment into piles of dust and debris.

It was religion that decided the fate of the masses without their consent.

It was religion that said violence is the only way to spread your message.

It was religion that wanted to spark fear and terror in the hearts of man.

It was religion that brought a nation to its knees, though only temporarily.

 

Because religion thinks only of self.

It doesn’t consider anyone else’s feelings, family, faith, or future.

It doesn’t care about anyone else’s history, health, or hopes.

It doesn’t try for repentance, reconciliation, or redemption.

It doesn’t concern itself with anyone else’s goodness, grace, or giftedness.

It breeds discontentment, disagreements, and disharmony.

It fosters unforgiveness, hostility, and rage.

And it never focus on love.

 

Love.  The message of Jesus.  The new standard of Jesus.  The new hope of Jesus.

 

Matthew 22:37-40 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

 

Love doesn’t take hostages.

Love doesn’t destroy lives.

Love doesn’t promote violence.

Love doesn’t foster division.

Love doesn’t act self-important.

 

Love heals.

Love unites.

Love uplifts.

Love accepts (people where they are and for who they are).

Love forgives.

 

And there was no love in action that September morning.

Because everything was done for self-promotion and self-righteousness.

 

But despite the terrorists, there was God.

With every person on the planes.

With every person in the buildings.

With every person who did not make it out.

With every responder who sacrificed his/her life.

With every survivor who lives with the memories.

With every American who watched the news broadcasts.

With every heart around the world that grieved.

 

God was there.

And God is still here with us.

 

Standing on the doorstep of our nation, hoping we’ll let Him back in.

Hoping we’ll acknowledge His existence again.

Hoping we’ll come to our senses and accept His love.

Hoping we’ll stop turning our backs on Him.

Because we, as a nation, have taken to denying Him as real or present.

 

But our fickle faith never negates the simple fact that He is real2 Timothy 2:13 – If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.

 

God didn’t abandon us on 9/11/01.

God didn’t turn His back on us on 9/11/01.

God didn’t leave us to suffer alone on 9/11/01.

 

God was there, in the middle of the disaster that religion perpetrated.

God was there, in the center of the chaos that religion created.

God was there, in the heart of the tragedy that struck the world.

 

And God hasn’t changed in the last 15 years.  He is still with us, waiting for us to stop looking at the dark edges of religion and step into the light of relationship with Him.

 

As we reflect back, let us not let religion win.  Let us not let religion make any progress.  Let us not let religion sway the hearts of man.  Let us stand strong and declare loudly that God is in control.

 

Marie Fremin, 9/11 and 9/12/16