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Archive for the ‘Symbolism’ Category

Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me! – Matthew 14:29-30 (MESSAGE)

It was night and the weather was storming! The disciples were in danger, barely making any progress, barely staying afloat when Jesus comes walking by on the water on foot. They were terrified thinking it was a ghost, wouldn’t you?

Peter sceptically said, “If you’re for real then let me do it, too!”

“Come on!”, Jesus said and Peter walked on water. Metaphorically so do we.

Events and problems swarm around us threatening to capsize and drown. Jesus is there, barely visible through the haze, undisturbed by the commotion. He’s not a ghost, not a make-believe deity. He tell us we can be safe with him through it all — all we have to do is abandon our trust in the boat and go with him.

When walking with him, however, don’t expect the wind to stop or the water to thicken. Keep focused on his call and his care; it’s all there for the asking.

— fritz

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And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee. [But] I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. – Exodus 23:28-29

If we take Israel’s Promised Land symbolically as experience of our Spirit filled life in Christ1 then this little verse shows why God doesn’t immediately change everything in our lives, all at once, when we first enter Christ.

God promised to even send hornets ahead of Israel to clear out their land but only as they would be able to occupy, otherwise nature would take over instead. Ever see an unoccupied house, a neglected garden, or someone who bought more home than they could maintain? It’s the same spiritually — God cleans up our lives as we grow and are able to keep it clean.

We may not be able to make some needed changes this year or next but God understands and tenderly leads. He will eventually get to it all when time is right — He is doing the same in those we love, too.

-fritz@langgang.com
1 – Promised Land Symbolism – June 15, 2011

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[Y]e shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it. – Joshua 1:11b

Israel’s entry into their “Promised Land” has long been seen as symbolic. The church has many hymns, like On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand equating the “Promised Land” with Heaven. But while Heaven is a promise, the “Promised Land” symbolizes something else.

In heaven our fighting will be over but in this life, as in Israel’s Promised Land, there are “giants” to defeat, crops to plant and harvest, successes and failures based on our obedience and partnership with Christ.

Taking over the promised land, driving out the sinful inhabitants, and occupying in faith is the same process of kicking out our old habits and sins, establishing Christ’s rule over our lives, and living for Jesus in the power of God’s Holy Spirit.

See it that way as you read the biblical book of Joshua and it takes on a whole new relevance.

– fritz@langgang.com

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