Sunday Chronicles #161 9/15/19
The “Power” Connection
Greetings from Springfield, MO on another summer-like Sunday with blinding sunshine. We had a short cool-down when a front passed through Thursday, but now temps are climbing into the 90s again, promising us at least another week of summer! When I tried to log on to my e-mail this morning, I got a message that I wasn’t connected to the internet. I waited a few minutes, and tried again. Perhaps my computer wasn’t awake yet! But I kept getting the same result, so I tried the common remedy of unplugging the modem, waiting a few minutes and re-plugging. What that does in tech language, I have no idea, but it worked!
I listened to MV Chapel TV. Chaplain continued his series in Joshua. Today’s message focused on Chapter 6 and the conquest of Jericho. God gave Joshua definite instructions as to how they were to take the city. Jericho’s army, encamped behind walls, some say as high as 30 feet and several feet thick, far outnumbered Joshua’s and besides they were better armed and trained. God told Joshua to put first a contingent of armed men, then seven priests blowing trumpets. Next in line were priests bearing the Ark of the Covenant, signifying the presence of God with them (their power source!), then more fighting men. As a military strategy, this arrangement would have seemed worthless, even a disadvantage! I can imagine Jericho’s warriors standing high on the walls, watching as this ragtag army marched around their city, blowing trumpets. Joshua’s troops had orders from God that for the first 6 days, they were to march around the city with no speaking or singing, once each day, then return to their camp. After Day One or Two, when nothing happened, I’d guess that Jericho’s citizens made a daily ritual of coming out to the top of the walls to make fun. But on Day 7 when Joshua’s army started early and kept marching, some on the wall must have wondered what was happening. After the 7th march around the city on the 7th day, Joshua commanded the priests to blow their trumpets and for all the people to shout! They did, and the walls fell flat outward. Joshua’s army conquered the city and burned it according to God’s command. This signaled to the Canaanites that Israel’s God was more powerful than their gods. They became fearful, thus they were easier to defeat. Archaeologists who have explored the site of ancient Jericho say their discoveries confirm the biblical record.
Just as God provided the Israelites of the Old Testament with a superior power source when they obeyed Him, so Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to empower His followers. His last recorded words before He returned to Heaven “But you will shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you…” Acts 1:8. To stay plugged into this power source, we must obey His commandments. I have been reading Mt. Ch. 5 and 6 where Jesus spells out how we are to “love our enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” I’ve always been amused by the story in Acts 19:13-17 where Paul in establishing the church at Ephesus prayed for sick people who were healed and cast out evil spirits by the power of the Holy Spirit. Some non-believing Jews decided they could do miracles, too, and they tried to cast out devils by using the name of Jesus “whom Paul preaches.” The evil spirits replied, “Jesus we know, and we’ve heard about Paul, but who are you?” Then the demon possessed man went berserk and beat them up. They escaped naked and bleeding!
If we want to maintain our connection to our Holy Spirit power source, we must treat others as Jesus would! Yes, that’s a tall order! Read Zach. 7: 9,10 to see how an Old Testament prophet spells it out. When me make mistakes (and we will!) the Holy Spirit will gently correct us. If we accept His correction, we will maintain our power source. If we won’t obey Him, He will eventually unplug us from the power source. (See Eph. 4:29-32.)
Prayer Request: Daughter Melinda and another professor from Evangel University will be leaving Friday, Sept. 20, for 10 days of travel, accompanying five Evangel students to Bonn, Germany, to present a workshop at an academic conference on Media Studies. Please pray for safe flights, a well-done workshop, and an overall good learning experience for the students. Also, pray for the health of both professors and students. One student has a severe food allergy. He deals with it well here in the States, but in hotels and restaurants overseas he will have less knowledge about food handling and preparation. Pray especially for his protection from illness or life-threatening allergic reactions. Their trip also includes a cultural layover in Ireland.
Thank you for your prayers for me. They are much needed and appreciated. You are included in mine. May our connection to His power remain strong as we bear one another’s burdens. Peace, jwb