Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Thursday, September 4, 2014
Do you feel constrained by circumstances in your life? Are forces beyond your control limiting you in getting ahead – socially, financially, spiritually? If so, you are not alone. This problem has plagued mankind since its early days. The Good News is that God is in control and can help us overcome even insurmountable difficulties.
The feeling of helplessness afflicted the Israelites as they tried to drive out their enemies from the land of Canaan, the land God had promised to them. As Joshua, then leader of the Israelite tribes, attempted to apportion the land, the people of the tribe of Joseph complained. They lobbied Joshua, stating, “The hill country is not enough for us, and all the Canaanites who live in the plain have iron chariots.” (Joshua 17:16).
The Israelite’s complaint had merit; iron chariots were nothing trivial. These chariots had long scythes attached to the axle tree. This formidable configuration wrought great destruction in battle. All who stood in their path were mowed down as wheat or corn during harvest. Those who survived were scarred for life by the rotating blades. It seems only logical that the people were intimidated by this daunting and powerful enemy, and these contraptions assisted in blocking the path to achieving their goals.
We can observe how chariots of iron are not the only barriers that keep us from the success and comfort we desire. Iron chariots arrive in many forms. Many people are faced by economic iron chariots that appear to block their every advance. The endless stack of bills to pay, the dead end job that pays insufficiently, the unexpected expenses that crop up, rising prices for energy and other items, or an economy structured to accelerate the gains rich people can achieve while stifling the efforts of the common man. Just as the iron chariots of the Canaanites blocked Israel from the land they desired, economic and financial “iron chariots” may be blocking you from obtaining a desired piece of land for a home.
Perhaps your iron chariot is a physical disability or limitation. It may come as an injury over which you had no control. It could be simply the fatigue of long days working for both job and family, leaving you without energy to fight additional battles during the evening. Or, perhaps there is a physical distance between you and your decided goal. Sickness may also be an iron chariot, forming an obstacle that blocks your moves in every direction.
Maybe a lack of education prevents advancement in your job or career. For whatever reason, you were not able to acquire the training that now prevents you from entering your own land of Canaan, your own land of milk and honey. The degrees or experience possessed by others seem to mow you down in your efforts just as effectively as the spinning scythes on the axles of the Canaanites chariots.
Unexpected tragedy or adversity can be just as devastating. Consider those who were devastated by hurricane Sandy. Others face total devastation through floods, tornadoes, drought, or hail. Many Americans have suffered massive tornadoes and floods, with others subjected to record flooding. The unexpected death of a loved one can bring such great sorrow to your life that moving on seems impossible. Still others face the adversity of an addiction that prevents them from functioning properly. Or maybe, like Jonah (4:9), circumstances have you in a deep depression.
God sent a special message of comfort to the Israelites through His servant Joshua, “The mountain shall be thine, and the valley, for thou shalt drive out your Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they may be strong.” (Joshua 17:17-18). With God’s hand upon them, the Israelites eventually drove out the Canaanites, and the Canaanites became their servants, because the Israelites did not drive them out completely. Know today that God wants to help you drive out the iron chariots that overwhelm you.
It is normal for God to supply us with comfort and assistance in driving out the iron chariots in our lives, even if we fail to drive them out completely. He encourages us to keep on persevering in the face of adversity. Iron chariots, illness, tragedy, even Satan himself, cannot keep us from God’s promised Kingdom of Heaven if we only call on the name of Jesus. This reward will someday be ours if we keep our faith and trust in Him, for it is Him who conquers all. As the Apostle Paul tells us, “In all things you are more than conquerors through Him who loves you!” (Romans 8:37). Be normal and be a conqueror today!
In His love and service,
A servant of Jesus Christ
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