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Joshua 1:1-8 – After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. 7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips;meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

memories6As I sit here reflecting on the amazing ways God has touched me, I stand in awe. As I reflect, the memories began to flood in like a swollen river and I was nearly overcome with emotion looking back on past mistakes. It was then that the revelation came that I want to share with you.

I was put on this earth for a purpose. It was Satan’s job to get me out of line from that purpose and he did a pretty good job of it for a very long time. Each time a memory would come into my spirit, I would use it as an excuse to stay stuck. Good memories would come with guilt and shame. Bad memories would come with condemnation. Nothing in my memory served the purpose for which God called me to…until now. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1) but I was condemned because I did not allow Christ into my heart. I was hardened seemingly beyond repair.

memories3Here is what I realized. God put Adam and Eve on the Earth as glorified humans whose only purpose was to love. He also gave them free will, because it would still be a choice whether or not to love the Creator who walked with them and talked with them and shared intimate moments with them. When the evil one came in and deceived Eve, free will reigned and they chose a wrong path. From that moment on, bad choices superseded obedience on more than one occasion and we fell into sin in the blink of an eye. However, there was always a small remnant who still believed. Our brains are meant to filter out things that aren’t used for the survival of our beings. Things come in and our brains shuffle through them like a deck of cards picking out the things we need for the day. Memories flood our conscience and those of us who have lived in active addiction for any period of time use them for death and not for life. God sets before us life and death, blessings and curses but it’s up to us to choose. It’s always about CHOICE. I give Satan way too much credit sometimes when memories come in and I call them “attacks”. That is not what they are for. They are to remind me where I came from, so that I can survive the next time I am faced with a similar situation. I have no memory of being in my mother’s womb, because I was surviving off of her. I have no memories of being a baby because, again, someone else what making sure I lived to see another day. The memories I have begin when I started making decisions that didn’t seem like life or death at the time, but they were. I was making choices that would affect the outcome of the next day, and the next, and the next. My memories began when I started surviving.

memoriesHere’s the coolest part…God knew me and approved of me before I was born!

Jeremiah 1:5 (AMP) – Before I formed you in the womb, I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

Psalm 139:15-16 (NIV) – 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

WOW!!! Why can’t I remember THAT?!?!? It’s because if I could remember that place from which I came before being sent to the Earth to fulfill His purpose, I would AUTOMATICALLY choose Him because of the beauty of what I would see. There would be no free will and there would be no choice. My sole purpose is to love as Christ loves and as God loves and to convince others of the saving grace of our Father. We are meant to love and forgive. I am so grateful for the memories that come like a flood today because I CHOOSE to use them for His purpose in bringing others to His throne room!

memories2Now to the Book of Joshua. The entire nation of Israel had lost their first generation do to sin and desert wanderings. The adult children of the lost generation were standing at a flooded riverbank, the Jordan. They had seen miracle upon miracle right before their very eyes but this day they were scared, confused, doubtful, and insecure. Their leader, Moses, had died and now they were under the authority of someone new. They weren’t sure how to trust. They were walking blind to a place where they had never been before on faith and a promise from a God they couldn’t see. Sound familiar?? They were asked, on faith, to step into the swollen river which could easily take them under and the Lord promised to part the waters. As they stepped in; shaking from fear, grieving their loss, and exhausted from the trip; the waters separated and over a million souls walked into the promised land on a dry river bed. As the last person came into the new land flowing with milk and honey and stepped into a promise that should have been long forgotten, Joshua spoke:

Joshua 4:5-7; 21-24 (NIV) – “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, 6 to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 7 tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”

21 He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. 24 He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.”

memories7Lay the stones down. Allow the memories to be used for God’s glory and don’t look back. Allow God to form new memories of things to come that have the ability to blow your mind if you can quiet it long enough to hear His voice.

You can read Joshua 1-4 about the crossing into the Promised Land, the defeat of Jericho, and Rahab at www.biblegateway.com. Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #Joshua

To further your reading, and to dive a bit deeper, consider this from Joshua 2:8-21 – Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof 9 and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. 10 We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. 11 When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below. 12 “Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign 13 that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them—and that you will save us from death.”

memories4The story of Rahab inspired me to do something different, to see past my PAST and look toward my purpose. Rahab was a prostitute in Jericho. She was a sneaky little thing, living on the edge of society, one heartbeat away from total rejection (sounds familiar). She was singled out by the Israelite spies before God had the walls of Jericho fall to His chosen people led by Joshua. Rahab lived IN the wall of Jericho. Her house was built right into the side of it. She had a front row seat to the workings of the whole city at her front door and the much discussed encroaching Israelites at her back door. Opportunity knocked and she answered! She had turned to God for salvation and He granted it to her and in the process spoke to her heart regarding the spies that had their own agenda as to why they came to her for refuge. Rahab desired a change and she positioned herself for that change. My past behavior does NOT disqualify me from being used by God. First, though, I need to allow God to shine the light of Truth on my life so that I can see things more clearly and ask for forgiveness. Even when I am broken and beat down, God is always prepared to send someone to come along and encourage me. When the wall of Jericho fell, Rahab’s house remained standing…the only part of the wall that continued to exist.

That woman saved by Grace, purposed for a new life, became the mother of Boaz who was the great-grandfather to King David who was the ancestor of Jesus Christ Himself! She was purposed by God and her past mistakes could not haunt her any longer!

Related Scriptures: Romans 8:28-32; Psalm 1:1-3; Jeremiah 1:8