Just Do It!

As I read my text in the book of Joshua, I remembered an ad campaign that Nike™ did starting in 1988! The “Just Do It” slogan became well-known in the culture. The creators said that they wanted people to think of active life and Nike shoes not just for the young or athletes, but as choices for all people regardless of their age, gender or physical fitness level.  Do you know that there are important choices that must be made IF we desire to live in God’s best for us? The Christian who would be useful in God’s work, who would live lovingly, who would make a positive difference in their world while enjoying the promises of joy and contentment, will step up in faith and ‘just do it!

As Joshua assumed leadership of Israel after Moses’ death, his task was to lead the people into Canaan, the “Promised Land.”  They were on the east side of the Jordan River, which was flowing at flood stage, an obstacle that had to be overcome. Let’s eavesdrop on the Lord’s conversation with that man.  “The Lord told Joshua, “Today I will begin to make you great in the eyes of all the Israelites. Now they will know that I am with you, just as I was with Moses. Give these instructions to the priests who are carrying the Ark of the Covenant: ‘When you reach the banks of the Jordan River, take a few steps into the river and stop.’ “ (Joshua 3:7-8, NLT)  

The rest of the story is that as those priests stepped into the river, the water ceased flowing and a pathway for the people’s crossing miraculously opened. However, they had to act before they saw God’s intervention. “As soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river’s edge, the water above that point began backing up a great distance away at a town called Adam, which is near Zarethan. And the water below that point flowed on to the Dead Sea until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over near the town of Jericho.” (Joshua 3:15-16, NLT)

After they entered Canaan, they had to overcome Jericho, a fortified city. Again, we know that God promised them victory, but not while they sat around and waited.  Once again, He told them to act in faith. “Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. ... Go and march around the town once each morning for a whole week, then on the seventh day, march around it seven times, and blow the trumpets! When you hear the trumpets, shout the victory shout.”  

I wonder if that sounded as silly to those people as it does to us?  Did they wonder what marching around the city’s walls once a day for 6 days and 7 times on the 7th day would accomplish?  Perhaps, but God asked them to ‘just do it’ and they did. Again, we know the rest of the story.  “When the people heard the sound of the rams’ horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the town and captured it.” (Joshua 6:20, NLT)

Following Jesus into a life that is rich in joy and filled with love requires active participation in God’s work.

He says, “Forgive those who offend you,”
we must just do it.

He says, “Put me first in your use of resources,” and
we must just do it.

He says, “Love your enemies,” and
we must just do it.

He says, “Stop worrying about tomorrow,” and we
must choose to trust and obey.

The nation of Israel was not always as obedient as they were in the examples I used a moment ago. Often in their long history, they resisted the Lord, argued against His will, and even ignored Him. Their long history reveals that when they choose short-term self-interest over long-term obedience, there were always negative consequences. When they were willing to ‘just do it,‘ they discovered the goodness of the Lord in unanticipated ways. The key was faith to believe God, even when it made no sense in the moment!

Take one of the Bible’s shortest prayers with you today.
When you struggle to obey, just breathe this one line prayer. It was first prayed by a father who was in terrible distress over his son’s terrible condition. He brought the boy to Jesus. Mark recounts the scene.

“If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
” ‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.”

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed,
“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” (Mark 9:22-25, NIV)

The gift of faith that comes in response to our humble entreaty creates a heart ready to radically obey. Let’s just do it!

The word from the Word today teaches that faith is an active thing, never passive! ” Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. … And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:1,6, NIV)

(Video of this blog at this link)


Battle Belongs

When all I see is the battle
You see my victory
When all I see is a mountain
You see a mountain moved
And as I walk through the shadow
Your love surrounds me
There’s nothing to fear now
For I am safe with You

So when I fight I’ll fight on my knees
With my hands lifted high
O God the battle belongs to You
And every fear I lay at Your feet
I’ll sing through the night
O God the battle belongs to You

And if You are for me
Who can be against me
For Jesus there’s nothing
Impossible for You
When all I see are the ashes
You see the beauty
When all I see is a cross
God You see the empty tomb

(An) Almighty Fortress You go before us
Nothing can stand against
The power of our God
You shine in the shadows
You win every battle
Nothing can stand against
The power of our God

O God the battle belongs to You

Brian Johnson | Phil Wickham

© Phil Wickham Music (Fair Trade Music Publishing [c/o Essential Music Publishing LLC])

Simply Global Songs (Fair Trade Music Publishing [c/o Essential Music Publishing LLC])

Bethel Music Publishing

CCLI License # 810055

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