Getting to Know God... Better
One of the best ways to get to know God is through His word.
You can get your answers in the Word.
You can’t always trust what other people say about God’s Word; you gotta read it for yourself.
Growing up in the church, I have constantly heard people say these things. However, I wasn’t really listening. I did read the Bible but my favorite parts. My dad is the Proverbs man, and as his daughter, I naturally gravitated towards reading that book. Psalms, all over that. Paul, one of my favorite guys, I read his writing. The four gospels, check. But what about all the other books?
I can’t even tell you where Habakkuk is. I’m just being honest. (I’m working on it, though.)
This year, 2019, I am going to read the entire Bible— cover to cover. I have a plan, and I have been sticking to it, devoting daily time to read and study.
For accountability sake as well as for big picture reflection (on my part), I am documenting my progress on this journey here.
As I finish books of the Bible (and continue to document my journey), I plan to go into what really stood out to me while reading that specific book. This month I finished the book of Joshua. (You can see the overall progress I made reading down below).
In reflecting on the entire book of Joshua, my big takeaway is how much that we—I—truly owe God for everything that I have. From the breath in my lungs, the clothes on my back, the family I was blessed with naturally and spiritually, every A on a paper or assignment, every scholarship, to every dollar in my bank account, for everything, I owe God a thank you (at the bare minimum).
God, throughout the book of Joshua, gave them victory for every battle that they won. He gave them the Promise Land. He gave, and He gave, and He gave. I wish I had counted how many times the phrase, “the Lord gave them” (NLT), (or any variants of this phrase) was used throughout Joshua. (I think it appeared about like fifteen times, but someone should definitely check that– preferably not at midnight like I did.)
Another takeaway for me was: Your blessings from God, what God has given you, can be “blocked” by others. Let me back track for a second.
God charged Joshua and the Israelites with going to claim the land that He had given them (Joshua 1:2), and they obeyed. They crossed the Jordan (after the recon mission where we got to meet Rahab—love her! But that’s another conversation), and they built this great memorial with twelve stones (one for each of the tribe) that is “there to this day” (Joshua 4:9, NLT). They reestablished circumcision as a practice, and then—they rolled up to Jericho. If you ever watched Veggietales, “Josh and the Big Wall”, you already know what happened . They marched around the city with instrument for six days, and then, on the seventh day, they sounded the trumpets and the walls of Jericho crumbled. Needless to say, after the walls came down, they rushed the city and “destroyed everything in it” (Joshua 6:21, NLT). Chapter six ends on such a high note: Jericho has been overtaken; the Israelites were beginning to receive the land and the promise that God had given them; Rahab found a new home (and a new life) with the Israelites, and “the Lord was with Joshua, and his reputation spread throughout the land”. So going into chapter seven, I am hype—you probably are too, wondering what else is in store for the Israelites, wondering what the next set of instructions are, etcetera.
Chapter seven opens, “But Israel violated the instructions about the things set apart for the Lord. A man named Achan had stolen some of these dedicated things. So the Lord was very angry with the Israelites” (Joshua 7:1, NLT). God was mad with the whole crew, the whole squad, all of the Israelites—not just Achan, the actual perpetrator of the crime. He was so angry that when the Israelites went to fight Ai, He let the Ai warriors defeat them in battle. I read this part and was shook; I was really wondering why and how they lost.
Later on in the chapter, God said two things that really resonated with me: “I will not remain with you any longer unless you destroy the things among you that were set apart for destruction” (Joshua 7:12, NLT); and “You will never defeat your enemies until you remove these things from you” (Joshua 7:13).
The questions I then had for myself were: what needs to be removed, from me or from around me, in order for me to overcome my challenges (“defeat [my] enemies”)? Are some of the things that need removal actually people?
Because Achan disobeyed, the blessings and the victory that God had for the Israelites was impacted.
Let that just sit with you for a second.
One man’s actions impacted all twelve tribes, all of the Israelites. They lost a battle, lost some face too, because they ran in fear from Ai. And all because of one man. I don’t want who I surround myself with, what I allow into my body mentally or physically, what I do or say to “block”/temporarily keep me from my promise.
That’s just my two cents about Joshua and an update on my reading/study for the year. I definitely encourage you to read the entire book on your own to hear from God directly; He could point out other huge takeaways to you.
Thank you for reading. If you know me or are connected with me on social media, please keep me accountable: check up on me. Ask me how my reading and studying is going.
 If you haven’t watched Veggietales, wow. You’re welcome for this link and the recommendation. This episode, the one about Esther, and the one about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are honestly the best ones. I am prepared to fight about this.