Woe to the rebellious children, says the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me…that walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth (Isaiah 30:1-2).
The Assyrian army was going to attack Israel first and then Judah. God already knew what Judah was going to do. They were going to try to make their enemy, their friend. They thought they would have greater success if they joined forces with Egypt, but it was already prophesied that Egypt would fall to Assyria, which meant that when Egypt fall, Judah would fall also. God didn’t have to send a prophet to His people, but because He loved them, He warned them.
Judah was aware that they needed help, but they were asking for advice from everyone except God. They never asked God if it was okay to go to Egypt. They just made a decision without Him. They thought Pharaoh was the answer, but Pharaoh was really the problem. Egypt couldn’t protect them and in the end, they would only be disappointed and embarrassed because the Egyptians are only men, not God (Isaiah 31:3).
The reason why some of us don’t ask God for advice before we make certain decisions is because we are afraid He is going to say no. We are afraid that God is going to tell us something that we don’t want to hear.
Let’s say for example, you’re dating someone. Because this is the person YOU want to marry, you refuse to ask God for advice because you don’t want Him to tell you that this person is not the wife or husband He picked for you. You’ve already made plans and you don’t want God’s plan to change your plan.
Maybe you’re tired of being single and you think you’re ready for marriage now, but God sees what is going to happen in the near future if you make a decision without consulting Him first. What you think is going to be an answer just may become a problem. Remember, the person you are about to join yourself to is just a man or a woman. They are not God. They are not a Healer and they are not a Savior.
If you’re not sure about anything else, know that God loves you. If He didn’t, He wouldn’t warn you before you go in the wrong direction or convict you when you do wrong. He does care for you and He doesn’t want you to make a decision that will only bring you disappointment and shame.
Jesus is called our Counselor and God has placed counselors around us. I know Proverbs 11:14 speaks about the condition of a nation without wise leadership, but even in your personal life, where there is no counsel, you will fall.
Before you make a permanent decision, seek godly counsel, ask for advice and then follow the advice.
Ask and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you (Matthew 7:7).
Simon, a Pharisee, invited Jesus to his home. Luke tells us about a woman in the city that was a sinner (7:37). Although she wasn’t invited to Simon’s home, she went there to see Jesus. I’m sure there were other teachers and rabbis in that city, but there was something different about this Jesus. Maybe she heard about the widow’s son who was raised from the dead or the centurion’s servant that was healed or the leper that was cleansed.
She didn’t carry any water or towels with her to Simon’s home, but when she arrived, she immediately began to wash Jesus’ feet with her tears and dry his feet with her hair. Simon didn’t say it out loud, but he thought to himself, If this man was really a prophet, he would have known who and what manner of woman this is that is touching him. She’s a sinner. Jesus did know everything about this woman, but he didn’t treat her like the others. Her sins are many (Luke 7:47).
Have you ever for a moment thought you were better than someone else? I know I have and I can only imagine the looks this woman got by these ‘religious folks’. I’m sure everybody in that city knew her business. They probably thought she wasn’t ‘worthy’ to touch Jesus. This does not pertain to all Christians, but like certain Pharisees, we sometimes only teach or preach to impress others and not to help others. We study to teach the word, but we never study to become the word. Like the rich young ruler, we are so proud of ourselves. We’re proud that we don’t commit adultery, kill, steal, bear false witness, cheat or dishonor our parents, but we still lack one thing (Luke 18:20-22).
This woman was an outcast. She was rejected and shunned by religious leaders. No one really wanted her there. Sometimes we are just like Simon. We know other people’s sins, but we don’t see our own. We’re like the blind that have eyes yet cannot see. We know how to look clean on the outside, but refuse to become clean on the inside. And even if we ‘don’t do the things we used to do’, we sometimes forget what we once did or who we once were. We forget how long we were slaves to sin. This is why God told the Israelites that if they forgot and left a sheaf while gathering their harvest in the field to not go back and pick it up, but to leave it for the poor, the stranger, the orphan, the widow and the fatherless. This was a reminder to them that they were once slaves in Egypt. This was His way of humbling them and reminding them what HE did for them (Deuteronomy 24:19-22).
I think sometimes we forget that we were saved by grace and not by goodness. Trust me. Our good is not good enough. I believe that, as Christians, we have an opportunity to be like a gate or a door for others to God, but at times we have only let certain people in while shutting out others. Forgive us, Lord.
This woman, to me, was more pure and honest than Simon and his invited guests. Yeah, she was probably a mess, but she came to Jesus because she was tired of that mess. She wanted change. She wanted something different. Her tears were tears of repentance. She submitted to Him. She honored Him. She worshipped Him. She anointed His feet with ointment, which wasn’t cheap. It cost her something. All Simon did was open his house, but this woman opened her heart. She gave Jesus all and her faith moved Him. He had to forgive her sins.
Well…now they were mad that Jesus forgave her sins. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgives sin also? (Luke 7:49). Have you ever taken a medication that is supposed to cure one thing, but it can harm something else? When Jesus forgave her sins, she wasn’t just free from her sins, but she was free from the effects of sin. They really didn’t understand what had just taken place. Had they understood, they would have been rejoicing with her. Had they understood, they would have repented of pride and repented for their thoughts.
I think one of the reasons why people get angry when God does something for someone else is because they think God should have done it for them instead. They behave like the eldest son who got angry when his father celebrated the prodigal son’s return. They feel that because of the things you’ve done in your past that you don’t qualify for a party (Luke 15:28-30). You’re not good enough. You don’t deserve a husband or a wife. You don’t deserve that promotion. You don’t deserve to be blessed. And sometimes they get angry because they don’t understand what the father told the eldest son. All that I have is yours (Luke 15:31).
I know the body has many parts, but let us not forget that we are one body in Christ. Let us be careful of how we treat one another. Let us not look down on one another because although you may be standing today, it may be you that fall tomorrow. Be careful.
Let the one who thinks he stands firm [immune to temptation, being overconfident and self-righteous], take care that he does not fall [into sin and condemnation) ~ 1 Corinthians 10:12, AMP.
So be careful. If you are thinking, “Oh, I would never behave like that” – let this be a warning to you. For you too may fall into sin ~ 1 Corinthians 10:12, TLB.
And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him (Joshua 6:5).
You can’t avoid hurt. It happens. Either you will hurt someone or someone will hurt you – and it’s not always intentional.
In the Old Testament, walls were used to keep out enemies. Today, people build up walls to protect their hearts. Maybe you’ve met someone who was labeled as being guarded, stuck up or standoffish, but what they really saw were walls. These walls are like the wall of Jericho. Nothing good could go out and nothing good could come in. Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in (Joshua 6:1).
The enemy builds a wall in your life using bad experiences. Every brick has a name – hurt, rejection, shame, and disappointment as well as many others, but his walls are built on lies, not truth.
It’s my fault.
No one will ever love me.
I’ll never get it right.
I’m not smart enough.
The walls we use to keep out hurt really hurt and isolate us. When Jesus withdrew himself, he did so to pray – not to keep himself from being rejected or hurt. Had he isolated himself from others, the woman with the issue of the blood would have never touched his garment and receive her healing.
Oftentimes, we use walls to hide behind anger and hurt, but you can’t heal what you hide or cover. He that covers [his sins] shall not prosper (Proverbs 28:13a). Walls blocks out the light (truth) and this keeps you from learning and growing in the Lord. It keeps out the truth about yourself and causes you to believe something that is not true, which is deception. How we see or think of ourselves is very important. For as he thinks in his heart, so is he [in behavior] Proverbs 23:7, AMP.
Living behind these walls is imprisonment. It limits you causing you to only go but so far. All you do is go around and around in a wall – repeating the same cycle and the same mistakes. To be fully effective and used the way God wants to use you, the walls must come down. God can use the hurt and whatever else you had to go through to build a testimony. You can and will overcome by the word of your testimony, but this means you must talk from a place of victory, not a victim.
God told Joshua, Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, I have given you (Joshua 1:3). He gave him a promise. Even while Jericho was securely shut up, the first thing God told Joshua in chapter six was, See (Joshua 6:2). It didn’t matter what happened. It didn’t matter who did it. It didn’t matter how things looked at that very moment. God wanted Joshua to see himself possessing the land. I have given unto your hand Jericho.
God had already given it to him, but there was something Joshua and the people had to do for the next seven days for that promise to manifest. Do not be discouraged if the walls do not come down on the first day or the seventh day. Remember, this wall wasn’t built in a day. It was built over a course of years. It may have begun at birth (rejection or abandonment) or after losing a loved one (grief, sorrow) or maybe after a divorce (brokenhearted).
Like Joshua, believe God and believe what He said. Despite the bad, believe that He will complete the good work He began in you. Believe that by His stripes, you were and are healed. Believe that no weapon formed against you will prosper. Believe that God will restore the years.
If you truly want to be free from the walls the enemy built, ask God what you need to do and then do it. Don’t do it and then stop because nothing has happened yet. Do it until your expectation is fulfilled.
Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God and lay it to the root of every bad tree and every lie and cut it down – and watch every wall that the enemy built fall down.