Joshua 10:22 – 13:23
Word of the Day:
“And Joshua captured all these kings and their land at one time, because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel.” “And the land had rest from war.” Joshua 10:42 & 11:23
The other day I was feeling low and the phrase “apart from Me you can do nothing” kept popping in and out of my head. I felt like a failure, I felt like “no one” was reading my blog or my books and I felt like I was being a horrible mom. In frustration I flopped down on my bed and allowed my mind to go where God was leading it. I looked up John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” And as I allowed myself to really ponder on the message of that phrase a picture began to fill my mind’s eye. A large pink shiny heart made of rock became clear and defined. “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” Next a small part of the heart near the bottom tip broke off and separated itself far away from the heart. “A part… A part… apart… Apart from Me you can do nothing“. But then the small part of the heart slowly slid back to rejoin the heart and re-attached itself in such a way that you could barely tell where the separation had been in the first place. And this is where the Holy Spirit really got me. “A part of Me you can do EVERYTHING!” My eyes flung open in surprise and delight. Everything. I can do everything, anything, all things through Christ who gives me strength! You know, it’s one thing to hear it, or even say it, but to see it and believe it, well, that’s completely different!
Apart from Jesus we can do nothing, BUT a part of Jesus we can do everything! It was amazing and wonderful, but He wasn’t finished with me yet. As I lay there with eyes now wide open to my own potential another figure began to emerge, a pair of the bluest most beautiful eyes I had ever seen. Yet they were filled with sadness and pain. I immediately recognized them as the eyes of Jesus, pain-filled because of my current state of torment. I had fallen down into the snake-pit filled with mud and doubt-vipers that bite and cling no matter how hard you shake them. And these eyes had seen me struggling to break free from the torment of the fear of failure. He was there in the pit with me, all the time speaking the truth that would free me “apart from Me you can do nothing”. But instead of hearing those words as an assurance I received them as accusations “you’re apart from God”, “You’re not in Him”, “You’re never in Him”, “You can do nothing”…
But the love of God pursues like a dog on the hunt, that hound of heaven will not give up, on me, or on you. He will pursue you with the truth of His love for you to the day you die… maybe even after who knows!
When I finally exhausted from fighting the doubt-vipers I yielded to the Truth; apart from Him I can do nothing. Period. But I’m not apart from Him now am I? Because He has promised us to NEVER leave us or forsake us, “For I am ALWAYS with you” (Matthew 28:20)… so can we ever truly be apart from the love of God? Is it possible that height or depth, angels or demons, or anything else in all of creation separate us from the love that is in Christ Jesus? NO!
This is the truth, there is no apart from Him once you’ve decided to believe in Him! There is only “a part of Him”. And when you are a part of Him, you can do anything. Anything is possible for those who believe and are called according to His purpose.
Did you know that He has a purpose for you? Really, He does. And while you may not know what exactly that purpose is, He does. He created you for a reason, to do something that only Y.O.U. can do. No other person in all of time has ever walked your path and worn your shoes, you are 100% unique. You were created to be you, so why would you want to change who you are?
Can a baby walk before it’s ready to? No. It can try, but the muscles in its legs aren’t strong enough to hold it up and it would fall. Does the parent scold the child for falling? Absolutely not! They congratulate the toddler for trying, they cheer the child’s near success, and they encourage another attempt.
We are all God’s children, mere toddlers in the faith, trying desperately to walk in perfect Jesus-sized shoes when we haven’t even learned how to walk barefoot yet! And then the Enemy, through self-condemnation and the judgment of others, scolds us for falling. And like the snake-pit we can’t hear the words of truth for what they really are because all we can hear is the hissing of snakes breathing “failure!” often times it is in those times of utter exhaustion where we allow ourselves to be cradled in the arms of L:ove that the beating of the drum of our heart stills long enough to hear that small voice of peace saying “Apart from Me you can do nothing…but you’re never apart from Me are you? For I am always with you, I will never leave you, I will never forsake you and NOTHING you do can separate you from My love for you. I have taken you from your hiding place, from the farthest corners of the globe. I have chosen you for My very own, My Beloved and My friend. I no longer call you servant, because servants don’t know their master’s secrets. No, I call you friend, because I want to share many secret things with you today… things that I don’t tell just anyone, only you – My Beloved, my friend. Did you know that I am yours – all yours? I am. Like a husband belongs to his wife, I am all yours; to have and to hold. The two of us, you and me, we are married, bonded in a way that is ever more intimate than any human relationship, because ours is a marriage of the heart. Where My heart touches your heart and your heart touches Mine. Nothing on earth can even come close to the intimacy and satisfaction that that brings us both. Did you know that I long for you? Oh how I do! I yearn for you in ways you could never understand. But do you know what I yearn for the most? To hear you say My name. I want to touch you in ways you’ve never been touched before that make you scream My name. I want to touch you in ways that make you whisper My name with a longing for Me that aches and begs to be touched more. I want to hear you say My name at work and at home, to your friends and your family, because I want them to know Me too. I want My name to cross their lips like it does yours, in love and respect. I want to light a fire in your bosom so bright that it can not be extinguished and it can not be denied. I want that fire of My love for you to burn away all the comments of judgment others say, all the cords of lies that have entangled you. I want that fire, My fire to fill you consuming all your fears and shame. I love you, for who you are, how I made you to be, shameless and unafraid because you have been filled to the brim and overflowing with how desperately I love you. How ferociously I hunger for intimacy with you, to be touched by you and to touch you in return. My dearest love, no matter how far you run, from the depths of the seas or the heights of the mountains, from my left scarred hand or to My right, no matter where you go, I will be there, waiting for you when you arrive. I may even ask you what took so long. I am God, I am timeless, I am limitless and I am yours all yours, just waiting for you to call, waiting to help, waiting to love you the way you deserve. My Beloved, you deserve Me. You were made for Me. I love you.”
As His eyes of absolute love floated above my face, He licked His thumb, and then reached out and wiped the mud from my left eye. He licked His thumb again and wiped the mud from my right eye. And then He smiled, because He knew His attention had made me better.
He really does love us, more than we could ever hope or imagine.