“Now when all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord spoke to Joshua, saying, ” Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from each tribe, and command them, saying, ‘Take up for yourselves twelve stones from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet are standing firm, and carry them over with you and lay them down in the lodging place where you will lodge tonight.'” Joshua 4:1-3, NASU
“Cross the river.” That is what I heard in my thoughts, but I knew Who spoke it.
He spoke those three words this morning, and so I will be looking for what river the Holy Spirit is directing me to cross.
I appreciate how the Lord speaks to us. For some, His Word of direction, encouragement, assignment, or inspiration may come from a Bible verse. This is a very good way of receiving, direct from His eternal, foundational Word. It is known as the “logos” of God.
Other times He will give us His Word through “rhema” – a spoken word from a prophetic message or, dare we think, something we might even hear through TV, video on the Internet, or heaven forbid, a Hollywood produced movie, and when heard we think, “Hmmm. There is something about that which I just heard.”
The Bible says He used a donkey (jack…), didn’t He? Why not one from Hollywood? (“Just sayin.” As they say here in the South. America.)
So, when I heard these words, “Cross the river” as a thought which came into my mind, I knew it was the voice of the Good Shepherd, as I have become accustomed to hearing. Ever so quiet at times.
As I personally thought of the three words more later, I believe it can be a physical crossing, a spiritual crossing, or both. Prophetic words many times are that way – having both natural and spiritual fulfillment when they come to pass.
What has He been speaking to you these days? Are you listening? Have you put yourself in a place to listen? Will you then act on what He tells you, or dismiss it as just random thoughts?
I encourage you to be looking, to be listening, to be acting on what the Living God of Israel is speaking. He may use thunder. He may use lightening, as He promised to give us signs in the heavens in these last days.
“But immediately following the trouble of those times, the sun will grow dark, the moon will stop shining, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers in heaven will be shaken.” Matthew 24:29, Complete Jewish Bible
He may use your young child to express a word of encouragement, or directive, most needed in your life this day. He is giving even dreams and visions to many as He promised to do.
As Peter declared in Acts 2:17-21, quoting from the Hebrew prophet Joel, “’And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, “That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy.
I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord be saved.“ NKJV
It is time to act on that which you have been told by the Lord.
Ahava and shalom,
Steve Martin, Love For His People Founder/President
GEN. JERRY BOYKIN: In These Troubled Times, Where are the Men?
Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William G. “Jerry” Boykin serves as Family Research Council’s executive vice president
June 21, 2020 CBN News
On May 25, 2020, I watched the beginning of a great American tragedy. As the nation began to open up after the long COVID-19 lock-down a horrifying incident involving a rogue cop took the life of a 46-year-old African-American man named George Floyd. Three other officers watched and did nothing. And chaos erupted nationwide.
As I watched these events unfold, with abandoned police stations, burned-out business, frenzied rampaging, looting, vandalism, and more death, one question kept repeating itself in my mind: Where are the men?
Were they hiding behind some “cause” or misguided notion that the situation was none of their business? Were they simply going along with the crowd, with no sense of right and wrong? When did men stop providing protection, guarding defenseless victims, and taking responsibility for their communities?
I can’t help but question whether radical feminist grievances about “toxic masculinity” have caused men to stop fulfilling their God-given roles in our society. Along similar lines, as I watched that tide of angry young men shattering glass, stealing and looting, I wondered just how many of them grew up in fatherless homes.
Tragically, in today’s America, too many children are born never knowing who their father is. Others see their daddy pack up and leave while they are still young kids; they grieve for him and miss him terribly. Some fathers are in jail; others are addicted; still, others are too busy making money to be bothered with their own sons and daughters.
There are so many fatherless families and everyone is a tragedy.
As a Christian, I believe that the Bible – from Joshua to Jesus – provides a clear mandate for masculine roles and responsibilities. And thanks to my own devoted, loving father and to my military background, I’ve had exceptional opportunities both to be compliant and to command, to protect while sometimes paying the price, to be inspired and encouraged by those with whom I served.
But today too many boys have never in their lives been affirmed by men. They’ve had no man to set a proper example, to help establish values in the home, or to love and nurture them. Instead, they’re raised on the internet and by the violence of video games. If there had been more fathers who understood the importance of their role, and the power of a father’s blessing, I am convinced that could have prevented some of the tragedies we’re facing in today’s cities across America.
What could those fatherless boys have learned from a godly father about being a man?
It’s true that men and women are equal, but it is also true that they are unquestionably different. Once a young man understands that there is a uniquely God-given role for him to fulfill in his lifetime, that sacred role will likely soon become his transcendent cause.
And I believe that having a transcendent cause – including the distinct obligations and responsibilities being a man entails – will literally separate the men from the boys.
First of all, men are intended to be providers. This certainly includes financial responsibility for any others who rely on him. But it also includes the other forms of provision such as values, principles and vision, and direction. And perhaps above all else, being a provider means thinking of someone besides yourself.
Men are also meant to be instructors, mentors, and role-models to their families and their communities. A nation of “Sheep without shepherds” is another symptom of our present disorder. But real men are leaders, especially in chaotic situations. To borrow a military term, men are meant to be chaplains, offering wisdom and spiritual guidance in the home, school, office, and community.
At the same time, men are also supposed to be defenders – of course, this applies to protecting those closest to them, and those who cannot defend themselves. The Bible says, “Defend the weak and the fatherless, uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 82:3-4 NIV
A real man will never stand by and watch while others are victimized or abused. The “bystander effect” is a sad product of our self-centered society. Worse yet is the pretense that participating in criminal activity, theft, and violence is an act of righteous defiance. NO! It is not.
Calling in the National Guard wouldn’t be necessary if men were doing their job. It’s time men take up their biblical mandate, which has been ordained by their creator. That is their mission, no matter what their color, nationality, station in life, upbringing, or education. And I believe that once men step up and carry out their God-given role, a new vision can be cast and brought forth, restoring a civil and prosperous America for all.
Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William G. “Jerry” Boykin serves as Family Research Council’s executive vice president and is the author of Man to Man: Rediscovering Masculinity in a Challenging World. He spent 36 years in the Army, serving his last four years as deputy undersecretary for intelligence in the Department of Defense.
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