Equipped for Desert Seasons

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert. – (Luke 4:1)

Jesus was not tempted and put through trials in the desert until after He had been equipped with the filling of the Holy Spirit. God is loving and kind, and prepares protection for His children. Just as He placed His Spirit in Jesus at the Jordan so that He’d be able to obey all that was asked of Him despite the distractions and temptations, God does the same for us. He doesn’t allow us into “desert seasons” without first equipping us to stand strong, regardless of how things appear. God fills us and leads us, so that we may be ready to withstand whatever comes our way. May we seek His strength in our desert spaces, and trust that He has equipped and empowered us for such a time as this.

In every heart,

that calls on His Name;

the Spirit comes dwell,

for all of our days.

He’ll lead and He’ll guide,

and strength He will give;

so we can stand strong,

in His power, live.

No matter what comes,

a trial or storm;

when we trust in Him,

our heart shall transform.

Where defeat once stood,

our faith shall give rise;

for by God’s great grace,

hope opens our eyes.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You don’t allow us to walk through desert seasons without first equipping us to withstand whatever lies ahead. Thank You that You are faithful to never leave us nor forsake us, and that we can always trust in You. Forgive us for our lack of faith and perseverance, and teach us to trust You more. Help us to rise up and recognize that far greater are You who is in us, than anything that comes against us. Lead us to love others through their desert places, and help us point to You – the only water that refreshes our souls. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust Your Spirit in us when we are in the desert or being tempted in ways that seem too difficult to withstand. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. – Psalm 145:8

Achan in All of Us

Chapter seven in the book of Joshua, reveals to us, the story of Achan.  Israel had just crossed the Jordan on dry land, after marching around Jericho and watching the power of God, bring the walls down before them.  Joshua found himself in a space of desperate confusion, as some of his men who were sent ahead to Ai to prepare to take on the Amorites, had been struck down.  As Joshua cried out to God from the ground, the Lord told him to get up, as Israel had sinned and gone against what He had commanded them not do.  It was because of this flagrant violation, that His wrath was being poured out upon them.  After more discussion between Joshua and God, the plan was established and Joshua was swift to carry it out.  Clan by clan, family by family, man by man, each was questioned to discover the source of God’s anger.

Achan replied, “It’s true!  I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel.  This is what I have done.” – (Joshua 7:20)  He went on to confess the list of plunder he had taken and hoarded for himself, despite God’s direct orders to take NOTHING.  As a result of Achan’s sin, he and his entire household were put to death.

My initial reaction is “Wow!  That is so harsh!”  Yet then I think of our Savior on the cross.  Every single sin I have committed has warranted death, yet Jesus bore each one on my behalf.  Though there is a bit of Achan in all of us, the punishment that is due has been paid in full.   It is ours for the taking if we come and confess (as Achan did), and receive Christ as the Lord of our lives.  I am so thankful for all that Christ endured on our behalf.

Hidden the sin,Achan in All of Us

that dwells in our heart;

yet, the Lord sees,

aware of each part.

We deserve wrath,

but He gives us grace;

He will forgive,

when we seek His face.

What is this Love,

that gave up His life?

Took all my sin,

the struggle and strife.

All that I am,

He’s given to me;

abundant life,

in Him, I am free.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your word and for Your amazing love for each one of us.  Thank You Jesus, for coming and giving Your life in exchange for ours.  Thank You that though we deserve the same fate as Achan, You took our sin upon Yourself so that we would have the opportunity to come to find forgiveness and grace in You.  Thank You that because You gave, we have hope not just for today, but forever.  Forgive us for our sinfulness, for every word, thought and deed that is a direct violation of what You would have for us; and help us to live and love as You created us to do.  May many come to know the magnitude of Your mercy and the greatness of Your grace.  Be glorified through our entire existence.  We love You Lord, and long to do Your will.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23:6

Memories of the Miraculous

Miraculous event –

image by Nate Gwm

image by Nate Gwm

through the Jordan they crossed.

As priests  took the first step,

not a soul to be lost.

For as faithful footing,

made way upon the ground,

flood waters retreated,

and safe passage was found.

Plethora of people,

made way to other side.

God’s favor upon them,

it could not be denied.

Now ready to enter,

awaited promise land;

God said stop and construct

a marker of this plan.

A large stone for each tribe,

to stack up and recall.

To tell of His favor,

to share with one and all.

All people of the earth,

might know His mighty hand.

Protector of His own,

against Him, none can stand.

(Responding to Joshua 3 and 4)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your miracles do not end, and that You are still the same mighty God today, that You were back then.  Forgive us for not stopping on the other side of our own “Jordan” long enough to slow down and recognize in awe, the incredible that You have just accomplished before us.  Help us to make time to remember, to really recognize all of the miraculous movement that You have made in our lives and in the lives of those around us.  May we find ways to have our own sort of “markers” so that we might share of all that You have done for us with our children and all those who need to know of the great hope that is found in You.  May we magnify Your Mighty Name as we remember.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present