Living in the New Testament Reality of forgiveness, cleansing, and power for loving God and our neighbor.
Once concrete has been poured into the hollow of the wooden forms that define the shape of a foundation, it is left temporarily to harden until it can stand on its own.
Sometimes we hold on to old habits, rituals and traditions because we assume they are relevant. A woman insisted that the secret to cooking a good pot roast was to cook it in two sections in two separate pots. This method was passed on to each generation in the family as essential for attaining an excellent roast. However if grandmother were alive she might confess to her progeny that the reason she used two pots instead of one was because she did not have a pot big enough for the size roast required to feed her large family and that it did not affect the taste whatsoever!
What causes an instrument to become unreliable? How valuable is a bow that can no longer shoot an arrow straight? A deceitful bow is one that has lost its resilience and accuracy. It can no longer place the arrows on a straight trajectory towards the defined target.
The Bible uses the faulty bow as a metaphor for those people who lose their edge, their accuracy and sharpness. Once they were useful to God but over a period of time have become unreliable and faulty. They are no longer trustworthy instruments in His hands.
Whole-heartedness. Single-mindedness. Persistence. Stick-to-it-iveness. Loyalty. Commitment. Full devotion to the cause. Uncompromising faith. Such qualities distinguished only two of an entire Israelite generation. These persevered in faith to possess their inheritance in the promised land. While others adulterated God's promise with their doubts and fears, Joshua and Caleb mixed faith with the promises and 'wholly followed the Lord.'
Five times in the Bible we have the expression: 'whole-heartedly following the Lord'.
"I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24).
What kind of reading would you get on your faith meter today? Is your faith level sagging? Does your faith suffer when it lacks emotional reinforcement? Do you find that your own insecurities, doubts and residual scars from past disappointments restrict your faith today?
It is not enough to register a 2 out of a possible 10 on the faith meter. Part of God's salvaging process in our lives is to restore us to living in the 'full assurance of faith' (Hebrews 10:22).