“And Joshua answered them, If thou be a great people, then get thee up to the wood country, and cut down for thyself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the giants, if mount Ephraim be too narrow for thee.”
Joshua 17:15 KJV
It has been awhile since I have posted a blog but I heard a tremendous message tonight about why we fail to grow in our Christian lives and from it, I got my own little outline that I want to share with you.
A quick and simple background to the verse above…
The children of Israel had entered and taken over the land of Canaan. After some time they came to Joshua and started complaining that they didn’t have enough room for their families. Joshua then scolded them saying they didn’t drive out the Canaanites like they were supposed to and that is why they didn’t have room for their families to grow. Joshua told them that if they wanted more land to go to the wood country, to the mountains and chase out the giants and cut down the trees and they would have plenty of room. Which brings me to this thought I want to share with you.
“Cut down the trees in your life so you have room to grow as a Christian!”
The trees I mention today are in reference to anything that is standing between you and God. These trees could be any type of sin or these trees can be a hobby or a pastime that is keeping you from being close to the Lord.
We all have trees. We all have different trees. It’s up to us to decide what we do with these trees.
The first time I see trees being a problem in the Bible is in the book of Genesis. Adam and Eve had eaten of the fruit and their eyes were opened and they saw they were naked. When they knew this, they hid among the trees when God came walking through the garden. “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.” Genesis 3:8 Adam and Eve went and hid among the trees when it was time to walk with God.
What trees are you hiding behind in your life that are preventing you from walking with God?
If you aren’t walking with God like you should be, then you probably have trees in your life that are hindering you from walking with Him. What trees, what sin, what things are keeping you from daily walking with God? Do you wake up late everyday? Are you too prideful to walk with God? Is there something or even someone that keeps you from walking with God? Whatever your tree, it’s time to cut it down and remove it so you can have clear access to walking with God daily!
The next group of trees I see are the ones found here in Joshua 17:15. These trees were preventing the children of Israel from doing what God had told them to do, from possessing the land. They were scared of the inhabitants and the giants that were among the trees. What trees are preventing you from working for God?
Many times I wonder why am I not being used more by God or why am I not getting more opportunities, then I realize my ground is taken up by trees. Whether it’s some type of sin or some hobby or even something like laziness, they are cluttering my life. I need to go through my own personal life and cut down trees so that I can do more for the work of the Lord. There is ground that the Lord wants you to conquer, there is a work the Lord wants you to do, yet you’re surrounded by your trees which are hindering you from doing more! Those trees that are hindering you and I, it is time that we cut them down and fulfill the work that the Lord has for us!
The next set of trees I see that we should cut down are found in Judges 6:25-26. “And it came to pass the same night, that the Lord said unto him, Take thy father’s young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: And build an altar unto the Lord thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down.” In the Bible times, an altar was one of the tools used in worship. When God told Gideon to cut down the grove, He wanted to reestablish true worship instead of worship to false idols.
In this age, we have let too many trees grow between us and our worship towards God.
There are many different ways I can go on this point, but I want to keep it brief. We have let the world dictate to us the way we should worship. We have let this new age of worship creep into our lives and into our churches. It is time we cut down the trees that are keeping us from worshipping the way God wants us to.
We all have trees in our life that are hindering us from walking with God, working for God and worshipping God. It is time we cut those trees down and get rid of the sin and things in our life that are keeping us from being closer to God.
Here are a few closing thoughts…
- Trees left to themselves will reproduce.
- Saving trees means you are willing to lose ground.
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