How to Win: Are you marked?

Have you ever found God doing something different than you expected on the backside of something great?  It is not that life is bad, it is just not what you expected.  Often in these seasons, God is doing so much more than we can see.  In Joshua 5 we find the nation of Israel (the people of God) having just miraculously crossed the Jordan River.  Here they are now in the Promised Land…just barely.  They are there though.  After 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, they are standing on the land promised to their forefathers generations back.
So what does God do next?  He commands them to be circumcised.  Then after they obediently observe the Passover he takes away the manna he has graciously fed them with for 40 years.  Then to top it off the commander of the Lord’s Army shows up and when asked if he is for them or agains them he answers a not “yes or no” with a no.  What in the world is God up to now?
God often puts us in a position of vulnerability before he puts us in a place of victory.  Think about what happened when all the men of Israel were circumcised.  (This was done because they had not been obedient in this command during the 40 years in the wilderness.)  They were vulnerable.  If they had done this on the other side of the Jordan at least they would not have been open to attack, but here they were in the wide open and easy to defeat.  This act of obedience was commanded of Abraham and is the mark of God upon his nation.  It is often during our seasons of vulnerability that God marks us as his own.
For brevity sake, I will not teach all of this chapter in one post, but I will encourage you to read more from it at my blog this week.  Why did the manna stop coming at this point in the story?  Why was God not “for them”?
The thought I want you to end with today is are you willing and ready to stop avoiding vulnerability and start finding security in God’s ownership?  Are you ready to stop living by your own plans and purposes and trust him.  Will you allow this season of pain, pressure, stress, disillusionment, discouragement, loneliness, or whatever tough time you may be in to be a season where you allow God to mark you as his own?  Will you allow your vulnerability to verify you as a child of the King?
That is what it takes to win at the things that matter in life.

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