I read a story that is still active and alive today. A story of a word – Shibboleth.
In order to keep the Ephraimites from escaping, the Gileadites captured the places where the Jordan could be crossed. When any Ephraimite who was trying to escape would ask permission to cross, the men of Gilead would ask, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he said, “No,” they would tell him to say “Shibboleth.” But he would say “Sibboleth,” because he could not pronounce it correctly. Then they would grab him and kill him there at one of the Jordan River crossings. At that time forty-two thousand of the Ephraimites were killed. – Judges 12:5-6 GNT
My mom would tell me stories during the war of how they could find out if an American spy, posing as a German, could be tested in order to find them out. I think, we in the church do the same thing in determining whether one is really a follower of God. It is by prayer that I believe I refrain from lapsing into the Pharisee’s censoriousness.
Why cannot I be free to move as the Holy Spirit moves me just as Paul and Silas were?
They traveled through the region of Phrygia and Galatia because the Holy Spirit did not let them preach the message in the province of Asia. When they reached the border of Mysia, they tried to go into the province of Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. – Acts 16:6-7 GNT
It is difficult to understand why I have to do something differently but there is a moment of faith where I can almost see God’s hand trying to show the 30,000 foot view of where the Holy Spirit is moving.
The same is so when it comes to my sin. I pray that I never take it lightly.
The Lord, the God of Israel, said to me, “Here is a wine cup filled with my anger. Take it to all the nations to whom I send you, and make them drink from it. – Jeremiah 25:15 GNT
I am so thankful that I can pray and ask for help in overcoming the temptations of judgement on others and in ignoring the move of the Holy Spirit. I pray for faith to believe and the power to forgive.
Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. For this reason I tell you: When you pray and ask for something, believe that you have received it, and you will be given whatever you ask for. And when you stand and pray, forgive anything you may have against anyone, so that your Father in heaven will forgive the wrongs you have done. – Mark 11:22, 24-25 GNT
Father, may my walk with You be based on faith and not of judgment, on believing in You and not in myself, and on forgiving so that I may find myself being forgiven. Amen