Piercing Soul and Spirit

Strong and Courageous –
31 Days of Victory Through Joshua’s Battles

Day Eight – Gezer – Precipice – Cut Off

“…the king of Gezer, one.” Joshua 12:12 NKJV

The fierce enemy Joshua faces conceals a two-edge sword.

One side of the blade, his name Gezer means – precipice or a vertical cliff. On the other side of the edge, his name can also be spelled Gazer which means “cut off”.  

A vertical drop when I listen to his double talk. 

“Then Horman (his name means elevation) king of Gezer came up…and Joshua struck him and his people, until he left him none remaining.” Joshua 10:33 NJKV

Lord, my I too have a Joshua spirit! Cutting off the lies and double talk tactics of any attack against my mind and heart. May I open my mouth boldly by wielding the powerful sword of Your Word keeping my emotions, body, soul, and spirit firmly position on The Rock, Your Son Jesus Christ.

“For the Word of God is living and powerful, and

 Sharper than any two-edge sword,

Piercing even to the division of soul and spirit,

And joints and marrow,

 And is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 NKJV

“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God… that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the Gospel…” Ephesians 6:17 NKJV

From The Joshua Journals of denisebalog©2020

Photo by dbalog©2021 – Psalm 91:5 NKJV

The Circling

Day Seven – Eglon – Revolve, Circular-round

“…the king of Eglon, one:” Joshua 12:12 NKJV

“Having arrested Him, they led Him…” from the Mount of Olives, to Annas and Caiaphas the High Priest house.  When morning came, they led Him to Pilate, who sent Jesus through the market, packed with people, and vendor’s wares to Herod’s palace. Circling back around, Herod sent Him back through the streets of Jerusalem to the Praetorium to stand before Pilate again. Circling around the City, and up the hill to Calvary… in my place, for me.

Thank You Lord, You walked to Calvary for me.

In the pressing, and circling of my mind,

I will look only unto Thee.

For Your Son Jesus wore the circle of thorns,

Providing rest for my mind, and

The taunts from the enemy.   

“Have you not known?

Have you not heard?

Has it not been told you from the beginning?

Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?

It is He who sits above the circle of the earth…”

Isaiah 40:21-22 NKJV

“Therefore, do not cast away your confidence,

Which has great reward.” Hebrews 10:35 NKJV

From The Joshua Journals of denisebalog©2020

Photo captured circling around the paths Jerusalem. denisebalog©2018

Luke 22:39 through Luke 23:33 and John 18:1-17 follows the circular path of Jesus to Calvary.  All Scripture found in the NKJV

His Word Shines!

31 Days of Victory Through Joshua’s Battles

Day Six – Lachish – Impregnable

“…the king of Lachish, one:” Joshua 12:11 NKJV

How can I find victory over an impregnable enemy who appears strong and not easily taken by force?

The key to success over Lachish can befound in this enemy’sfirst name.

“…Japhia king of Lachish,” Joshua 10:3 NKJV

  “Japhia” means “shine”.

Lachish wants to shine his strong imprisonment of distractions into my heart; causing me to battle with him all day.

Like Joshua, when I meditate, ponder, and store up God’s Wordin my heart, I’m empowered with the strongest shield of Light and an impregnable defensed against any battlefield tactic or diversion the king of Lachish can cause in my day.

“For in You is the fountain of life;

In Your Light we see light.”

Psalm 36:9 NKJV

Oh, mighty warriors, traveling companions of mine, when we meditate and let His Word Shine into our thoughts, we are empowered to conquer the Lachish of our minds!

God bless you and thank you for joining the study.

Denise

“But then I recall all You have done, O LORD.

I remember Your wonderful deeds of long ago.

They are constantly in my thoughts.

I cannot stop thinking about Your mighty works.”

Psalm 77:11-12 NLT

From the Joshua Journals of denisebalog©2020

Day 5 – Jarmuth – Height

Today’s word is Height.

I need to be on the lookout to guard my mind against anything (fear, anxiety, health, the concerns of my heart) that would exult itself above Christ.

“The Lord is my Shepherd;

I shall now want.” Psalm 23:1 NKJV

Thank You Lord for Your reminder. You are my Shepherd, and in You I have no lack.

Helmet on and ready to step into the day.

May you bless in Jesus Who loves you.

Denise

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,

Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought in to captivity to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NKJV

Founded in Peace

Up the hill we climbed.
Each step drew us closer
To the days back in time.

Jerusalem – Anyone who knows me well, knows my heart skips a beat at the mention of the word, Jerusalem. According to the name meanings in the Strong’s Concordance, Jerusalem means – founded in peace.

Drawing my thoughts back to Israel, bits and pieces of memories penciled into my pocket journal. May I  share a poem penned on the last day of our journey into the gates of Jerusalem in January 2018.

“As all the days before,

We started our journey

With the open bus door.

Up the hill we climbed.

Each step drew us closer

To the days back in time.

Through the Lion’s Gate.

The place were Stephen,

A “man full of faith and the Holy Spirit”

Was crowned a saint.

Along the streets of old,

One day knowing,

Will be made of gold.

Carried right along,

We sang our final pilgrim song.

Each note tucked deep inside

Hearts overflowing,

Washed in emotions tide.

In this place we understand,

The price He paid to

Save this wretched man.”

May you and your family be founded in His peace today.

Thank you for sharing the journey with me.

Denise

Xoxox

Poem by dbalog©2018

Photograph captured as we climbed the steep hill by way of the Lion’s Gate into the Holy City of Jerusalem © 2018

No matter where you are located in Israel, one says, “going up to Jerusalem.”

“And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit.” Acts 6:5 NKJV

Stephen’s story begins in Acts 6 through Acts 8:2.

Day 2 – Ai, which is beside Bethel.

…comforting words through the House of God – Bethel

Speak a word of encouragement (Bethel) into someone’s heap of ruins (Ai).

Pondering what would I speak as a word of encouragement into someone’s life after the year we come through? So many losses, health issues, financial worries, the list goes on and on.

Ai (a heap of ruins) which is beside Bethel. Bethel means House of God.

What word from the house of God, what Scripture would I offer to encourage and comfort? What encourages and comforts me?

Jeremiah 29:11 “for I know the plans I have for you says the Lord.” Would not be my first verse of choice. How can one think of plans when experiencing great loss. “Be still and know,” Psalm 46:10 does settle my heart when I’m in a spin, but what verse really speaks to me when I’m broken within?

“We do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses.” Hebrews 4:15 NKJV

Of all the verse in times of distress and pain, it is very comforting for me to know,

Jesus, Himself, sympathizes with my weakness. He feels my pain, and He is interceding (praying) for me in my loss.

“Christ…who is even at the right hand of God, who makes intercession for us.” Romans 8:34 NKJV

Right now, in heaven, on the right hand, the side of favor, Jesus is praying for us. What a blessed encouragement this is to my heart.

“Ai, which is beside Bethel. Joshua 12:9”

Maybe it’s not always about sharing a Scripture verse, maybe it’s about reaching out to encourage someone we know because Christ, in His prayer for them, has put in on our hearts to encourage who He is praying for. Isn’t that the sweetest! His hands, feet and comforting words through the House of God – Bethel. 💞🙏

Thank You Jesus, in our heap of ruins, You do not leave us nor forsake us on our own. All our Ai places in life are right beside Your Word – Bethel – in the House of God – the Bible.

I pray this Scripture would be an encouragement to someone today as we look to you to guide our way.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

God Will Open

Pull me out of thinking about last night, last year’s troubles.

Waking to remember, I got my car stuck in the mud last night bringing my Mom home in the pouring rain.

 It didn’t help leaving the car running for 15 minutes while I got her settled in for the night. Then there was the hesitation when I tried to pull away. I knew then, “I’m in trouble now” Reminding myself of the advice I recently heard,

“To hesitate is to tolerate.”

Marcus, who helps me every night to transport Mom and her wheelchair up and back from our house for dinner, (she is no weight bearing for another couple of weeks), we tried throwing rugs under the front wheel, but the tires continued to spin and sink deeper into Mom’s front yard. How stupid is this, I know better, now I’ll have to tolerate (endure, accept, stomach) the results of my actions.

Determined not to let it ruin our night, the last night of the year, we gathered our things and walked back up the lane singing. Yep, what else could we do in the cold, pouring rain of New Year’s Eve 2020. Seemed like a fitting end to this year.

“Over the river and through the woods,” we walked home, feet soaked, (of course, I didn’t slip on my rubber boots by the backdoor before leaving the house. I’m only going to be 15 minutes) Yes Mom, I remember, “Always put-on clean underwear when you go out in case something happens.” Only this time I could have used this advice for wearing my rubber boots!

So this morning, the first morning of the new year, I wondered to myself pouring the first cup of coffee, before dealing with my car “stuck” in the mud, “Gosh Lord, is this the word for the new year?

Don’t get stuck thinking about your troubles of 2020.

As is my way to study and understand, I picked up the Concordance to see if “stuck” was in the Bible. Nope, no “stuck”. That’s comforting, looks like God doesn’t see things as stuck. Humm, “What are you trying to say Lord?”

Opening the pages to Isaiah, my eyes fell on

“For since the beginning of the world

Men have not heard,

Nor perceived by the ear,

Nor has the eye seen any God beside You,

Who acts for the one who waits for Him.”

Isaiah 64:4 NKJV

Yes Lord, “Who acts for the one who waits for Him.”

The editor noted in the margin, next to verse 64: 4 “Psalm 31:19”. Seeking to hear and understand, I followed the path to Psalm 31. The answer to my question for this year was found in verse 4.

“Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,

For You are my Strength.”

Psalm 31:4 NKJV

Pull me out –

Yes Lord, You “lead and guide me” verse 3.

Pull me out of thinking about last night, last year’s troubles.

Lead and Guide me, for You are my Strength.

The Hebrew word cluster for “pull me out” is numbered in the Concordance as #3318 (for those who like to dig deeper). Pull me out – yatsa – to go, to bring out, carry forth, a variety of words…shoot forth, spring out. #3319 – to finish.

Glancing up to see #3317 – (wait for it)

#3317 – Yiphtach or Jiphthah El

God will Open!

Now there’s a word I receive and can carry forth, shoot forth, spring out into the new year of 2021!

Don’t get stuck looking back on my troubles in 2020.

Yes, God knows I still have to deal with getting my car out of the mud, but I’m not to let, my troubles keep me stuck in yesterday’s problems. Following His path to see and hear, God acts for the one who waits for Him”.

God will Open

Thank you Lord, You will open, carry forth, ALL Your good plans as we allow You to “lead” and guide” us through this New Year in Jesus’ Mighty Name! Amen!

And what was verse 19 in Psalm 31 that sent me there in the first place?

“Oh, how great is Your goodness,

Which You have laid up for those who fear You,

Which You have prepared for those who trust in You

In the presence of the sons of men!” Psalm 31:19

Ps: Blue and Sarah our good friends are on their way to help us out! Thank You Jesus!

God will Open! Yes, thank You Lord!

Release the Fragrance!

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14 NKJV

Strong and Courageous

31 Days of Victory Through Joshua’s Battles

Day One – Jericho – A Fragrant Place

Day 31 – Joshua Journals

Strong and Courageous – 31 Days of Victory Through Joshua’s Battles

Day Thirty-one – Tirzah – Pleasantness

“…the king of Tirzah, one – all the kings, thirty-one.” Joshua 12:24 NKJV

Tizah – means pleasantness or delightsomeness.  From the primitive root to be pleased with, to delight, to favor, to satisfy a debt.

In the land of Promise or pleasantness, the battle we face daily is to know the debit is paid, it is satisfied by Jesus who humbled Himself to the Cross.

“Then Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. And he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak that was by the sanctuary of the LORD.” Joshua 24:26

Joshua who found favor with God, completed his mission in the land of Pleasantness.

Joshua’s name means – Jehovah-saved. The Hebrew spelling of Joshua’s name is Yeshua – Yhowshuwa (yeh-ho-shoo-ah). Yeshua in the Greek language is Jesus. “…and shall call His name Jesus.” Luke 1:31 NKJV

Jesus,” who for the joy set before Him, endured the Cross”, satisfied the debt, because He delights in us.

“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, …every man shall give a ransom for himself to the LORD…everyone among them…shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary…And you shall take the atonementto make atonement for yourselves.” Exodus 30:12-15 NKJV

I can’t think of a more pleasant or delightsomeness way to end of Joshua’s story than to find “under the oak tree” Jesus satisfied the Law’s requirements and paid the sanctuary debt for me.

“Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free…” Matthew 17:26 NKJV

“He delivered me from my strong enemy,

From those who hated me,

For they were too strong for me.

They confronted me in the day of my calamity,

But the LORD was my support.

He brought me out into a broad place;

He delivered me because He delighted in me.”

Psalm 18:17-19 NKJV

I thank you for your sharing your time with me as we traveled thirty-one days to the land of Pleasantness in Joshua’s Journey.

God bless,

Denise

“To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,

To guide our feet into the way of peace.” Luke 1:79 NKJV

From The Joshua Journals of denisebalog©2020

Photo by denisebalog©2018

Photo captured Jerusalem

“They will lie down in pleasant places and feed in the lush pastures of the hills. I Myself will tend My sheep and give them a place to lie down in peace, says the Sovereign LORD. Ezekiel 34:14-15 NLT

Day 31 – the Land of Pleasantness

Day 30 – Joshua Journals

Strong and Courageous –
31 Days of Victory Through Joshua’s Battles

Day Thirty – Gilgal – Circle

“…the king of the people of Gilgal, one.” Joshua 12:23 NKJV

Gilgal – means circle. Stemming from the Hebrew root word, galgal, which means a wheel, or a cartwheel used in the process of threshing or crushing grain, and a tool used to draw water from a well.

Lord, You are a God of seasons and times. In Your perfect order, the road turns back around to circle the story of where the people began.

As Joshua completed his appointed circle of time, he reminded the people as they came to the end of their journey with him, to “hold fast to the LORD your God, as you have done to this day.” Joshua 23:8 NKJV

Joshua was circling back around to remind them of the faithfulness of God. “And you know in all your heartsnot one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spoke concerning you. Joshua 23:14 NKJV

In the place of their ending, the victory for the future would rely on their circling back around to remember the faithfulness and the Promises of God.  

“All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.” Joshua 23:14 NKJV

I don’t know what season you are personally walking through, but as Joshua encouraged the people to remember, may we too be encouraged to circle back around and remember God faithful and He keeps His promises.

“God, your God, chose you out of all the people on Earth for Himself as a cherished, personal treasure…He did it out of sheer love, keeping the promises He made to your ancestors.”Deuteronomy 7:6-8 MSG

Denise

From The Joshua Journals of denisebalog©2020

Photo by denisebalog©2011 – Memorial displayed outside The Knesset, Israeli (Parliament) building. Designed by artist David Palombo. It memorializes the fallen soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces. This artwork visually provokes the image of the crown of thorns Jesus bore on His head.

Day 29 – Joshua Journals

Strong and Courageous – 31 Days of Victory Through Joshua’s Battles

Day Twenty-nine – Dor – Dwelling

“…the king of Dor in the heights of Dor, one.” Joshua 12:23 NKJV

The definition of Dor is dwelling – Stemming from the word dowr, (dore) a masculine noun meaning generation to generation. It can also mean a period of time, a setting of time, a circle of existence.

Joshua and his generation was not exempt from facing the enemy of the season or circle of time.

“Now it came to pass, a long time after the LORD had given rest to Israel … Joshua was old, advanced in age.” Joshua 23:1 NKJV

“And Joshua called for all Israel, for their elders, for their heads, …” Joshua gathered them all together.” Joshua 23:2

Joshua gathering, those in position in this period of time, begins to remind them of all they had personally seen the LORD do for them and the people. “…for the LORD, your God is He who has fought for you.” Verse 3

Joshua never ceases to inspire me with his leadership and heart for his people and their children. In the height of his generation and period of time, Joshua continues lead and guide. Encouraging them not to trust in their own accomplishments, and successes, but to remember it is God’s faithfulness that brings them victory!

For victory over the enemy who desires to steal, kill, and destroy our future, remember it is God who is faithful to fight for us!

“The enemy shall not outwit him…” Psalm 89:21

Thanks be to God who fights for me and my next generation! The deceptive lies of going out and coming in have been exposed by the Light of the Truth of Jesus Christ!

I AM the Door! John 10:9 NKJV

Now instead of relying on my own strength, I am equipped with the Word of God secured to my heart for victory! 

“If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture (rest). John 10:9 NKJV

Resting in the One who destroyed the enemy of Dor when the stone was rolled away, and His Power walked out!

“This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise the LORD.” Psalm 102:18 NKJV

May you and your children’s, children’s be blessed for a thousand generations in Jesus’s Might Name! Amen!

Denise

From The Joshua Journals of denisebalog©2020

Photos by denisebalog©2018

Photos captured Jerusalem 2018.

Day 28 – Joshua Journals

Strong and Courageous – 31 Days of Victory Through Joshua’s Battles

Day Twenty-eight – Jokneam in Carmel – Possessed by the people

“…the king of Jokneam in Carmel, one.” Joshua 12:22 NKJV

Jokneam –   possessed by the people and the people lament.

“Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD … and they put dust on their heads.

And Joshua said, “Alas, Lord God, why…?”

Jokneam the enemy of the heart.   The enemy of doubt when situations do not go as I planned causing me to lament before God asking the question of “Why?”

Knowing he and his people were facing defeat, Joshua boldly asked the LORD, “Then what will You do for Your great name?”

I believe the Lord knew Joshua would struggle daily with his emotions, and the concerns he had for his people. Here in the place of Jokneam, Joshua feeling defeated, lamented asking the questioning of “Why?

In God’s tender mercy, Scripture is very generous to share with us an encouraging word to consider a new view at the place of Jokneam and lament not only for Joshua but for us.

Jokneam name means lament, but by adding “Carmel” the name of the location of where Jokneam is position is significant. Jokneam in Carmel – Carmel means fruitful, a plentiful place, a field.  

Encouraging me to see, when I am in the places and seasons of lament and don’t understand “why”, God’s promises are still true, and He is faithful. He doesn’t leave me in the place or possession of the place of lament. In His Grace I am in Carmel.   

In the plentiful land, the field of rest prepared for me … He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters…He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3 NKJV

Answering Joshua’s question of “Why?”. “For His name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3 NKJV

“He restores my soul…for His name’s sake.” Psalm 23 NKJV

“Now the LORD said to Joshua, ‘Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed…arise, go up…see, I have given into your hand the king…his people, his city, and his land.” Joshua 8:1 

“So Joshua arose…” Joshua 8:3 NKJV

Thank you for sharing your time with me as we journey the last few days of the Joshua Journals. May your soul be refreshed in God’s promises and faithfulness today and forevermore.

Denise

From The Joshua Journals of denisebalog©2020

Photo capturing the beautiful view standing on top of Mount Carmel, Israel.