Marching Then, Marching Now

Have you ever wanted to Quit?

Keep On Truckin
Very Popular Graphic back in the day!

You know…
That latest diet or exercise routine? That relationship or job?

We have all been to the edges of what we considered to be a breaking point, or quitting moment.

Even the Apostle Paul noted that one of his men quit and turned back to this “present” world. We will always remember the name Demas.

There is a popular slogan from some time back: “Quitters never win. Winners never quit!” This was used by all sorts of teams I’ve been on. Project teams. Programming teams. Operations. Sports. It sort of set the stage that there was never a reason to quit, especially if you want to win!

2015-12-18 22.19.28Back in ’85 I was on a Dall Sheep hunt that I felt like quitting. Hard work. 10,000 foot mountain – Devil’s Peak. Out of shape. Deep tundra. Rushing rivers. Trappers Cabin. The only water was from a small pond, boiled, filtered and used for days. No success in the hunt, but we found great blueberries at the top of the mountain!

Israel spent 400 years in captivity. Then 40 years of the older generation dying off in a wilderness as they escaped and headed toward the promised land. And finally, Joshua steps into the gap left by Moses and leads Israel into the promised land. They crossed the Red Sea as they left bondage. They cross the Jordan River as they cross into the promised land.

Their first obstacle was the great walled city Jericho. And when God is on your side, the fight is not traditional.

Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in. And the LORD said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor. You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days. And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him.”  (Joshua 6:1-5 NKJV)

Imagine. Existing for 400 years. Wandering for 40 years. And now they have to march around the city. Once a day for six days. And then seven times on the seventh day. Silent marching, then a shout and trumpet. Now, watch how God honors your effort!

This was my thought through the weekend. We’ve worked hard over the years to get to a certain point. Continually we see people give up. Quit. Turn back. Turn away. Go a different, and perhaps terrible, direction. But it is in my mind set that now is not the time to give up. Quit. Turn back. Turn away.

No! Now is the time to keep marching. The end is not yet here, but it could be any moment. Any day. Why give up when we could be so close to the end?

Here’s a favorite song that was the signature song for Rev Delton Carnley. He sang it at our church in Anchorage just 3 weeks before he passed from battling cancer. It should be your song also!

Foot on the Rock

I started out to win this race
To serve the Lord and to look upon His face.
But the way’s been long and the way’s been rough,
But there’s one thing for certain, I’ve got my mind made up.

Now Job was a man who was tempted in every way,
The devil took his family, he lay sick night and day.
His wife she came a-sayin’, “Curse God, you’ve had enough!”
He said, “You talk like a foolish woman, I’ve got my mind made up.”

The devil he will tempt you and fill your way with strife,
He’ll make you sick in body, even try to take your life.
Just put your trust in Jesus and say, “Lord, I’ve had enough.”
The Lord will say, “Move on, Satan, he’s got his mind made up.”

I’ve got my foot on the Rock and my mind’s made up.
Though I walk through the lonely valley, though I drink from the bitter cup.
When the devil comes a-knockin’ showin’ me an easier way,
I stand right square on my feet, I throw my head in the air,
I look him straight in the eye, I say, my foot’s on the Rock and my mind’s made up!