Tuesday, July 3, 2007

A bit of a speech problem

The men of Ephraim were called to arms, and they crossed to Zaphon and said to Jephthah, "Why did you cross over to fight against the Ammonites and did not call us to go with you? We will burn your house over you with fire." And Jephthah said to them, "I and my people had a great dispute with the Ammonites, and when I called you, you did not save me from their hand. ...Then Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and fought with Ephraim. And the men of Gilead struck Ephraim..And the Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan against the Ephraimites. And when any of the fugitives of Ephraim said, "Let me go over," the men of Gilead said to him, "Are you an Ephraimite?" When he said, "No," they said to him, "Then say Shibboleth," and he said, "Sibboleth," for he could not pronounce it right. Then they seized him and slaughtered him at the fords of the Jordan. At that time 42,000 of the Ephraimites fell."

The Ephraimites were having a bit of a fit with the current judge of Israel, Jephthah. Jephthah had just finished leading his fellow Gileadites into a victorious battle against the Ammonites. The Ephraimites, wanting the plunder and spoil from the battle that the Gileadites had gained, were angry that they were not invited to join them. (Not exactly pure motivation here hum!).

Jephthah would not have this talk or behavior from the Ephraimites, and fights them in battle, overtaking the fords at the Jordan. (Now, I will refrain from making the judgment call about whether Jephthah's actions against the Ephraimites were too severe or not.) However, when any Ephraimites tried to disguise the fact that he was an Ephraimite and escape as a fugitive across the Jordan, the Gileadites called them to a test of pronunciation. An Ephraimite could not say "Shibboleth," due to their own language dialect, and pronounced it as "Sibboleth" instead. One letter off and an Ephraimite was discovered to be who he truly was. The result was death.

I have not been able to stop saying "Shibboleth" and "Sibboleth" in my head this past week. (You want to talk about feeling even more weird in Jesus than I already do - try having these words repeating in your head without asking your permission if it was okay for them to land there in your subconscious for days on end.) Go ahead - say them out loud a few times.

All I have been able to think about is the hissing sound made in the latter word. This has thus turned my thoughts toward Satan, our cunning serpent and deceiver. He hisses lies, and twists the truth just so to make you actually believe it to be the truth. He comes to you as an Ephraimite (so to speak), trying to cross over to your God-possessed land that you worked hard to attain in battle, and wants to step into it! He wants to take back the plunder of fruit that you have born as you've been victorious in Christ. It is to your Father's glory that you bear much fruit sister! And your enemy has come to steal, kill, and destroy. He's jealous and he's downright mad. He wants access to your land, and it is not going to be pretty when he comes prancing in as a fugitive on the run to wreak havoc.

Would you try asking him to a test of pronunciation? (Now hear me, the enemy knows Scripture; I'm speaking more theoretically here - not literally!)

May I call you to authenticity before the Lord for a moment? I have had to ask the Lord to show me my 'Sibboleth's' (if you will). There were some areas where I had allowed some hissing to take place in my thought life; the enemy had twisted the truth just so to keep it initially subtle, but nonetheless, be a flat out lie when compared to the Truth of His Word. My "Sibboleth" sounded like, and even really looked like, my "Shibboleth."

Let me give some practical hissing occurrences for you:
1) I believe God's best for me.
I've settled in 'this' particular area. (I thought I was fully trusting the Lord, but when I really let the light of His Word search my heart, I realized maybe I'd started giving heed to the hisses of the enemy, and started believing some lies rooted in fear, thus settling.)
2) I believe God has more for me than my mind has ever conceived.
I've settled in my life of ministry for what I do well and am competent in. (When I cease actively walking in something that is beyond my own capacity to do for Him, I am probably not walking where I should be. He is a big God that demands big faith because He demands His endless glory to be made known. If I am not receiving the dreams He has for me that scare me half to death, then I am possibly walking in the pitiful limited dimensions of my flesh, and have ceased believing Him for the 'MORE' that He already is).

Beloved, you have been given the authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19). Cease allowing the hisses of his lies define your present reality. The ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world (Revelation 12:9) is alive and active, seeking whom he may devour. I beg you to take your thought-life and heart to the Lord, and allow the touch of His nail-scarred hand to draw forth any areas where you have allowed the poisonous venom of a hiss to taint the Truth that He has promised to be alive and active in you - if you will allow it.

Call the enemy out sister. Call his stinking self out. Oh I pray you get as mad at him as I have been. He will not come pretending to be truth in my life (as a disguised Ephraimite did with the Gileadite) for I am going to call him bluff when I compare Him against Christ Himself - the Word that became flesh. And for this one, I will make the judgment call about the severity of the punishment upon discovering him not to be real. Indeed and without arguing, you need to slaughter those pretentious thoughts and acknowledge them as death, that the alive and active Word may reign upon your heart. Tread upon him until it becomes death to you. He is nothing but a hissing venomous fake, and I am frankly tired of his old games. Care to join me in calling him out???

Dare your enemy to say a 'Shibboleth' to you...I bet if you listen closely, it doesn't come out as pure Truth.
If the Lord so speaks, and you're brave enough to do so, let's confess them as we post comments. What twisted truth or lie have you been allowing him to hiss at you? Make sure you replace it with a reference of biblical Truth. I love you dear siesta. I call you to the hard stuff only because He has first called me to it...and I want as much of Him for myself as I do for you.


Sharon said...

This is rich.
I will have to ponder on this awhile. I have been hearing a lot of hissing lately.

mandy said...

oh girl.
wrapping my mind around this one...

A man said...

excellent blog. keep them coming.

connorcolesmom said...

Oh yes girlfriend I have some hissing in my life as well. God has been putting a mirror in my face big time!

Thank you for reminding me that God is Faithful and to Believe Him and not the other guy!
I always love reading what God reveals to you!!

BTW: I saw that you want a t-shirt.
Patty is taking orders so if you have an e-mail address then send me your t-shirt size and contact info so I can forward it to Patty.
Here is my e-mail address
She will contact you with her paypal info!!
I still have a room for you and Abby - wink wink
Love you

Kelly S. said...

Jephthah — whom God sets free, or the breaker through (Easton Bible Dictionary)
This post was so interesting to me and changed the course of my day!! I was listening to the hisses this morning and almost skipped my time with the Lord. What a shame that would have been!!Thank you for words that exposed the lies, which is a direct answer to prayer for me. Also, my study this morning (after Judges) was 2 Corinthinans 10:5: We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obdient to Christ.
God is definatley speaking to me about my thought life.....even though it seems like a small compromise in your mind, it can lead to bigger problems with actions!! Thanks

Kristen said...

Oh Sister - do you speak the truth here! Praise Jesus for you! I am in the middle of leading Beth's "When Godly People do Ungodly Things" (for the 3rd time) I hope it is ok to share you thoughts with my group in my weekly encouragement email. Arming oneself in this age against the enemy is so very important - and recognizing that seduction can come dressed as light!

After reading your post I reflected back on a particular time in my life, that was peppered w/ sinful thoughts. Being almost 42 and married for almost 17 years the enemy has done his best to attack our marriage. It was a time when I was growing leaps and bounds spiritually, however was probably not as protected as I thought. Fortunately I had Godly people in my life I went to for counsel, scripture and prayer to fortify and strengthen me - oh what destruction would have come had I listened to the lies being spun in my head. Praise God, I can look back at that time and see my victory in Christ. That He prevailed over the enemy. I truly experienced Godly sorrow, but am free because of His grace and forgiveness.
When God's glory is gaining a foothold, Satan will not sit idle. And believe me, with all the growth I see in woman I know and the woman I encounter in these blogs, God's glory IS gaining foothold. What we need to do is die to self, walk by faith, embrace the unknown and watch the deliverance of God. Be desperate and dependent. God is in control!

To God be the Glory! Amen and again I say Amen!!!

PS: If any of you have not done the When Godly... study I highly encourage you to do so and share it with everyone.

Toknowhim said...

Great post... I see your passion for people to be free from Satan's lies... I love how God gives you insight into His Word. I believe you have been given a gift to help others learn God's truth. Keep it up.. Kim

kittyhox said...

Hmmmmmm. Innnnnteresting.

As you may recall I've recently claimed a big victory in Jesus (he's freed me from my desire to overeat and my compulsive love for food). It's nothing short of a miracle.

After reading your post I was thinking, "I bet the enemy's attack is just around the corner." Because he's got to be fuming right now. He has had me downtrodden for so long! Most of my adult life, in fact.

Then I was thinking about the word Shibboleth and something popped into my head. An area that I thought was perfectly fine, but I'm all of a sudden recognizing as sin! It's so weird. Usually sin seems pretty black and white. I can't believe I didn't see this one coming.

The enemy is such a sneaky jerk. I am TOTALLY calling his bluff on this one and he's going to be even more mad than before.

It's kind of fun to destroy the evil schemes he has for us, isn't it?

Patty said...

Great post my sweet friend!! Powerful words!!

We would do well to remember that the cross, is forever the ground of Satan's defeat and our victory!!

Have a fun weekend with Jesus!

Kathleen Marie said...

I often feel attacks against my health so often repeat "by His stripes I am healed". Thanks for a great post.


jennyhope said...

Girl whoever helped you with the blog needs to help you put your picture of you and beth back up...seriously.
I love Papa Johns...it is THE BEST PIZZA EVER!
I had you on my heart earlier as I was loading dishes...what came on my heart and I am not sure why (because I am not in to any weird the Lord told me to tell you stuff) but I just had to pray for you to wait on the Lord for whatever it is...just wait and trust in Him. I know that you do!
I still need to read your post! I just got home from a hunt at the mall...I am looking for flower girl dresses for Morgan and 2 of my nieces. Why me?
I can't wait to meet you in person!! love ya siesta!! WE ARE kindred spirits!!

jennyhope said...

Oh girl! I just read this and it is such perfect timing. I so easily can believe God to be BIG in so many areas and believe Him for others and then turn around and not believe Him when things get hard in my marriage. I hear the hiss of Oh with God all things are possible? Really, maybe this is just your lot in life. I start to doubt God and His plan and try to stuff in other ways instead of believing Him.
Glory to Him for what you wrote. One time when beth came to bham i prayed that God would put something on my heart to pray to confirm the call that He has on my life. I prayed the morning before LPL that if I was called to vocational ministry that she would call me out of those 18,000 people and I would know it was Him. Well, in the middle of her teaching about Eph 1 she was talking about how personal God is and how intimate He is...she was talking about how He doesn't forget us and then...she saw me and stopped teaching and called me out. It was God. Anyway, that has been almost 2 years ago. I am not teaching besides facilitating and I have been believing that maybe I have sinned too much to still be used of God in that way...instead of believing Him...the accuser has gotten back in my face and I have settled. I am still praying for Him to open the doors for me because I feel like anything that I orchestrate on my own will be me trying to pry a door open and I am waiting. But I have been buying the lies.

Patty said...

I am tagging you, come by and see what it is. You are perfect for this!! :o)