By now many of us have set goals for 2012. Some of these are easily attained while others seem to allude us. Failure in achievement is sometimes due to the fact that we find ourselves comparing ourselves to others and so we become resentful. We find ourselves in an ugly spiral that takes us further from our goals.
As believers many of us have looked at Rahab the prostitute in the book of Joshua and breathed a sigh of relief. At least we have not been that awful that we have sold ourselves as prostitutes. Rahab though surprises all. She is in the lineage of Christ in Matthew 1:5, was a woman of faith in Hebrews 11:31 and was right with God in James 2:25.
Success starts with the heart. The writing of goals means that we must look at our heart if we are to go anywhere.
God continually looks beyond our actions to the very core of our being. Our willingness to be honest with ourselves greatly helps us achieve in life.
Our personal acceptance and perception of self empowers us for life. Our discipline of self to limit our judgments of others, also enables us to succeed and find contentment.
Rahab did not allow her past nor others’ perceptions of herself to dictate her future.
Rahab was a successful prostitute but she made a decision to give it all up. Not because of others’ thoughts but because she knew better. She in Jericho was the only who saw the wrong in her heart and decided to change. She left culture, friends, falsehoods and a successful livelihood.
Many give up when a goal gets hard. Yet Rahab hides two full grown Hebrew enemies and then lowers them over the city wall as a single female. Either she was one hefty prostitute who worked out every day or an extremely determined woman who was desperate to find God.
She watched the fall of Jericho including the horrific death of friends and comrades as the walls collapsed. She still though did not default to excuse and resentment but continued to choose God, a virtual stranger to her.
She embraced the culture of Israel and God with no reserve or excuse. It would have been so easy to look at this strange new belief system and throw up her hands in horror. This strange new hebrew belief system stoned prostitutes and yet she kept on going. She recognized that it was for her to move toward God and accept His ways rather than vice versa.
The accomplishment of goals starts with self. Our surrender of not fair, they are wrong, they haven’t, I know better, has to be recognized as a bad habit. God is not a rewarder of our right opinion but a rewarder of faith. Faith requires that we give up the right of having our way.
Forgiveness requires the work of dwelling no more on past mistakes and even those of others. The measure of our lives has little to do with another but is all about pursuing that which God puts in our way, even when it means a few disappointments and surrenders along the way.
Rahab took responsibility upon herself for her life. She gave up her comfort and independence to find God.
God saw in Rahab, a woman that did not waste words but applied faith to deal with her own heart. Her measuring stick for success had little to do with comparison to others but applying God’s Words to her own life.