Trust And Obey Part III
By Linda C Dipman        

   Joshua was excited and eager to show God his desire to complete the task of conquering the Promised Land.  
He sent some men to spy out the land of Ai.  The commanders, full of enthusiasm over their battle at Jericho,
recommended that they send only two or three thousand men.  He agreed and the army left.

   The men began their attack with confidence and determination to clear the land for Israel, but soon in utter
shock they were forced to retreat.  Thirty-six of the men died and in fear Joshua fell prostrate before the tent of the
presence of God.  

   Joshua 7: 10-12, "The Lord said to Joshua, 'Get up!  Why are you lying on the ground like this?  Israel has
sinned!  They have broken the agreement with me that I ordered them to keep.  They have taken some of the
things condemned to destruction.  They stole them, lied about it, and put them with their own things.  This is why
the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies.  They retreat from them because they themselves have now
been condemned to destruction!  I will not stay with you any longer unless you destroy the things you were ordered
not to take!'"

   Joshua immediately took action and discovered that Achan had taken a pound of gold, five pounds of silver and
a beautiful Babylonian cloak.  In sheer terror Joshua commanded the people to at once stone Achan, his entire
family and to burn their possessions and the things that he took.  

   Joshua's knowledge of the book of the Law and how sin can come in and stop God's help taught him to take
immediate action against Achan.   His understanding of the Spirit world and how it interacts with our world helped
him to see that without God's protection they could never succeed in their quest to conquer the Promised Land.

   Joshua 1: 7&8,  "Just be determined, be confident; and make sure that you obey the whole Law that my servant
Moses gave you.  Do not neglect any part of it and you will succeed wherever you go.  Be sure the book of the Law
is always read in your worship.  Study it day and night, and make sure you obey everything written in it.  Then you
will be prosperous and successful."

   Joshua once again became determined and confident ready to do whatever was necessary to do the will of God,
even if it meant killing his own brothers.  He committed his ways to instructing and teaching the Israelites in the Law
so they would be able to succeed with God's help.

   During the entire time I was fighting for custody of my children, Tori had successfully held onto Brad.  Her
ex-husband had admitted to abusing their son and was found guilty of child abuse.

   Tori and I both had gained strength from God's supernatural messages and were determined to follow them and
stand up to anyone who got in our way.  However the Southern Baptist Church were forever flooding the court
system with letters of disapproval over our being in love and gay.  

   Finally the Judge understanding it was an election year gave into their demands and turned over soul custody of
our children to Eric with me being given visitation only if their dad wanted me to see them.  My attorney explained
that it would take at least two years before they would allow me to overturn this verdict.

   Once again God sent Tori and I a message to run with our kids and to not give into the verdict of the evil judge.  
In obedience to His will and trusting that God knew our best course of action we fled to another state.  The police
caught up with us two months later and we were put in jail.

    Now everything had changed, Tori's ex-husband had recently married and now with our being in jail, he took
this opportunity to come after custody of Brad.  Tori's grandparents bailed her out of jail and immediately she
retained a lawyer so she could fight for Brad.

   I was left in jail and mad at the predicament we were in.  I had lost custody of my children, now Tori was about to
lose custody of Brad.  Prison was looming over both our heads for defying the court order and all I had done was
trusted and obeyed God.

   God's message flowed like the fragrant breathe of spring giving me strength to trust Him and the power to
believe that He had a plan.  "Dear Linda, I love you.  I am so proud of you.  Look back and see what you have
learned.  My Ways Are Not Human Ways, Trust in Me.  Pray for protection from Satan, God has Spoken."

   Here I was in jail, my children had been turned over to their father, and all God would say was "Trust in Me"!  I
took a deep breathe and blew out the air trying to clear my thoughts. Slowly I began to wrap my mind around what
God was teaching me. I opened my Bible began to read.

   Romans 8: 35-39,  "Who, then, can separate us from the love of Christ?  Can trouble do it, or hardship or
persecution or hunger or poverty or danger or death?  As the scripture says,
   'For your sake we are in danger of death at all times;  we are treated like sheep that are going to be
slaughtered.'
   No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us!  For I am certain that nothing can
separate us from his love; neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the
world above nor the world below-there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of
God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord."

   Once again God directed me towards the unseen spiritual world.  A Supernatural world of Spirits that infiltrate
the mind of men and pits them against each other in a battle over God and love against Satan and hate.  A
dimension unseen but very real in the minds and hearts of those who play in this huge muti-faceted world game of
life.

   I held tightly to God believing that He loved me and He would fix the mess that Tori and I were in.  I understood
that I was fighting against more than people, I was fighting against a Spirit world.

   Joshua was commanded to be determined and confident, yet he was stunned when they lost 36 good men
because of Achan's sin.  They believed they were on the side of God, but their lost let them see how easily they
could be destroyed by the evil side of the unseen spiritual world if they didn't follow God's commands completely.