Sunday, October 17, 2010
As I was reading in Joshua this morning, I encountered a person named Acsah and my heart was stirred with grace to ask for more….of Him. I pray it will have the same effect upon you.
I want to introduce you to a young woman named Acsah, who was the daughter of Caleb, who along with Joshua explored the promised land under Moses’ leadership. You may have never heard of Acsah, but she is a woman who was much like her father Caleb who was a man of great courage, tenacity and confidence in God.
Turning back to Numbers 13, the Lord told Moses to send some men to explore the land of Canaan which he had already given to the Hebrew people. Moses told the twelve men to go up through the Negev and into the hill country to see what the land was like and whether the people there were strong or weak, few or many. Was it a good or bad land? The last thing Moses said was to bring back some fruit. Isn’t that interesting. If a land is a prosperous land… it should be fruitful and it was.
Consequently, in that exploration, only two men came back with a good report, namely Caleb and Joshua along with ONE single cluster of grapes carried on a pole between them… now that’s some fruit!! The other ten gave a report that erupted fear into the Israelites ultimately leading to their demise.
Caleb believed that if God was with them, they could take the land, giants and all. Unfortunately, the people gave in to fear and settled for “less than” God had for them. They were willing to stay in a barren place, forsaking all God had promised.
After forty years and the death of that generation, Caleb and Joshua continued to believe the Lord’s promise to give them the land that flowed with milk and honey. The day came when Joshua took the next generation into the promised land and when he did, he divided the land as Moses had instructed him (Moses had died by this time). Guess who was waiting for his portion? Yes, Caleb! He was now 85 years old and proclaimed his years had no negative affect upon the strength and tenacity he still possessed (Joshua 14:11).
Joshua blessed Caleb with his portion of land called Hebron as his inheritance. Caleb took possession and began to drive out the wicked inhabitants. Not only had Caleb been given land, but God had blessed him with a daughter named Acsah whose hand in marriage was given to Othniel for his bravery against the enemy occupants.
Now… this is the good part. Acsah, which means “Upper Spring” or “Adorned” was blessed by her father with a field, a portion of his inheritance. But, one day, as she got off her camel, she was approached by her father who asked her what he could do for her. Acsah never hesitated. She asked her father for a favor. When you ask for a favor, you are pretty sure you will get what you ask for… right?
Acsah knew she was favored by her father and even though she had been blessed with the field, she desired something more. “Since you have given me land in the Negev, give me also springs of water” (Joshua 15:19). Oh my… she asked for more? Acsah knew that land without WATER would not be fruitful. She was not willing to live in a land that was BARREN as her ancestors had chosen. She was choosing life for herself and her husband and future descendants. Her boldness makes me think of Hebrews 4:16, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
I’m sure Caleb was delighted to grant his daughter’s wishes by giving her the upper and lower springs (Joshua 15:19) to water her land. This is such a picture of God who always exceeds our expectation (Ephesians 3:20).
God is looking for Acsah’s in the earth today who will be bold enough to contend for SPRINGS OF WATER which Jeremiah said is the Lord (Jer.17:13). Just as Acsah asked for natural water - we the Believer should be asking for spiritual water (1 Corinthians 15:46). I’m not talking about asking for a little more of God… No, I’m talking about asking for ALL that God has for you ~ your inheritance. We will never be able to produce anything good unless the springs of water are in us and flowing out of us to the world.
Remember when Jesus spoke to the woman at the well in John 4? She had been trying to find happiness in many men? Instead of lecturing her, Jesus told her that everyone who drinks from the wells of the world will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks from the Lord will never thirst again. Jesus said… “Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” John 4:14.
The point I want to make here is that we have every right to ask for “springs of water” and we must. You may say, well, I just want to be thankful for what I have. I’m saved and on my way to Heaven and that’s enough. May I suggest, we should be content with what we have, while contending for MORE OF HIM. I remember when I had one child and was longing for more because God had spoken to me through His Word that I would be a happy mother of “children” Psalm 113:9. A well-intending person said to me that I should be thankful for the child I had. I told her I was…. But I was contending for what God had promised me - MORE and several years later…..God kept His Word to me and I’ll praise Him forever!
You may be in a dry and barren place right now in your walk with Jesus. You may have said to yourself, is this all there is? I don’t feel the joy of the Lord. I don’t hear his voice anymore, I don’t even feel His presence. John 15:8 says… “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, (not a little fruit) showing yourselves to be my disciples.” Bearing fruit is not just winning souls into the Kingdom, although that’s part. To bear fruit is to demonstrate Christ in the way we live and influencing those around us. It’s experiencing the joy of the Lord, faith in His Word, peace in our hearts, hearing and responding to His voice. It’s having a relationship like no other. You can’t give away what you do not have.
Or you may be in a different kind of desert place. You have caught a glimpse of something God has for you far greater than your present reality. You know in your heart that you will never be satisfied to stay where you are because there are springs of water flowing in a distant land.
Whatever desert experience you are in, it is to the Father’s glory that we bear much fruit! So, if this is God’s will for us, then just as Caleb granted Acsah’s wishes….. So will our Father in Heaven make all grace abound to us so that in all things at all times, having all that we need, we will abound in every good work (2 Cor. 9:8). As Caleb granted favor to Acsah, so shall our God remember us - his favored ones.
A natural field without springs of water is a dry and barren place producing nothing good; so is a man without the overflow of the spirit. Begin to cry out to God as David… who likened his thirst for God like a deer who pants for streams of water (Psalm 42:1). Jesus said that all those who hunger and thirst for righteousness WILL BE FILLED (Matthew 5:6). Ask the Lord to release in you hunger and thirst for more of Him.
Today is the day. Begin to cry out to God as Acsah cried out to Caleb her father. According to your Word Lord, I am going to ask you for “SPRINGS OF WATER” to immerse and consume this barren and thirsty land. May I bear MUCH fruit such as the giant cluster of grapes brought back upon the shoulders of Joshua and Caleb that others may taste and see that the Lord is indeed good. Thank You Lord that there is GRACE FOR MORE.