On August 17, HelloMornings.org will release my 6-week study covering the 400-year saga of Israel’s downward spiral in the Book of Judges. Our story starts with a moment of crisis as Israel loses its beloved leader, Joshua. Without a strong personal commitment to God, the next generation forgets God’s mighty deeds and His covenant love. They choose instead to do what is right in their own eyes.
In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. -Judges 17:6, Judges 21:25
Instead of obeying God and driving the enemy out of the land, the people stand right by as the locals worship false gods and practice sorcery, necromancy, bestiality, temple prostitution, and even child sacrifice. By cozying up to these people, the Israelites begin to worship false gods and take part in perverse acts. What used to seem shocking now feels commonplace. They may think they’re going to experience freedom as they sow their wild oats away from God, but really the Israelites are putting themselves in bondage. They make themselves vulnerable and the enemy sweeps in to rule them with an iron fist.
Like a record with a scratch, this story plays on repeat for decade after decade, century after century.
The Israelites call out in distress.
The Lord sends a deliverer and brings peace to the land.
When the leader dies, Israel falls right back into the enemy’s trap.
The readings and prompts in the Relentless study will help you consider how to resist temptation, avoid the pitfalls of cultural trends, gain confidence for the tasks God has assigned you, deal with narcissistic people and cultivate unity in your family and church, recover from life’s disappointments, deal with anger issues, bring stress and trauma under the healing relief of the Holy Spirit, develop a proper reverence for God, and stand up for those who are victimized.
We’ll delve into all of this in Relentless: The Epic Story of a Hardhearted People, Their Warrior God, and His Unstoppable Love. I’ve designed 5 days of study material for each week, with optional bonus material for those who don’t want to miss a thing.
What are you willing to do to drive out those things that wage war against your soul? I have to be honest, friends–this isn’t going to be easy. We are entering enemy territory. I’ve spent the last two months fighting hard as I’ve written this study. The resistance I’ve felt tells me there is something here worth fighting for.
An imposter thinks he has a claim on our hearts. We’ve fallen for too many of his sweet-talking lies. But our Hero is fighting to win us back. Let’s re-claim those pieces of ourselves that we’ve so foolishly given away. Join me in clearing out false affections and giving our hearts back to the One who loves us with an everlasting love. This is going to be epic.
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. -1 Peter 2:11
I don’t know what you are facing these days, but I hope that you’ll commit to this weighty study, and let God’s word do its work, destroying the strongholds of the enemy in you so you can experience the peace of His presence.
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised again the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ… -2 Corinthians 10:3-5
As the kids go back to school, open their books, and put their pencils to paper, let’s set our hearts and minds on this important study. I urge you to gather around you a brave group of friends who are ready to go deep. Surround yourself with a team who will pray strong prayers with you and for you. Let’s speak the truth out loud in Jesus’ name and fight through the strongholds together. This is going to be intense, but so worth it as we cancel the evil one’s claims on our lives and walk into the peace and joy that comes with God’s unstoppable love.