Achsah: Identity Reveals Destiny

At birth, upon entering this physical realm, the first identity we assume and role we engage is that of a child. There is complete and utter dependence on our caregivers to provide us the sustenance needed to survive in this new world, which is so remarkably different from the womb we just exited. As we grow in stature and wisdom, this maturation is often marked by the decrease of our dependence on our caretaker. The fullness of maturation is often measured by the level of independence achieved. This is antithetical to the development of our spiritual maturity. Spiritual maturation requires total dependence, childlike dependence on God and the realization that we are nothing and can do nothing apart from Him.

And He called a little child to Himself and put him in the midst of them, And said, Truly I say to you, unless you repent (change, turn about) and become like little children [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving], you can never enter the kingdom of heaven [at all]. Whoever will humble himself therefore and become like this little child [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving] is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:2-4, AMPC)

The reality is the relationships with our first earthly caregivers, our father and mother, have enduring consequences on how we engage God, the creator of the universe. Strained relationship with parental figures makes it difficult to accept the love and identity that comes from our relationship with Christ. Tenuous relationships with our flawed earthly parents often impact the way we engage with our infallible Heavenly Father. Professionally, my work with foster care youth has allowed me to see firsthand how the impact insecure attachment and trauma perpetrated by caregivers, even unintentionally, can indelibly impact an individual’s perception of love and self. The primary role of any caregiver is to guide and protect. When they fail to do so, we question whether we are deserving of the unconditional love offered by The Father. Will He somehow fail us? The reality is we serve a God incapable of failure:

God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to His promise, and He can be depended on); by Him you were called into companionship and participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:9, AMPC).

Furthermore, our relationship with our Heavenly Father should elicit boldness, as we approach Him with a posture of dependence:

Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it]. (Hebrews 4:16, AMPC)

But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me! (II Corinthians 12:9, AMPC)

Charles Haddon Spurgeon stated it so eloquently when he said, “surely, our great and glorious Father, with whom we have lived ever since we were newborn, has favored us so much that we ought to ask very boldly, and with a childlike familiarity, resting assured that our Father will never be vexed with us because we ask these things. Indeed, he knoweth what things we have need of before we ask him.”

We are introduced to Achsah, daughter of Caleb in Joshua 15 and Judges 1. She approached her father with boldness and reverence, as a result, her actions benefitted future generations. According to Numbers 13, Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, was one of the twelve spies sent by Moses into Canaan. Their task, over a period of forty days was to explore the Negev and surrounding area, and to make an assessment of the geographical features of the land, the strength and numbers of the population, the agricultural potential and actual performance of the land, settlement patterns (whether their cities were like camps or strongholds), and forestry conditions. Moses also asked them to be courageous and to return with samples of local produce. Caleb’s report balanced the appeal of the land and its fruits with the challenge of making the conquest; he felt confident that the children of Israel could possess the land. Caleb and Joshua said the people should trust God and go into the land; the other ten spies, being fearful and rebellious, argued that conquering the land was immoral and impossible. Subsequently, the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness for forty years. Caleb has a daughter, whom he named Achsah meaning anklet; she was very precious to him, and I am sure he loved her greatly. Caleb offered his daughter’s hand in marriage to whoever would ultimately conquer the city of Debir, formerly called Kirjath Sepher. In so doing, Caleb was ensuring that his daughter would marry a mighty man of valor, a brave husband, one capable of protecting and providing for her needs. Othniel, Caleb’s nephew, proved to be the successful warrior. As a wedding gift, he gave the couple land in the South; this land was dry and barren, requiring irrigation to be cultivated. This gift required the activation of her faith in the relationship she shared with her father; she was confident in his intent to bless her, but she required more from his hand to make this gift complete. After consulting with her husband and receiving his blessing, she purposed in her heart to approach her father and ask for an additional field. This request was not motivated by greed; she had a legitimate need that aligned with her father’s desire to bless her. Likewise, our confidence in God finds its expression in our prayer and supplication:

And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us. And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him. (I John 5:14-5, AMPC)

Achsah mounted her donkey and returned to home she had just recently departed. As she approached her father, she dismounted, a sign of respect and reverence. Before she uttered a word, her father asked what she desired. Secure in her father’s love and confident in his care, Achsah approached him with expectation and humility, acknowledging the blessings that he had previously made available to her. In response, Caleb gave Achsah an additional field containing both upper and lower springs; this land was so expansive that it encompassed both hills and valleys, flowing with valleys and springs.

For your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. (Matthew 6:8, APMC)

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. (Philippians 4:6, AMPC)

For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills; (Deuteronomy 8:7, AMPC)

Our Heavenly Father desires to bless us; in fact, He loves to do so. He gives us both upper and lower springs of blessings: heavenly and earthly; spiritual and temporal.

Or what man is there of you, if his son asks him for a loaf of bread, will hand him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will hand him a serpent? If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father Who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give good and advantageous things to those who keep on asking Him! (Matthew 7:9-11, AMPC)

Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams] (Ephesians 3:20, AMPC)

And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19, AMPC)

Every good gift and every perfect (free, large, full) gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of all [that gives] light, in [the shining of] Whom there can be no variation [rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [as in an eclipse]. (James 1:17, AMPC)

As we sojourn through the hills and valleys of life, the highs and low, He is always with us. Despite the tumultuous nature of our pasts, This Father will guide and protect us; He will make provision for us. His grace will minister to even our greatest needs. God can turn our greatest hurt into a place of abundance and overflow, a source of satisfaction. Trust Him; He is able.

Be strong, courageous, and firm; fear not nor be in terror before them, for it is the Lord your God Who goes with you; He will not fail you or forsake you. And Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong, courageous, and firm, for you shall go with this people into the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to possess it.It is the Lord Who goes before you; He will [march] with you; He will not fail you or let you go or forsake you; [let there be no cowardice or flinching, but] fear not, neither become broken [in spirit—depressed, dismayed, and unnerved with alarm]. (Deuteronomy 31: 6-8, AMPC)

Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. Passing through the Valley of Weeping (Baca), they make it a place of springs; the early rain also fills [the pools] with blessings. They go from strength to strength [increasing in victorious power]; each of them appears before God in Zion. (Psalm 84:5-7, APMC)

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