What is God calling us to do in this season?
The world seems be falling apart every direction we turn. Last week we looked at the beginning of the Book of Joshua to understand God's marching orders.
Satan is coming hard after us, but God is faithful. We need to stay focused on the eternal and be faithful to the call on our life. We must listen for the voice of God and obey Him.
As things heat up, we will not be afraid. We are strong and courageous. We will look at specific tools next week to help us reframe for when it comes along.
Speaking of "strong and courageous", Joshua was not a great warrior. The more I think about it, maybe he wasn't very strong and courageous at all... that's why God kept reminding him he needed to be. He never struck down a giant or killed a lion. In fact, he was usually described as a "servant" - a servant of Moses. But God chose him to lead the people through the Jordan River to the Promised Land. Why? Because he was obedient. He kept his eyes on the Lord and he obeyed what God told him to do. Simple as that.
Here are the highlights of this extraordinary crossing:
Israelites had been in slavery (bondage) for 430 years. Their identity = slave.
God sent Moses to set them free - to change their identity from slave to FREE.
Pharaoh had a hard heart so the Plagues were used. The last plague was the saddest. The first born sons were killed...but God saved the Jewish boys by the blood of the Lamb. This was the first Passover. God told the Jews to paint the blood of the Lamb on their doorposts so the angel of death would pass-over their homes and their children would be saved. (Here's a question and I'm not sure of the answer... was Joshua one of those saved boys?)
God told Joshua to arise, cross and lead the people. His job was to obey.
God said I will GIVE you the land. When someone GIVES you something , it is a GIFT. You just receive it.
The entire process of crossing reminds us of the gift of salvation...
We were enslaved to sin.
We were set free by the Blood of the Lamb.
We take the Promised Land step by step.
God tells us we already have the victory.
Even though God told the Israelites He would give them the land, He also told them to crossover in "battle array". Make no mistake this was going to be a battle.
The 12 stones in the middle of the Jordan were covered over by the water after the Israelites passed over. Their old life was gone. Our old life is gone too, when we become a new creation in Christ.
The other 12 stones were set up as a memorial to the miracle that happened there. The fact that you and I are saved is a miracle. Write down your story. Create a way to memorialize it for your children, friends or community. It's important to remember what God has done and how HUGE it is.
The first thing God did on the other side was command that the men be circumcised. The flesh had to be cut away... Is there any fleshly junk in your life that needs to be removed, to be cut away? Do it now. Ugh it seems to be a daily thing for me. But praise God He loves me and you!!!
Then they celebrated Passover! I love this part of the story. God's perfect timing.
The biggest lesson to me is to remember that entering the Promised Land means entering enemy territory. The Promised Land or Canaan is not heaven in this story. It's a battlefield. So as we march through each day we have to remember that we are living in enemy territory and the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy us, our kids, our ministry, our marriages and relationships. We have to be in "battle array" every day!