ENTERING NEW TERRIORTY – FOLLOW IN FAITH
Tomorrow we enter a new year. For me it’ll be the first time in almost 50 years I’m not involved in full time Christian ministry. No one knows what challenges, opportunities, heartaches or losses await next year. We are entering new territory, the same as the Jews under Joshua did when they entered the Promised Land (Joshua 3:1-17). The Jews just left Egypt and bondage, they have wandered in the wilderness for 40 years because of lack of faith to enter the land, and now they are finally moving ahead into unknown territory. “You have never been this way before,” Joshua tells them (Joshua 3:4).
However God didn’t just allow them to stumble about on their own. He went with them, before them. His Presence was with them through the Ark of the Covenant which the priests carried in front. The people were responsible to follow, keeping their eyes on the Ark. That’s how we are to enter the new year, keeping our eyes on Jesus, following Him and only Him no matter what the future holds. That’s the only way to live without fear, discouragement or depression but with peace, joy and satisfaction.
Sounds simple – but it wasn’t. You see, the priests were told to carry the Ark into the middle of the Jordan River, which was at flood stage at that time. It was humanly to walk through the Jordan, much less stand still in the middle. The water was too deep, fast and strong to take more than a couple steps in it. The priests carrying the ark and the people following them were powerless to cross, but God has said to do it. What are we to do in the coming year when we face impossible circumstances, and what God expects of us seems humanly impossible? We must obey and move ahead anyway, keeping our eyes on Jesus. When the priests did this the waters miraculously parted and they, and the people after them, walked across on dry ground! It was a miracle. God also provides what we need when He calls us to follow Him. He did for the Jews, too – but not until they committed to follow in faith. It wasn’t until their feet hit the water that it opened. If they had waited for God to open it first they would still be standing there!
The message is clear – whatever the future holds keep your eyes on Jesus, obeying and following Him in faith. He will take care of the pathway when we follow Him. (Tomorrow’s blog will continue this theme.) (December 31, 2016 Doylestown PA)
Joshua 3:1-5 Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. After three days the officers went throughout the camp, giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about two thousand cubits between you and the ark; do not go near it.” Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”
What obstacles are you already facing as you ender 2017? What ones could you face in the next 12 months? Commit right now to keeping your eyes on Jesus and following Him in faith no matter what.
When is it hardest for you to follow Jesus? Why? What can you do to have greater victory during the coming year?
INDIA UPDATE: The new books are printed and are being delivered to the conference sites. Pray God would use them for His glory, and that all the books would bring much fruit for the Kingdom.
PRAY FOR the financial situation in India as it impacts Christian ministries there. Pray our funds would be released and available for use so we can go ahead with our conferences.
Christian Training Organization