Welcome to 2015!
As I was pondering the New Year and what it may hold, the Lord led me to two verses in the book of Joshua that challenged my thinking and preparation for 2015. The setting is the preparation for the nation of Israel to finally cross the Jordan River and take possession of the Promised Land. Joshua had been to this place before, as a younger man 40 years previously; but his peer group and their fathers had lost faith in God and were turned away from the river by God and led back into the desert. But it was a new generation of Israelites that were now camped near the river that bordered the land God had promised them and Joshua directs his officers to spread the following instruction throughout the camp (I have bolded some critical words):
“When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests, who are Levites, 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.” (Joshua 3:3-4)
I put my Bible down and begin thinking of people “who have never been this way before.”
- There is the couple I know who are about to make a major geographical move; which led me to remember another family who last year literally moved halfway around the world, to a foreign country. Those folks have never been this way before.
- Then I thought about so many young couples I know who are about to or have just begun marriages or made the decision to have children. They have never been this way before either.
- And finally I reflected on all the people who come to Avalon Church in search of answers to the fears, pain or anger they experience in their lives. Walking into church because it seems like the best last resort is almost always a way they have never been before.
Yet in all of these situations, the Lord’s direction is the same: “Look to and follow the presence of God. If you will follow Him, He personally and powerfully will show you which way to go, since you have never been this way before.”
I am intensely praying that this is a year when Pastor Dale and the Elders “follow the ark of the covenant” and then assist many, many others in doing the same. Most of the paths all of us will walk this year are ways we have never been before but we can move forward in obedience and victory if we will look to Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
Happy New Year in Jesus!