Saturday, January 26, 2019

Need Some Reassurance?

by Sylvia Gaston

2019. It’s a new year and a great time to reflect on last year and plot a course moving forward. Without setting goals, the likelihood of forward progress is slim. As I set goals for myself, I reflect on the following pieces and parts:

·     Spiritual – Is my relationship with Jesus getting deeper? Do I know Him better? Am       I on the path that He has set for my life?
·     Physical – What do I need to do to be healthier this year?
·     Professional – What can I do to improve my effectiveness at work? How can I help my company/organization reach its goals?
·     Financial – Am I spending and saving my money as I should?
·     Emotional – Are there relationships that I need to work on? Are there things I need to focus on to be more emotionally mature?
·     Intellectual – As a lifelong learner, what can I do to keep my mind sharp? Are there new skills I need or want to acquire?

Remember to not set too many goals. Success is more likely if you just choose one or two things and remain focused on them throughout the year.

As I was exploring what the Bible says about moving forward, I was drawn to the story of Joshua. Most of us have seen some version of the movie - The Ten Commandments - the story of how Moses led the freed nation of Israel from slavery to the land God has promised them. Moses has died and Joshua must fill some very large shoes as his successor. God, in His infinite compassion, assures Joshua that He is still with them.

God tells Joshua, “’Moses my servant, is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them.  I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you…No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.’”

And as the Israelites moved toward the promised land, they followed the Ark of the Covenant – a brilliant and beautiful chest that contained the stone tablets of God’s ten commandments and other sacred items.

The Lord told Joshua, “Today I will begin to make you a great leader in the eyes of all the Israelites. They will know that I am with you, just as I was with Moses. Give this command to the priests who carry the Ark of the Covenant: ‘When you reach the banks of the Jordan River, take a few steps into the river and stop there.’” –Joshua 3:7-8

God gives Joshua specific instructions so that the people can easily and safely cross over into the land that He has promised them.

So, “Joshua told the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.’” –Joshua 3:5.  Consecrate means: to make or declare sacred; to devote or dedicate to some purpose. Joshua tells his countrymen to prepare themselves and that they are going to see the amazing things God is going to do.

What I love about this narrative is the reassurance God gives to this newly appointed leader, Joshua. Can you imagine the uneasiness Joshua must have felt moving forward? He was being entrusted to lead the nation that had followed Moses for decades and had witnessed the miracles God previously performed through him. God reassures Joshua that He is still with him and that He will demonstrate that fact to the Israelites and to the other nations watching.

The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground. –Joshua 3:17

God performed a miracle similar to the one that had previously brought about their freedom (remember the parting of the Red Sea?) by halting the Jordan, a river at high flow, to giving them dry passage. Amazing!

Are you in a place where you need reassurance to move forward? Do you need to know that God is still with you in 2019? You need only ask Him. The God Who created the universe is just waiting to hear from you! 

Take another look at those different areas of your life! Pick one or two goals you’d really benefit from. Then move forward with the reassurance that God loves you, He has a plan for you, and He is ready to lead you just as He led Moses and Joshua – showing you AMAZING things that He will do!

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