Joshua 1:1-3 AFTER the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.”
There are times in our lives when we come to a fork in the road, so to speak, and a decision has to be made to take the road that we feel God is leading us to or the road that leads to our own ways, the ways of the world. Choices come to each one of us and it is up to us to take a chance for change to happen. God directs through our free will as we discern the Spirit of God in His leading us through life.
Four and a half years ago, I entered one of those periods where I had a choice to make. It was to stay where I was or join with the man that God had brought into my life to be his life mate. Even though I felt it was God’s plan for me to marry him, I was given the freedom to choose. I chose to go with what I felt was God’s plan and married Gerald and moved with him to where we currently live in Tennessee. My life totally changed! Some of those changes took more adjusting than others. And I am still adjusting to certain ones. But I am so thankful that God brought us together and gave my life new meaning!
Every day we encounter choices. One of the things that God instilled within me some years ago is this little statement: “The choices that I make today will affect the quality of my tomorrows”. You see, even though God has a plan for our lives, we have the choice to go with it, pursue Him to find out what purpose He has prepared for us and to discipline ourselves to follow His direction in fulfilling it. I get to choose which road I will take; the one that will lead to a long, healthy life that enables me to fulfill His plan for my life, or the one that satisfies my emotions and flesh.
The Israelites were given a choice: to follow God’s leading into the Promised Land or continue to live wandering around in the wilderness. Joshua told the people to prepare themselves for change.
Joshua 1:11 NKJV “Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess.”
A successful change doesn’t just happen. We need to ready ourselves for those changes. Esther went through a year’s preparation to become the Queen to King Ahasuerus.
Esther 2:12, 13 NKJV Each young woman’s turn cae to go in to King Ahasuerus after she had completed twelve months’ preparation, according to the regulations for the women, for thus were the days of their preparation apportioned: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfumes and preparations for beautifying women. Thus prepared, each young woman went to the king, and she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the women’s quarters to the king’s palace.
Success comes as we set a goal to attain the desired results. We get a glimpse of the good that God has set before us and focus our attention on that goal. Proverbs 29:18 says that where there is no revelation, or vision, the people cast off restraint. When we do not have a goal in mind we wander around mindlessly wondering what to do next. There is no restraint or boundaries that we have set to stay within that keeps us focused.
Deuteronomy 31:8 NKJV “And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.
Yes, there are obstacles ahead of us. Even the Israelites knew that there were giants in their promised land. But God told them that He was going before them to destroy them and disarm them so they could go in and conquer the giants. (Deuteronomy 9:1-3) Know that whatever changes are in your future, God has already gone before you into that place of the unknown to prepare a successful entrance for you.
Keep your eyes on Jesus! Make sure that you have a positive mental picture of success in your mind. The book of Hebrews, chapter 12, speaks of success in running the race that we have set before us. (Hebrews 12:1, 2) God says that we are to lay aside every weight and sin that ensnares us and keeps us from running the race that is set before us. We do that by keeping Jesus in our mind’s eye. We look unto Him for the strength and ability to reach our goals, to accomplish a safe transition from the choice we have made to the changes that are on the horizon.
We embrace the challenge of change. Without change there is no growth. Without growth one becomes stagnant without being able to see a purpose in life. God has created us as winners, not losers. He has placed His children above and not beneath and has made us the head and not the tail. God’s original plan for man was that he would rule and reign over his life and have dominion over every living thing that moved on the earth, outside of other people. We often fail to realize that in our redemption Christ Jesus purchased back for us the authority that God gave Adam in the garden of Eden.
Romans 5:17 NKJV For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)
Jesus, Himself, told His disciples of the authority that He has given each one of us to reign over the enemy’s power that tries to stop us from experiencing the life that He died to give us.
Luke 10:19 “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
Change brings challenges, but if we don’t step out in faith to embrace them and look for the areas that God has given us to exercise our authority over our own destinies then we will not ever see the manifestation of all that He died to give us. We must make the choice to take a chance on God in order to see a change in our lives.
Stay on track. Peter didn’t start to sink until he took his eyes off of Jesus. Jesus set His face like flint in order to stay on track with the plan that His Father had asked Him to fulfill. (Luke 9:51) There will always be distractions in life. Our emotions get involved, especially when times get rough, and we wonder if we’ve heard God clearly in what He has asked us to do and the changes that we are to embrace.
Those around us are watching us make choice to take a chance on what we believe God has asked us to do. Will we show them that we can do it? Or will we wander back into the wilderness where we have the comfort and safety of the same old, same old thing? The Israelites immediately had a river at flood stage to cross before entering into their Promised Land. The Lord went before them and stopped the waters of the river so they could cross over on dry ground. They were challenged to enter the water before He stopped up the river so they could exercise their faith in Him and see the miraculous happen when they trusted in Him to do what He had promised them. The had to believe and act on that belief in order to see the fulfillment of the promise. We have to do that today as well. God responds to our faith.
Joshua 3:13-17 NKJV “And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, the waters that come down from upstream, and they shall stand as a heap.” So it was, when the people set out from their camp to cross over the Jordan, with the priest bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest), that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zeretan. So the waters that went down into the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho. Then the priest who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan.
It was after they had crossed the Jordan river that the Lord told them to get stones from the middle of the river and set them up as a memorial on the shore so that their children would see them and ask them in later years what they were representative of. It was to be a memorial to their children and their children’s children for generations to come, for forever!
Joshua 4:5-7 NKJV and Joshua said to them: “Cross over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, “that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ “Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.”
The stones were to be a memorial for their children of what God had done for them; of the changes that He had made in their lives, so they would know that if He did it for their fathers, there was no obstacle that would stand in their way of God doing the same thing for them. Our faith affects those around us. When we respond to God in faith believing that He will do what He has promised in making the changes in our lives to bring us into a better place He honors that! And others are changed because of the changes they see in our lives.
Will you make a choice today to take a chance to follow God into the changes that He wants to make for your future? Fear of the unknown is what usually stops us from following God into our future. I could have feared marrying my husband, moving to a different state, being miles and miles away from my family, having no job and embracing a whole new life but I chose to take a chance on God and embrace the changes that He wanted to make in my life. How about you? God will never leave you to embrace the unknown by yourself.
Psalm 139:7-10 NKJV Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.
Father, I thank You for going before us into the changes that are taking place in our lives. I thank You for protecting us from the evil one who comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I thank You for opening the eyes of our understanding to see You as You go before us into the unknown. And I thank You for holding our hand as we embrace the changes that You have planned for our lives. You are great and mighty to save! Your arm is not too short that it cannot hold us and save us from disaster. You see all things and know the pitfalls that may lie ahead of us. You, in Your loving kindness, steer us around those boulders that seem to block our way. Thank You for Your righteous right hand that holds us secure in Your grip. I pray that You will show us each the way that You want us to take to walk boldly and confidently with You into our futures. I thank You for giving us courage to embrace the changes ahead of us. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.