A few nights ago, while I sat rocking my lil guy to sleep, I was reflecting on some challenges that had arisen in the preceding days. Nothing major, but they triggered memories of another season, a wilderness season. A season that if I'm really honest, while grateful for the lessons learned there, I would rather not repeat. For a moment I was terrified - terrified that this call to be 'all in' with what He has asked of us in this season, might take us back there. The part of me that likes to be comfortable, likes things to be predictable and safe, wondered if there might be a way we could reach a compromise on how we approach this season.
But instead I heard His whisper:
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
These were God's words to Joshua as he assumed the leadership of Israel after Moses; as he gathered the people to ready them to cross the Jordan river and enter the promised land. In the natural, Joshua had every reason to be afraid.
He had big shoes to fill.
The last time the Israelites had set out for the promised land they'd wound up in the wilderness for forty years
The land they were about to enter was enemy territory
But God kept speaking courage and strength into Joshua - three times in three verses, God exhorted him to be strong and courageous. And each command to be brave was accompanied with reminders of what God had promised them in the past; with the assurance of God's presence for the now; with the hope of victory for the future.
God was reminding Joshua that this new chapter did not have to look like the last one. And the same is true for us.
Often when we are transitioning into new things, past fears and experiences can resurface to try and dissuade us from what God has for us. But God doesn't want our past to contain us - He wants His presence and His promises to propel us forward.
As I sat in that rocking chair, as Dave and I prayed together later that night, we had to remind ourselves of all that God has spoken to us. We had to determine to let His Word be bigger than our fears.
"Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful."
Transitional seasons require us to keep our eyes firmly fixed on the One who goes before us; to keep our ears attuned to His voice, His Word. Transition by its very definition is not an event but a process - a process that requires us to let go of what has been, or even might have been, and to embrace what God is saying will be. It asks us to be brave - to be strong and courageous. That bravery is not based on our own merits - but on the promises and presence of the ever-faithful One - the One who will never leave us or forsake us.
What has God spoken over your life that fear, that disappointment, that comfort would like to contain? Will you join me in being brave - in taking Him at His Word and believing that He is able to lead us into something new?
Live today with purpose,
P.S. I had so much that I wanted to share with you about change that couldn't fit in this post - so here's a free download, 'Reflections on Change' based in the closing chapters of Deuteronomy and the opening chapters of Joshua.
One of my favourite pass-times as a kid was writing. I used to make my own books and write poetry on our old type-writer. Thankfully both my writing and technology have come a long way!
It is my prayer that these posts from both myself and guest contributors encourage you to embrace the season that you are in and to live it with purpose for God's glory.
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