On the Path: Following God’s Direction Pt 1

Please read Joshua 3.

Joshua and all the people of Israel were now on their way. Unlike their ancestors, this generation would fulfill the promise and enter the land flowing with milk and honey. However, the journey would be long; the business would be arduous. It would take a lot of trust and complete obedience. God already knew the battles and wars that they would have to face in the near future; battles that could only be won with God on their side. In the meantime, God had to build their trust slowly.

A message was being delivered to all 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. 4 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[a] between you and the ark; do not go near it.” (vs 3, 4)

God was about to do another miracle, similar to the parting of the Red Sea. The Ark had gone ahead of the people. As soon as the carriers touched the water, the sea began to “pile up in a great heap” (16). God’s made provision for his children once again.
Here are four key points from this chapter:
1. You have to move.
God’s people were made for great works; purposes and plans he created in advance. The people were told, “When you see the ark of the covenant-move out.”
2. You have to trust and don’t go ahead of God.
The people were told, to follow the ark because “you have never been this way before”. They were also told to follow behind the ark.
3. God will make a way when there is no humanly feasible way.
God is all about parting seas and doing what is not humanly possible. He must get a real kick out of it. I know I do when I experience it. It’s just another one of the ways that He says, “I love you”.
4. So “they” may know. (See vs 7)
Many times we think our life is our own and it’s not. God uses us and blesses us in order that “they”, nonbelievers, may know the Living God. We blow this one all the time when we keep His good works to ourselves. When we should run out and tell people the good news of Jesus, not just about salvation, but of every good and perfect gift and how it all comes from Him, our Loving Father, a Father who wants to love them just the same.

Side Note: Because of this event, because of their obedience, in Joshua 5, all the Amorite kings “hearts melted” and were so afraid that they no longer “had the courage to face the Israelites”. God was mightily at work even ahead of Joshua and his people.

The Pathway to Promises

I’ve spent the last few weeks reading the book of Joshua. This book is just full of God’s love for Israel. I’ve been stumped as to where I should begin. Over the next few weeks, I’m just going to move quickly through the book, outlining a few important messages that God relayed to me. I hope you too, will find encouragement.

Joshua was chosen to take over as leader when Moses died. God uses Joshua to fulfill his promise and bring his people to the Promise Land. I can’t help but wonder how Joshua felt about this. I mean God did have to remind him to “be strong and courageous” numerous times. In any case, God was about to fulfill the promise he had given to Abraham many years prior. This is some of what He told Joshua:

“I’ll give you every place where you set your foot…I will never leave you nor forsake you…Be careful to observe all the Laws I gave to Moses..Don’t let it depart from your mouth. Meditate on it day and night…Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

Joshua had no idea of the trials and battles he was about to face. All he had was the promises of God to stand on. He had to walk blindly, trusting only in the Almighty that He had a purpose, plan, and a way through every trial.

How are you trusting God with your life? Do you find it easy or confusing and frustrating? I feel more of the latter. I must admit, it’s not easy figuring out what thoughts are of God and what are of my own thinking. Even though God will give me the desires of my heart, I want to make sure they are lined up with Him. Father knows best, after all.

I’m glad we have the Book of Joshua to reference. Through this story, we can know the true and faithful, I AM. Be encouraged as we discover the story of Joshua and the amazing journey the Lord took him on. Stand firm on your promises. Let’s begin by truly knowing,  “He will never leave us nor forsake us” and we can stand “strong and courageous.”

Don’t Be Just Another “Do-Gooder”

We have to make sure that we don’t become just a bunch of do-gooders, but remain Christ followers; people willing to carry out the gospel of Christ. In our ministry we must remember:

Who are we doing this for?
What is our kingdom purpose?
How will God be glorified?

Do everything as unto the Lord.- Col 3:23
First and foremost, everything we do is for the Lord. Everything else we do should be for others. Keeping God as our focus should soften our interactions with difficult people and arduous circumstances.

Seek first the kingdom of God.-Matt. 6:33
While we will never fully know God, I think we should be in constant excavation of God and his word. For our ministry to be effective, we need to put God first, above ourselves, our families, and even non believers. How can we share the fullness of God if we ourselves are lacking in our knowledge of him?

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. -1 Cor. 10:31
For too long I have sat around struggling with what God wants me to do when in reality He has already given me thousands of things in His Word. Now He just wants me to get to work. Whether I am in doing missions in Africa, teaching in my city, or buying groceries I need to be giving God the glory.

Doing good is only part of the equation. The sum is this= People need Jesus. In doing good we can’t forget to tell the world the Good News; a message filled with peace, hope, love, and joy; a bread so filling that even the deepest hungering of the soul can be satisfied.

Like my dad said, “You can give a million shoes to a million people, but shoes won’t matter if people end up in hell.”

God is a God of Action

The other day I was reading Proverbs 2 and I noticed something. The Christian walk isn’t one of waiting or sitting still. Yes, there are times to “wait on the Lord” and to “be still and know that [He is] God” like the Bible says. More often than not, God is calling us to action. Look at this verse for a moment:

1 My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—
3 indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the LORD gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
*Italics mine.

The Lord is giving us the promise of wisdom, but from verse 1 to verse 4 He is telling us that we must do something first. He tells us to “store up”, “turn your ear”, “call out”, etc. I think sometimes we think that all we need to do is pray and wait around for God to do His thing. It’s as if he’s our genie who will afford our every wish. How boring if that were true? How shallow our relationship if that were true!

God’s Word is full of commands: “Seek first the Kingdom”, “Love one another”, “Go into all the World”. Instead we sit in pews and in front of computer screens. We lay down in front of the TV. I say this because it is true in my own life! The devil has got his job cut out for him because if I’m just sitting around, do I really need God? What for? But when I begin to act, watch out, because the devil know that when God and I get together things begin to happen. I am now in motion and the devil is in motion to and is going to do anything he can to try and stop me.

The sad thing is, God is going to move with or without you. But what greater joy to walk with God, moving, and making tracks with Him. Tracks that just may be the steps people need to lead them to Christ.

Let’s get moving!