We just finished a season of celebrating Americas Independence. However, just like the rest of our lives during this pandemic nothing was normal during this 4th of July. No parades, no fireworks, restrictions on family and friend gathering’s, even the reason’s we celebrate the 4th were being challenged and trying to be changed. What I’ve noticed is the anger that is permeating our country over the symbols of our Nation…our Flag…our Statues…our Monuments, and even our Nation’s Colors. Folks, our national symbols, just like all our lives, represent the good, bad and ugly we all hold. As we’re reminded of all they mean in our lives and don’t try to eliminate or deny the negative, and painful parts, but allow them to be changed, we mature and grow into a better place. My heart is that by reading this blog we’ll embrace and not eliminate or deny the painful parts of our past. By embracing ALL that has taken place in our lives and in the life of our nation, and allow change we create a TESTIMONY. A great story, that is always born out of testing. Our testimony is really each of the personal tests we’ve faced in our lives. Test’s always ask us a question to which we give an answer. As our lives get tested mistakes seem to always occur. These wrong responses tell the truth about who we are and who our nation is and what needs correction and change. It’s when we understand our wrong responses that we have an opportunity to crossover and step into the right response allowing change.
To help us understand the season we’re in let’s look at the life of Joshua. He found himself also in a season of change. He had to wait 40 years for an entire generation to die before he and Caleb got to step back into and receive the promise land God said was theirs (Josh. 1:1-3). But before the promise was fulfilled they had to battle a flooding Jordan River (Josh. 3:5). It seemed to overflow all it’s banks throughout the harvest season. Why is it, God seems to always create a battle for us to fight before we get the blessing? I believe it’s two-fold: He wants all the credit for the miracle that’s about to happen and second, I believe He knows it takes overwhelming circumstances to get our attention and desire change. It’s in the heat of the battle, we get to learn about the character that IS or ISN’T in us. The Jordan River was their battle, a flooding river 140 feet wide, with a normal flow of 4 miles an hour but now is raging at 10 miles an hour running over it’s banks.
So what was Joshua’s battle plan, we see it in Josh. 3:5, First, he told the people to CONSECRATE themselves, so God could do His wonders on their behalf. Consecrate means to make or declare something for a particular purpose. To dedicate something for a divine purpose. When we’re fighting our battles maybe we need to take a time out to see clearly God’s purpose and not our own. Second, Joshua asked the priests to carry the Ark of the Covenant to the edge of the Jordan River (Josh. 3:15). And as they stepped into the flooding river it stopped. I believe, we’ve got to step before anything in our lives will stop. Unfortunately, we want things to stop before we ever take a step. It was the first step that allowed the priests to walk out into the middle of the river (our battle) and STAND on dry ground (Josh. 3:17) as the Israelites marched by seeing the priests with the Ark, high and lifted up. 40 years earlier, a generation could’ve marched across that Jordan River and claimed their promise land but they got accustom to God’s provision instead of His promise. They became satisfied just living with His provision, (the way it is) instead of fighting for His promise, (the way it should be.)
Season’s of change won’t be easy….nothing good is ever easy. God never called us to easy but if we learn to step and stand what’s available for us will be better. The reason… He’s still on the throne. You and our country might be in trouble but Gods still on the throne for your life and the life of this country. 1 John 4:4, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world”….You can’t stay here, you’ve got to move. We don’t have to be stuck in our story, satisfied with only provisions when there’s a promise awaiting us. Psa. 27:4, “ONE THING, have I asked of the Lord, that I will seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” King David tells us his one thing, but What’s your ONE THING? What’s the one thing you must desire most of all in your life to allow change and true freedom in your story?….We need to remember, we have a PROMISE to walk into. A promise that at one time was alive but now? But now it needs to hear, Deut. 4:29, “BUT FROM THERE…you will seek the Lord your God and you will find Him, IF you search for Him with all your heart and soul.” It’s from there, you walk into your promise. But Where’s there? Where ever you are. Where ever there is for you. We need to be a SEEKER of THERE”S. However, sometimes the “there’s” take a waiting period. Joshua/Caleb had walked into their promise 40 years earlier but had to wait, yet both of them kept their promise alive. Psa. 37:34,”Wait for the Lord and keep His way and He will exalt you to inherit the land, you will look on when the wicked are cut down and destroyed.” Isa. 40:31,”Learn to wait and you’ll have renewed strength to mount up on wings of eagles, your going to run and not be weary, you’ll walk and not faint.”
Question: Are you caught in a season of change and struggling to understand and move through it?
Key Thought: Remember crossing into your Promise with a STEP and than a STAND isn’t easy but if you have a Joshua heart and proclaim what he did in Josh. 24:14-15, “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth. Put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the Jordan River and in Egypt and Serve the Lord. But as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”