Summary: Discusses the challenges of facing a New Year and new "territory".
Walking into Victory
Joshua 3:4,5 “for ye have not passed this way heretofore. …Sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.”
REFLECTION: As we enter a New Year, I am reminded about the wonderful opportunities and challenges that await us. Opportunities for love and laughter, testing and tears, lessons and “blessings” and a thousand more beside. In Joshua 3 God gives the people directions through Joshua for crossing into the promised land. God records clearly the warning to pay attention and follow the Ark (Representing His Presence) because ...“Ye have not passed this way heretofore.”
DIRECTION: The previous generation in Israel took their eyes and hearts off of God and so couldn’t claim the inheritance that God had offered them. I fear that we may miss so very much of what God has planned for us if we don’t learn the lessons of the past. You see God wants only our best. He reminded Israel (and us) of this when He said: "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." (Jer 29:11)
The truth is that God has always had an “expected” or “desired end” in view for his people. Let’s pause on the ‘brink’ of this year as we recognize things that may keep us from focusing on God and receiving his “expected end”.
1. WE MAY MISS GOD’S DESIRES BECAUSE OF OUR DESIRES.
It’s amazing but true, that some are really not interested in what God wants for them. They have their life “planned out” and have not left much time or thought for God. Ancient Israel was plagued by the “Mixed Multitude” that “DESIRED” to go back to Egypt.
(Mat 6:24) "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
Our Desires will distract us from God’s when they are based on:
1) Some (Like the 2 1/2 tribes who wanted to stay on the wrong side of the river) have trouble letting go of their “best interests” and trusting God.
2) They can’t really trust God to take better care of them than they are able to do themselves.
B. FOLLY (Ultimately the root of faithlessness)
1) Unable to understand the value of God’s ways over our own.
(Prov 12:15) "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise." Right: yaw-shawr'--convenient,
(Prov 15:5) "A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent."
(Prov 17:16) "Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?"
C. FEAR (This is related to Faith as well as Folly.)
1) Some are afraid they will “Miss out” if they truly follow Christ.
(2 Pet 1:3) "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:"