Week of April 29
by Margaret D. Mitchell
"Go through the camp and tell the people, 'Get your supplies ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the LORD your God is giving you for your own.’”
Recently, an old friend, whom I hadn’t heard from in years, called me. In the course of catching up, she mentioned that she was in transition. Like her, I’ve heard many other people say they were in transition. Essentially, they mean that they have been alienated from their former place, and they were seeking the Lord about where He desires them to go next.
But oddly enough, the word “transition” is not in the Bible.
However, the Hebrew root word “abar” is and it essentially means to “alienate.” And the Greek word “nun” refers to “present time, now.”
There are two inherent implications to what we describe as transition: Instruction and identity. Simply put, “Who am I now, and where do I go next?”
In Joshua 1:11, we see that God’s instruction to Joshua is very specific. He instructs Joshua (the earthly authority who will carry out God’s plan and purpose) how and what to instruct others who are under his authority (“Go through the camp and tell the people ‘Get your supplies ready…”). He gives them a timeline (three days). He gives them direction (“cross the Jordan here”). He reveals His purpose for them (“…take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own”).
When we have a close walk with the Lord, our God, He will reveal His how, what, when, where and why to us. And every one of these elements of instruction will confirm our identity in Him. In this light, our identity is secure.
Ungodly fear is the only element that can cause us to feel overcome by circumstances and propel us into confusion. That’s why God fortified Joshua at the outset of his assignment in Joshua 1:5-9:
“No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; 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. 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.”
God set Joshua up with a strategy for success in the past, present and in next place. Joshua did not grope in darkness. He moved forward knowing God had chosen him. He moved forward knowing God was with him and for him. He moved forward prepared and equipped. Joshua knew God. And God was true to His word. God did not forget Joshua during the journey.
This is an important reminder for us as we journey through life. Just as God revealed His strategy for success to Joshua, He will reveal His unique strategies to us for every mission He assigns to us, the purpose being to fulfill His purposes and plans on earth. We are His hands and feet. And we are commanded to put faith to action. Love is a verb. And if we love God, we will have a great desire to do for Him.
Notice in Joshua 1:7-8, God forewarns Joshua to be careful and that his carefulness to obey God’s instruction is directly related to his success:
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; 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.”
What we consider transition is really part of God’s assigned mission for us. It is a divinely-designed, strategic, dynamic movement of God. We are not just floating in time and space, taking up oxygen or without purpose, even if we are unemployed, alienated from our church or losing loved ones. Do not believe the enemy’s lies otherwise.
And know that, sometimes, God brings us into a season of rest for the purpose of restoring us from our former assignment and readying us for the next assignment. Divine rest is a place of reflection and fortifying, a crucial prelude for the next battle.
Incline your heart and attune your ear to the Lord. Ask Him to enable you to hearken to His plan for you to fulfill His purpose. This will honor God and cause you to sync up with Him and His ways on a success journey that will prove more than you can think or imagine.
Margaret D. Mitchell is the Founder of God's Love at Work, a marketplace outreach purposed to share God's greatest power source - the love of Christ.