The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV
Yesterday Pastor Benjamin Pena, one of my ministry brothers, passed away and went to heaven. When I say we did ministry together, I mean that in a very literal sense. He interpreted my sermons for his Spanish congregation. We shared a physical rhythm and passion as we preached. He loved the invitation time, as he would want me to pray prophetically for almost everyone present. It was common for services to last 2 ½ to 3 hours. With his death, what does the future hold for his family, church and my life?
On this Fear Not Friday, let us draw strength from God’s word to Joshua as he was entering into one of the greatest transitions of all time. Joshua would lead the children of Israel into taking possession of the promised land. These truths given to Joshua remain timeless as we are embarking on the changes of our country due to our actions regarding COVID19 and life’s other changes.
Relationship changes – As Joshua enters the new land, he will lose his spiritual papa and leader. He will have the memories of a lifetime with Moses, but Joshua will never be able to bo back to the way things were. It is at this moment that we draw strength from the knowledge that God’s presence is real and He is with us. Some of you will lose family members through any number of reasons, may God’s presence be a tangible experience for you as He never leaves nor forsakes you.
Responsibility changes – The old had gone and the new has come. Joshua will now have to lead the people into taking possession of the new land. In the past Moses guided the people to follow the directions of God. Now it was Joshua’s turn to guide. The responsibility landed on his shoulders. In that moment, he was to remember God’s’ words to not be afraid or discouraged. God anticipated our tendency to become fearful and wanting to quit because of the very difficult challenges that we will have to face. Again it is God’s abiding presence that leads us to overcome fear and discouragement.
Role Change – Moses will be dead and Joshua will be the leader. His words and actions will be raised to a new level of scrutiny. He will speak on behalf of God to the people. Some transitions will be difficult to navigate. Some friends and coworkers will not return back to the workplace, some will have lost a loved one and become the primary caretaker of their lives and family, some changes will make you the oldest and wisest among your team. The transition itself has placed you into a new role which may be totally new for you. Hear the word of the Lord, You are not in this new role alone, God will be with you. He is not surprised by the changes that are now upon you. He is not making adjustments because of the crisis. He is unfolding His plan for good in and through you.
Real Time transitions – Joshua was not given a 5 year plan and playbook on taking possession of the new land. He did not know God’s strategy to attack which city. He received his instructions one step at a time. The first hurdle was to cross the Jordan river in flood stage and then on to Jericho. What kind of battle strategy was walking sound a city for seven times and the blowing trumpets for the walls to fall down. It was “real time” faith.
Real time faith is possible because of this seemingly small promise from God, “I will go before you…” No matter what difficulties you are facing, God has already gone before you. There will be a path forward of His provision and purpose. It most likely will not be the path of least resistance, but it will be proven to be the right choice. God is present for you right now, because He has already been present in your future.
Not Yet Transition – Joshua was told of God’s promise to be with him, while Moses was standing right in front of him. Some of you are in this period of transition change. You know that it is coming, but you are in the “not yet”. Establish rhythms of trust and dependency that will remain constants throughout the transitions. Learn to lean upon God now for wisdom and understanding for these will be the foundation stones for your feet to walk upon in the future. God is not only going to help you in the transition, He is helping you right now, at this very moment.
No matter what transition you face or the purposes behind the transition, God will never forsake you or leave you. Some transitions are unfair, such as the loss of a job. God has a path forward which includes provision. Some transitions are painful, such as the loss of a loved one. God’s presence and love are tangible for the emotions and physically felt through others who are the body of Christ.
Moses instructed Joshua about the transition that was about to take place, you may not have had any warning or preparation for what has been thrust upon you. Your sufficiency for the task is God’s presence. When the Spirit of God is with you, all God’s personality and power is also present. He is able to keep that which is committed toward you to lead, guide and be with you.
Fear not on this Friday and the coming days for the Lord will go before you and be with you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.
Blessings Love y’all