Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It’s Time to Make Your Move!

What holds you back from moving forward in faith?

If an answer to that question immediately pops to mind, you’re not alone. Many people in the Bible struggled to step forward in response to God’s call. Moses responded to God’s clear call with questions and excuses about why he couldn’t do what God was asking him to do, before becoming the great leader of Israel.

After Moses’ death, Joshua finds himself in the position of following in the footsteps of his mentor, now charged with completing the task of leading God’s people to enter the Promised Land. Imagine what it would be like to step into Moses’ shoes!

Joshua 1:1-5
After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses' aide: "Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Great Sea on the west. 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."

It might be easy to dismiss Moses and Joshua as potential role models for our lives. Few of us find ourselves in the position of leading millions of people out of slavery and into a new land. Few of us find ourselves called to lead the charge in massive change efforts. Even those of us who find ourselves in leadership positions are not often the topic of news headlines.

But each of us has the same choice in front of us: Will I follow God today?

Success comes from following God faithfully in the small things of life, by responding faithfully to what God places in front of us in this moment.

What are you facing today? What is the situation in which God is calling you to display your faith in Him today?

Today. Today is the only time we have in which we can obey God. We can’t go back and relive yesterday. We can’t live tomorrow until the sun rises. Today is the moment in which we decide to trust Him with our yesterdays and to follow Him into our tomorrows.

Out of the 203 verses where we read the word “today” in Scripture, the very first time it appears is revealing—

Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me."—Genesis 4:13, 14

Cain, the firstborn son of Adam and Eve, tries to avoid responsibility for his behavior and accuses God of being unfair toward him. Cain portrays an all too human tendency to blame God for our circumstances instead of taking responsibility for our lives.

Some of us may struggle with a sense of injustice and suffering over our past, either over injuries inflicted on us by others or from guilt over personal choices. Others of us may be mourning the loss of past success or loved ones. God is able to take our pain-filled yesterdays and redeem them if we will trust Him with them today.

Where are you tempted to live in light of yesterday instead of today?

What encouragement do you find in these passages as you reflect on the past in light of God’s presence today?

Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter,
you will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth
you will again bring me up.
You will increase my honor
and comfort me once again.
—Psalm 71:20, 21

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.—Psalm 147:3

Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed;
save me and I will be saved,
for you are the one I praise.
—Jeremiah 17:14

"Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.”
—Isaiah 43:18, 19

Have you come to the point where you can look at the injustices that have been done to you and say, like Joseph—

"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."—Exodus 50:20

If you carry burdens from your past—sins that need to be confessed and forgiven, hurts that need cleansed and healed, grief that needs to be mourned and comforted—today is the day to leave your past with God and move into the future He has planned for you. God’s truth will set you on the path toward healing, if you will allow His Spirit and truth to penetrate your soul.

As you bring your past to God, you are increasingly free to focus on what God has for you today—

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.—Philippians 4:8, 9

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it,
when it is in your power to act.
Do not say to your neighbor,
"Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow"—
when you now have it with you.
—Proverbs 3:27, 28

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.—Matthew 6:33, 34

As you move into the future, you can be confident that the God who redeems your yesterdays, the “God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13), this same God holds your future and walks with you into the future He has planned for you. His promises are true and His promises await you in the future.

“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."—Joshua 1:7-9

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.—Hebrews 13:8

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God.—2 Corinthians 1:20

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.—2 Timothy 1:7

It’s time to make your move into the future God has planned for you since the beginning of time. The world is full of broken and hurting people who need the promises and touch of God as desperately as you do. You are part of His plan to touch and change the world today.

What are you waiting for? It’s time to make your move!

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