Have you been following the Hashtag 365 Bible-reading Plan? It’s highly recommended since it helps to provide a blueprint for what God is speaking and doing in the church today. How many sermons or messages have you heard that speak of a “new season” or an arising Joshua Generation? This new generation of leadership has many insightful parallels and lessons that speak to our day. Are we discerning the Lord’s voice; are we perceiving that new thing God is about to do (Isaiah 43:19)?
The leadership mantle was now transitioning to Joshua. He assumed the responsibility in taking Israel forward into their inheritance as they continued their pursuit towards Zion. Israel was given this opportunity 38 years earlier but failed at Kadesh-Barnea due to a lack of faith. How would they succeed this time? What keys can we gain from their experience that can be appropriated into our lives in our transition to a new season?
1) The Keeping of God’s Law (Deut 31:11-30)
The Lord made clear that if His people would keep His laws, they’d have good success (Josh 1:8). He also warned of the consequences of turning aside. The Lord prompted Moses to write a song of their history as a reminder of what would happen in failing to keep His law (Deut 31). Moses even declared that they’d eventually forsake the law after his death (Deut 31:29). Is it any different today? People and churches seek to serve the Lord on their terms at the expense of His law. The fruits of history should serve as a reminder in helping to keep us walking in the fear of the Lord.
2) Learn to Walk in Humility (Luke 19:35-38)
Jesus was being celebrated as a king as he rode into Jerusalem upon a donkey – “Blessed be the king that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest” (Luke 19:38). The Lord was presenting himself as a priest in humility but they did not perceive Him in that manner (Isa 43:19). The people were rejoicing (vs 37) but the Lord was weeping (vs 41-44). They missed their moment of transition into a new season. May God grant that this never happens to any of us.
3) Know your Authority (Luke 20)
Joshua was given authority to lead the people into Canaan so that they could possess the land that God was giving them. There was a fresh circumcision and consecration required as they transited from the eastern shores of Jordan into Canaan. In like manner there’s an authority that God is placing before Cornerstone. Our authority is secured as we learn to first yield to the sword in our own lives (circumcision) before wielding the sword throughout enemy territory (Joshua 5:13-15). The authority given will be tested and challenged. It’s a process that first begins within the heart of a believer before it’s realised in the extension of the kingdom. The Lamb comes before the Lion, the priest before the king (John 1:29, Rev 19:11-16).
4) A Surrendered Will (Luke 22:42)
As we journey onward towards Zion, we’ll constantly be challenged in the area of our will. Remember, it was in the area of the “will” where Lucifer sinned in heaven (Isaiah 14:13-14). Satan seeks to get man to exert his will in defiance to God. May we learn to pray as Jesus did at all times: “… nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done.” It can be an intense battle but it becomes easier as we make it a daily habit and prayer.
God’s on the move and He’s seeking to bring the church to higher heights in Zion. This season of transition must be discerned and appropriated. The psalmist speaks of Zion as the “city of our God” as well as the “mountain of His holiness”; a city of beauty and great joy that’s known throughout the earth (Ps 48:1-2). It’s God’s intent for all to dwell there. The charge and subsequent warnings to Joshua and his generation is a blueprint that helps show the way. Let the Hashtag 365 Bible-reading Plan continue to serve as a blueprint for your journey in this exciting new season.
Pastor Tim O’Connell