I promise you what I promised Moses: Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you— Joshua 1:3 NLT
The topic of taking new ground has been a topic of conversation amongst our team as we prepare the launch of Anchor Church in the Toledo area. Joshua 1:3 has been a promise we have been speaking over our team lately and also over our family as a reminder of what God has called us to do. In Joshua 1:3, Joshua has taken over leading the Israelites after Moses’s death. After 40+ years of waiting, the tribes are about to enter the land they have been promised. I’m sure Joshua was filled with a mixture of emotions: excitement, joy, faith, fear, and doubt, just to name a few. Questions I’m sure are flooding his head . . . “What is about to happen? What if no one follows me? What if I fail? What if I don’t have enough faith? What if I’m not as good as Moses?” But God silences the thoughts and questions with this one promise: “Wherever you set foot, you will be on the land I have given you.” God is telling Joshua that he has already prepared the way for him, to not walk in fear, but to remember who is guiding his steps. God had called, prepared, and commissioned Joshua for this moment. And his job was to walk in faith.
The idea of taking new ground is something that isn’t just for those launching a new ministry or planting a church. But in all of our lives there are seasons and moments where God calls us to step into uncharted territory or a new calling. Maybe you’re a first-time parent, or maybe you’re a first-time father or husband who has never seen healthy family relationships. Or maybe you’re a high school or college graduate launching into a new season of vocation, or maybe you are building the foundation for your future as a high school or middle school student. We all experience seasons where God calls us to take new ground, and during those seasons it’s important to understand who the one is calling us into this new season. A really good illustration is when you hold your child for the first time and you don't have a clue what to do next. But God has already given you the ability to raise your children up, because He is the author of our lives.
This is a promise for all of us, this is a promise that God is with us. Just as God was with Joshua as he stepped into the unknown, God continues to lead us down new paths. So I want to encourage you today to own the path God has given you, own the season of life you’re in, to not stray from your calling but to lean into what he has already promised you. This doesn’t mean that seasons and moments of failure and discouragement won't arise. At times they will seem too large to conquer. But when they come, always rest in the promise that God is with you, God has given you divine authority, and God has already birthed within you the ability to do far more than you even feel capable. I end with this quote that has been an encouragement for me during this season of life from (the quite popular) Joanna Gaines:
“Don’t quit, and don’t give up. The reward is just around the corner. And in times of doubt or times of joy, listen for that still, small voice. Know that God has been there from the beginning—and he will be there until . . .The end.”
Own the new ground God has given you,