HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!
On Monday, I’m going to begin a new Bible study: Live Fearlessly, a Study of the Book of Joshua by Lenya Heitzig and Penny Rose. I figure with all the uncertainty in the economics of America and the world, this is a good time to remind myself about the God I serve and what He is able to do. I want to live fearlessly, even in fearful times.
The day after I decided this was the study I was going to do, I received J. Lee Grady’s latest column. And guess what? It’s about the Book of Joshua. The Lord must have a message for me in this book of the Bible. (I love how He arranges things and confirms things.)
Here is the beginning of Mr. Grady’s wonderful column:
A Word of Encouragement: Cross Your Jordan in 2009
Don’t keep wandering in yesterday’s wilderness as this new year begins. It’s time to challenge your giants and claim new territory.
I spent the last couple of months of 2008 buried in the book of Joshua. Casual readers might dismiss the narrative as nothing more than a description of military conquests, but when I delve into its pages I discover the revelation of Jesus Christ—our “Joshua”—who invites us to engage in a spiritual adventure beyond our wildest dreams.
The message of Joshua has been particularly relevant to me lately because I am contemplating some big transitions in my career. Change is scary—especially in a time of economic crisis. But when I read Joshua’s story I am encouraged to take the risks necessary to claim my spiritual inheritance.
God is calling many of us today to shift from the wilderness to the promised land. Christians who have grown uncomfortable with the status quo are now contemplating big moves. Likewise, church leaders sense a new stirring to grow their churches and influence our secularized culture. As our desire to impact the world with the gospel grows, we hear the Lord challenging us to take bold steps of faith in 2009.
If you want to see big victories in your personal life, your family and your church in the coming year, consider the path that Joshua and Israel took:
How would you measure your faith level as you step into 2009? Are you dismayed about your finances or worried about your health? Are you crippled by insecurities? The devil waged psychological warfare against God’s people in 2008 with news of global recession, political uncertainty and the threat of terrorism. Many believers grew anxious, timid and confused.
There is no magic pill to relieve us from fear’s torment. We simply must resist it. We must counter-attack it by confessing God’s Word. When fear says, “God will not provide,” we must respond by saying, “My God will supply all my needs according to His riches in glory.” When fear says, “You will fail,” we must respond by declaring, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
2. Put on your full armor...
Hmm. Seems to me that this is definitely part of the theme God gave me in my words for 2009: Press in and Press on. I’m excited. The God I serve is a big God!