This post is the first in a series of posts from the Bible study Backpacking Through Joshua. I am camping with Amber and friends. God is doing something big!
Have you ever stood on the verge of something big? Have you ever felt you were created to do something beyond yourself? Sometimes I feel this way about my faith. I believe God has called us to live an adventure.
I serve a big God. A big God who calls me to do bigger things than I could ever do without Him.
Here I am, Lord, send me, I pray. To be useful, an instrument of His glory, that is my promised place. The destination I seek. The air full of anticipation, I wait. Excitement runs through my veins because it won’t be long now.
I imagine this just how Joshua felt in chapter one. He is literally on the verge of taking Canaan. Forty years have passed since God showed him his destiny and now, in just three days, he will begin the real battle. As I read of how God leads him to the edge of the promised land and then tell him to wait just three more days, I shake my head.
Rest. You will need it, God says.
I giggle as I imagine Joshua those three nights, eyes wide open as he stares into the starry night wondering just what lies beyond camp. Beyond the next three days.
Some nights are like that for me too. I wonder what lies beyond this wilderness where God proves Himself so faithful. What lies beyond cancer, beyond the Daniel adventure of last year? Although I don’t know, I shake with adrenaline-filled hope. Because He shows how life with Him is an exciting undertaking. Sure there are the three-day periods in which He lets us rest and there is the forty-year wilderness in which He prepares us to fight but there are also the risky battles He fights for us.
Did you get that? He fights for us. I find it ironic that the main way God tells Joshua to prepare for the battle to take the land God has promised him is to rest. Just when Joshua might feel things are moving in a positive direction, God tells him to wait just a tad more.
Maybe God took these extra days to remind Joshua of the battle in Exodus 17. The one where a young, strong and vivacious Joshua goes out to fight and Moses stays on the top of a mountain to pray. Two men stay with Moses to hold up his arms when he gets tired. As long as his arms are raised, Israel is winning the battle.
After the Israelites defeat the Amalakites, God tells Moses to write it all down so Joshua will remember. God wants Joshua to never forget His war strategy: Rest.
So I stand here. On the verge of my own promised land. Trying to make this common spot a sacred place and it is here in this wilderness His promises come alive in my soul. I feel His presence. I sense His breath. And I rest.
Get ready. Prepare to take the land. Gather your provisions. Listen to My voice. Obey my commands. Remember your purpose.
God speaks to Joshua. God speaks to me.
Rest. You need your rest for the coming battle. You need My rest for the coming battle.
“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”