Rachel Jenae

New Marching Orders

Joshua is easily one of my favorite books of the Bible, but it’s everything but easy when you dive into it. I love it because it’s a breakthrough book. From desert land to promise land. It’s practical crossing over and it’s courageous-by-faith crossing over. It’s a call out of one season and into the next for not just Joshua but everyone following him. It’s a command to be courageous, and has always given me the impression that anything else was disobedience. It’s not suggested encouragement, but rather a shift in the way Joshua relates to God. God was telling Joshua, “It’s no longer an option for you to be weak and timid, those days are over. It’s time to put childish ways aside. Those areas of your life I’m calling into obedience to who I know I made you to be.” Joshua was anything but a child- he was a warrior and served alongside Moses faithfully for years, but like all of us, he had areas of his life that now needed to be put away and called into maturity.

The days ahead were not easy-decision making days, but as long as Joshua followed God’s commands and direction, he couldn’t loose. And he’d been given years of an upfront-seat to watching Moses listen and obey God’s voice. He’d been equipped for this new season.

My favorite verse in chapter one, that I imagine must have been one of the best announcements to ever give, is in verse 11. Imagine a people who have been waiting and hoping for this promised land for 40 years and finally God tells Joshua to announce, “Pack your bags! In three days you will cross this Jordan River to enter and take the land GOD, your God, is giving you to possess.” Can you imagine finally hearing a definitive timeframe on a season that has felt like forever? In 3 days! How would you feel? What would your reaction be? Would you believe it? Would you be fearful or excited? They’d been presented this opportunity 40 years earlier, so what had changed now? Would the giants they feared then have greater numbers now? Would old lies creep in again?

Joshua doesn’t send 12 spies out this go round. Instead he commands the people to get ready – we’re doing this! They weren’t voting this time. He wasn’t letting them think about it and maybe listen to fear once again. He’d spent long enough in the wilderness and he’d seen enough of it. No, forward movement was the only option. He tells them to remember that God was giving them the land. And it implies to me in Joshua’s words and actions that He knew their part was to now go take it.

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Ive been sitting on chapter 1 for three days now and there’s so much in these few paragraphs. With verse 11 specifically I keep thinking that maybe if we spoke to our soul the same way Joshua spoke to the tribes of Israel we’d have more success in getting out of old seasons and ruts we’ve been living in. If we quit giving our mind, emotions and flesh a vote and instead just obeyed and followed what the Holy Spirit said. Instead of analyzing we just commanded our soul to move forward. We just chose to go take the promise God already said was ours. Often the problem is we 1) don’t know or believe the promises of God, or 2) we take commands that are for our good as suggestions because we hate giving up control. Like the age old saying goes, “if you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.” Maybe try a different approach today. Try giving new marching orders to your soul, pack your bags and just move forward.