Have you ever noticed that fall is a season marked by transition? It seems like everybody’s doing something new. New jobs, new schools, new projects, new schedules, new homes, new people—so much is new. Some we chose, some we couldn’t control.
And, like anything, the transition can bring about a wide variety of emotions. We can be excited to embrace the new opportunities, but we can also be anxious about it. We can feel hopeful about meeting new people and making new friends, but we can feel sad and lonely as we’re reminded by Ben Rector that we can’t make old ones.
So, with all the emotions that come along with transition, I think it’s important to ask, What would God say to us as we enter something new?
The Book of Joshua is a book about transition. Moses has died, and God’s people have a new leader in a new location with new relationships, new responsibilities, and new challenges. Almost everything is new, and it’s very emotional.
Before, as long as Moses was leading, the people felt secure. With Moses, they knew what to expect. Now, Moses is dead and things are more stressful and uncertain.
Isn’t it the same for us? Just like Joshua, we can have a tendency to build our faith on people and circumstances so that when things change, our faith becomes vulnerable. We aren’t sure what to do.
So, in the prologue of the book, God speaks two crucially important truths into Joshua’s heart. He tells Joshua that He will be with him like He was with Moses (Joshua 1:5, 9) and that He will use him to accomplish the promises He’d made His people (Joshua 1:6).
God’s message to Joshua during a time of transition was simple: I’m with you, and I’ll use you. And, God’s message is the same to you.
I’m with you. // God’s promise to you is not, I’m with you like I was with Moses. It’s way better than that. God has given us His Spirit so that He is with all believers at all times. We are united to God, permanently bound in Christ through His death and resurrection. The fellowship we share with God in Christ is even more glorious than Moses or Joshua knew (2 Corinthians 3).
I’ll use you. // God’s presence is not merely an inner encouragement intended to bless us, but an inner power intended to bless others. God is with you because He loves you, and He intends to use you to accomplish His purposes for His people.
Do you see what this means?
It means that wherever you go during this new chapter, God is with you and will use you. In the classroom, the courtroom, the boardroom, the waiting room, the locker room, your kids’ room, your room. God is with you and will use you.
He’s with you when you’re excited, when you’re lonely, when you’re scared, when you’re stressed. He’s with you and will use you. So, be strong and very courageous.
Nate Edmondson is a pastor and teacher in Lexington, KY. Follow him on Twitter: @NateEdmondson.