Looking Forward to 2012

Image © 2011, Timothy Lee. Used with permission.

Joshua 1:2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.

The plan of God for the children of Israel is to move away from Egypt and into the Promised Land. Now that Moses is dead, the Lord is commissioning Joshua to take the people of Israel to
fulfill His plan for them. The plan of God for us, as the children of God, is to move away further and further away from the image of this world to be conformed to the image of Christ in doing the will of God in our lives. In this verse, we can find three principles to remind ourselves of as we cross into 2012.

God has a plan
The plan of God for Israel is to conquer the Promised Land and enjoy the benefits of the conquest. God always has a plan for His children. His plan to give us an abundant life (John 10:10), to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29), to be faithful in His service (1 Corinthians 15:58), to be busy for His work (Luke 19:13), to love one another (John 13:34,35), to be
separated from this world (2 Corinthians 6:14), to live only for the Lord Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:14 – 15), to win souls for Christ (Mark 16:15), to disciple the new believers for Christ (Matthew 28:20), to do all things for His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31), to give (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). This is His revealed will as stated in the Bible. There is also God’s specific will for each individual as it was for Paul to be a missionary to the Gentiles and for Peter to be a missionary to the Jews. God has a specific will for each one of us too. God will never show His specific will to us, unless we have been faithful to His revealed will.

There was a past
“Moses my servant is dead.”

Moses’ deadness represents the past for Joshua – the victories Joshua saw and experienced: the opening of the Red Sea, the leading by pillar of fire and cloud, the defeat of the Amalekites, the receiving of the 10 commandments and the law. It also represents also the defeats of Israel – the death of thousands when they built the golden calf, the death at the bite of serpents, the rebellion of Korah and the brethren and earth opening up to swallow them. There was Joshua’s wandering with Israel in the wilderness for forty years even though he was not at fault. The past for some of us means happy moments, pleasant memories and wonderful times. For some, there are the achievements to relish on, yet for others, there may be defeats and failures to forget. The Lord says, “Now therefore go because my servant Moses has died, you are to get going.” We need to forget our past victories or defeats, successes or failures and we need to arise and go, for today is the beginning of the rest of your life.

We need to press in
“Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.”

We need to start moving on in our spiritual lives and our lives for the Lord. We need to overcome challenges that we may be facing (go over this Jordan), we need to go together and in unity (thou and all this people) and we need to be focused on where we are going (unto the land which I do give to them). Is there effort in our Christian life to press forward in the Lord? Is there a clear direction the Lord is laying on your heart and your path?

What do you think God wants you to do in your life in 2012 in your personal Christian life? Is He asking you to grow in a certain area? Perhaps there are areas in your church life that the Lord wants you to grow to serve Him. As the Lord moves the church towards a different direction to grow, are you willing to follow the leading of the Lord, unite with the people of God and work together for the glory of God?

Let us follow the plan of God, drop the past and press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God.

Evangelist-Pastor Johnny Tan
Ambassador Baptist Church

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