“How am I supposed to know how to do this?” My frustration was building as I sat in front of the computer and stared with glassy eyes at the screen. I had been trying to set up a new program which seemed so simple to do when I googled and printed off the “Easy as 1, 2, 3 . . .” instructions. But, as usual, I had run into a glitch, and now my disheveled hair and mascara-stained eyes gave evidence to the vexation I was feeling at my loss of any further direction.
Joshua 3:4b “… Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you shall go, for you have not passed this way before.”
Whenever you take a calculated risk there are new things to learn and new places to go. This is part of the learning process. Though it can be scary at times, God often calls us to step out in faith to follow where He is leading us.
The children of Israel had finally made it to the edge of the Promised Land and they were facing many new things. Led by a new leader, Joshua, they were faced with new challenges, and a new way of life, just over the river. God had promised to be with them, but as they stood at the water’s edge, they must have wondered how to accomplish all that lay ahead.
They waited and it wasn’t long before Joshua gave them the answer. Rising early one morning he called his officers together and told them to spread the word amongst the people who were camped at the edge of the Jordan River. When they saw the Ark of the Covenant (which was the physical sign of God’s presence) being carried by the priests, they were to pack up their things and follow it. They were instructed, “Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you shall go, for you have not passed this way before.” Joshua told the people to get ready and assured them that “tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”
I just love this! They had not passed this way before. They were clueless about how to make it happen! They were very likely scared about all that lay ahead! God understood this and all He asked of them was to follow His guiding presence, standing back far enough for a good view of the wonders He planned to perform.
Sure enough, the next day the Israelites were awed by God’s powerful presence. For as the priests carrying the ark stepped into the Jordan River, the mighty waters stopped flowing and piled up in a large heap similar to what had happened when they had escaped the Egyptians at the Red Sea. The religious leaders who carried the ark of the Lord stood on firm dry ground in the middle of the river while all of Israel crossed to the other side. What a confidence builder as they faced what else lay ahead!
Life is always bringing new challenges. Whether it is setting up a new computer program, choosing a life partner, settling on a career path, or any other significant decision, there are always times of bewilderment when we say, “I don’t know what to do because I have not passed this way before.”
But there is no need to fear. Release your challenges and decisions over to the Lord and rely on His all-powerful presence. Follow Him fully and prepare yourself. You never know what wonders He will perform.