Cruising Route 66
“Step Into the Promise”
After the death of Moses, the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: Moses My servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them, to the Israelites.”
In the Book of Deuteronomy we saw the importance of remembering the past because it provides the opportunity to grow in wisdom and understanding. Although reflection is essential, living in the past can keep you from entering a bright, joyful, and prosperous future. To live a life of promise a change of direction may be required.
In the first chapter Joshua identifies himself as “Moses’ aide.” Moses is dead and Joshua is now the rightful leader of the Jewish people. Considering Moses’ age, Joshua may have held that position of leadership for some time. Yet he still refers to himself as an aide. He served under the great leader, receiving the knowledge and tools necessary to assume the reins. However, it appears that there remains a question in his heart of his rightful place.
Have you allowed a past relationship to determine your worth or position? Maybe there is some past encounter that has kept you from moving forward? Our experiences resonate in our minds like an old familiar song. We know the lyrics and the melody of a song, and when we hear it, it often provides a positive emotion. On the other hand, it can also bring back painful memories that have just the opposite effect. We all have an opinion of ourselves, but how others see us holds significant weight in our personal appraisal. The effects of negative experiences, even as a child, can hold over into adulthood.
Ever felt like an “ugly-duckling”? Perhaps you were made fun of by other children because your glasses were too thick, or you grew faster than they did, or not fast enough. Or maybe you’ve heard the “doormat song,” when an insecure spouse, family member, or friend sings a song to affirm their own worth by devaluing you. You may have been listening to the “irrelevant song”. This is a song often played at home or at work when you begin to question why you’re even there. No one listens to you or takes you seriously anyway. You have good ideas, but you’re not looked at as being valuable enough to be heard. Have you ever noticed that whenever your particular song is playing it’s always sung by a familiar voice.
Moses had been a servant of God. Joshua was a servant of Moses, but no longer. It’s here that God interrupts Joshua’s backward focus and speaks to him directly “Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan.” In other words, “Don’t forget where you’ve been, and remember Moses and his instruction, but now it’s time to stop dwelling on the past. It’s time to stop listening to the song those fearful of entering the promised land are singing. It is the song that kept you away from the promise for forty years. Don’t let it keep you out for another forty.”
Each day this week, bow your knee before God and ask Him to give you ears to hear the song of love and encouragement He is singing into your heart. Remember the past, but don’t take up residence there.