September is usually the time of “New Term” and picking up pre-Summer routines. Yet, some familiar landmarks are missing this year. We seem to be moving but we want to shout out “Are we there yet?” Or is it the “End of the Beginning” to quote Churchill’s famous WW2 speech after the battle of El Alamein.
What if it’s neither and we’re actually not going back but crossing into new territory?
READ Joshua Chapter 3 & 4
Finally crossing the Jordan! After 40 years the Children of Israel were entering their Promised Land. As they did God instructed that 12 boulders be picked up from the river bed from the exact spot where the priests stood with the ark on dry ground.
MEMORIAL STONES- Set up to remember their story, not carried on the journey.
Prayer Focus – 1
What would your “MEMORIAL STONES” represent for the last 6 months? Mine would have black and white patches. Not all shiny and smooth. But there would also be intense, beautiful splashes of colour too.
What LIFE LESSONS emerged? Ask God to highlight them. Ask if you are carrying anything forward that you don’t need to.
Malcolm Duncan wrote in his “NiteBlessing” on 27 August on social media :
“…and without a negative nostalgia that tries to recreate the past, help us to step into the future with faith”. (It’s worth googling the whole prayer).
The detailed plans and strategies for taking the land would come later for the Children of Israel. They were not always conventional – think Jericho. They were not one-size-fits-all battle plans.
We may not have all the answers up-front in our changed world. We might have to keep moving with not everything worked out exactly.
Prayer Focus – 2
Ask God for “FAITH TO STEP INTO THE FUTURE” – with boldness, not held back by negative nostalgia.
“This is the day the Lord has made” – Psalm 118 v 24
Offer God your present concerns, needs and for those around you. Let’s particularly bring to mind those:-
Needing jobs, healing. For children, young people and Teachers returning to schools and colleges. For family life readjusting. For workplaces re-shaping.
Final Thoughts – Armour/Battles/War Footing
Read EPHESIANS 6 V 10-18 Describing the Armour of God
Then contrast your version with these verses from The Message:-
“Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Faith and Salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s word is an INDISPENSABLE WEAPON. In the same way prayer is ESSENTIAL in this ongoing warfare”
From the moment the Jordan was crossed the Nation of Israel was on a permanent War Footing. BATTLES WERE AHEAD.
We are also called to be on a WAR FOOTING and to have our weapons BATTLE READY. To prepare a sword for battle the blade is finely sharpened. Otherwise it is just an ornament.
Prayer Focus – 3
Are our weapons Battle Ready or just Ornamental? Let God speak honestly to us.
What does it mean to be on a WAR FOOTING in my life?