Spiritual Director · April 24, 2017

Devote #20

God wants everyone

I told you yesterday I started reading the book of Joshua. I also told you how much I love this book. It’s full of action and every time I read it, I get Holy Spirit energized. It so speaks to our life today and the great God we have. Why we’d settle for less in life, doesn’t make sense to me. But I’ve come to realize once again, how easy it is to just start coasting through life, or becoming melancholy about our mission here. Believe it or not, it’s very easy to become lukewarm. A lot easier than we think. Let me explain.

God told Joshua to get the people of Israel ready to cross the Jordan River and enter into the land He had promised their forefathers. This was all new territory. They had never been here before. They had seen and experienced many first time things while wandering in the wilderness for those 40 years, but not like this.

When the day and moment arrived, the priest went first. They carried the Ark of the Covenant, which represented the presence of God, into the middle of the Jordan River, which, believe it or not, made the River stop flowing, and it was at flood stage. They stood in the middle of the River while all the Israelites crossed the River and got to the other side.

While the River was backed up, one man from each of the Twelve tribes picked up a large boulder and carried it with him to the other side. There they were to build a monument to remind them of the great things God had done.

After they built the monument, Joshua told everyone that when their children asked what the monument was all about, they were to tell them how God dried up the Jordan River just like He did the Red Sea. Then Joshua adds this…

“… because He (God) wants everyone on earth to know how powerful He is. And He want us to worship Him only.” —Joshua 4:24

See what I mean? It’s so easy for us to lose sight of what we’re doing here. We’ve forgotten our mission (Go make disciples…) and are stranded somewhere. We were meant to cross the river and take our rightful place. Why? Because God wants everyone to know Him! But instead, we think life is about the job, the recreation, the time-off, the promotion, retirement.

None of those things are bad, but remember Jesus said,

“But more than anything else, put God’s work first and do what He wants. Then the other things will be yours as well.” —Matthew 6:33

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today

If you’re going nowhere right now, it just might be that your priorities are a bit mixed up. You get the the other side by putting God first. He’ll take care of the rest. And when the enemy gets in your face and tell you to quit, you get your faith on and get in his face and tell him, “I didn’t come here today to lose.”

Help me get my priorities right so the world will know You. In Jesus’ name I ask this, Amen.

—Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

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Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.