I keep feeling this overwhelming sense of hopefulness that we are standing on the edge of the Promised Land, spiritually speaking. I keep accidentally opening my Bible to the beginning of Joshua, where the Lord repeatedly tells him to “be strong and (very) courageous”. But there’s more He tells him, as well. He also tells Joshua that He is going with him to give him victory. He tells him not to let the Bible depart from his mouth, and to mediate on it day and night, and to fully obey it in order that he may prosper and have success. He tells him not to tremble or be dismayed for God is with him wherever he goes, that no man will be able to stand before him all the days of his life. And God tells him to go through the camp and command everyone to prepare provisions, because in three days they’re going in.
Church, there’s no denying that we have been walking in the wilderness for awhile. Just look around and see the weariness and atrophy of our spiritual muscles. I’m not just talking about the past year. I’m talking about the apathy, the division, the spiritual oppression from without and within. I’m talking about the deception and sexual immorality and confusion that’s been steadily consuming the nation, our communities, and even the Church. I’m talking about the theological debates and denominational divides which have taken a greater seat at the table than our unity as one Body in Christ. I’m talking about the show-up-at-church-on-Sunday people who stab others in the back Monday-through-Saturday. I’m talking about the people-pleasing churches who have voted to set those who are knowingly practicing sin, and in direct opposition to the Bible, in authority over church congregations. I’m talking about the folks that wait for a pastor to tell them what the Bible says, when they’ve got ten of them at home, collecting dust. I’m talking about all the ways we have not been preparing for the coming of Christ.
But if you put your ear to the ground, you will hear the sound of praise. It’s getting louder and louder, like a war cry, marching over the horizon and into sight. It sounds like angels and saints, in unison crying out, “How long, O Lord?” harmonized with “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!”
Get ready, Church. The command reiterated in Ephesians 6 is “Stand firm”. In Joshua, it’s “Be strong and very courageous”. Brace yourselves, Bride.
No longer cower in corners, hoping not to offend anyone. This world is perishing, and for us to hide behind “political correctness” while those who are desperately in need of eternal hope are dying of spiritual starvation and literal death, is absolutely hateful of us. There is no shame in the Truth. There is no shame in proclaiming from rooftops that Jesus is the only true and living God, the Alpha and Omega, and the One who loves His Bride all the way to the cross and back! There is no shame in saying that He is greater than all earthly treasures and pleasures, and worthy of all surrender and praise! There is no shame in calling prodigals home, because every prodigal needs to know the door is still open, and their Father still loves them!
If you’re His, you’re free, and your life down here is chump-change compared to what’s laid up for you in heaven. Live like the world’s on fire (because it kind of is, and it really will be soon enough) and you’re suspended above it, waving wildly for others to join you in the freedom of grace. Be strong and very courageous. He is coming soon! Our short lives on earth are meant to bear eternal weight. Hope like you jumped right off the pages of Hebrews 11. The King of Glory is returning soon, and we are standing on the edge of the Jordan waiting to cross into the Promised Land.