Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Never Forsaken




Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will never leave you or forsake you. 
Deuteronomy 31:6
Let’s start with the basics…

I’m drawn to this word “forsake.” Not that I didn’t already know the definition, but sometimes grabbing a big thick book filled with words upon words can bring a new perspective.

And so we get, ABANDON. He will never abandon me.

That word abandon seems more potent somehow. When images are conjured of abandonment, my heart turns sad… But HE will never leave me in a place like those pictures I imagine. He’s always with me.

But before we’ve even read to the forsake/abandon part, we stumble upon the “them.” I’m always searching for the definition of those pesky pronouns. In this case, we turn to images of battling armies, of the nations that must be conquered to enter in to the promise. To enter in to rest.

Okay, lets get down to the 'oomph' of it, shall we?

These words – this phrase is spoken and then Moses calls up Joshua. If I was Joshua, I’d be shaking in my boots. To be given the task of conquering the enemy and walking in to the promised land? That’s a whole lotta shoe to fill! Think he’s frightened? Think he’s nervous? Think he feels so completely unqualified and inexperienced? (And we wonder if anyone has ever felt the way we do???)

Joshua has been called to a new role – one that the Lord has set in place just for him, one that He’s had in the making since the world began. And yet, I’m sure Joshua was worried. Will I do a good job? Will I be enough? What will they think of me? BUT the Lord himself will go before him. And that is Joshua’s comfort – and our own. Just as He went before Joshua, He has gone before us.
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.” Hebrews 6:19-20
See it? We are NOT blazing our own trail! The Lord has already made a way – He is the forerunner. Just as He made a way to the promise for Joshua, He has made a way to the promise of salvation for us. 

                …the land that the Lord swore to their forefathers to give them.” 
                Deuteronomy 31:7

What land has the Lord given me? Am I living that hope, in that promise, or have I spent so much time wandering in the wilderness that I’ve forgotten that the Lord has already made a way for me?
Do I have the confidence that even though it seems the trials have no end, that He has gone before me, prepared a way, set me on the perfect course?

Do I live in the truth of His words every day – He will never leave me, never forsake me, never abandon me.

Those long ago words of comfort spoken to Joshua ring true for me today…

When I stand at the brink of the unknown, He is there.
When I struggle to find myself called redeemed, His grace surrounds me.
When I wonder how anything good could come of my sinful heart, He sees me cleansed by the blood.
When I stand in the mirror and see nothing but negatives, He looks at me and calls me His.
When I feel lost and lonely, left out and insecure, He has not abandoned me.
When I am in the darkness, when I am in the light, through trials and joys, He has never left my side.
He has made the way for me and now as I walk it He is right beside me all the while.

He goes with me.
                Whatever the task, because His strength is made perfect even in my weakness.
 2 Corinthians12:9
                Whatever the trial, because He makes a way out. 
1 Corinthians 10:13
                Whatever the circumstance, because He is my joy.
 Philippians 4:4-9

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