Sunday, 2nd November 2014
Rev. Daniel Poon
On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover. The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain. The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate the produce of Canaan. Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. (Joshua 5:10-15)
God always answers our prayers and provides us in His Ways. However we often forget about what’s next, after we received blessings from God. We see ourselves, we see God’s blessings in us, we see God’s blessings among our existing brothers and sisters… but we don’t see that we are actually walking in a circle. Christian life is more than this! Rev. Daniel reminded us that we are the generation of Joshua, we are walking into the Promised Land, and we will face changes like Joshua and the Israelites did.
1. Change of the Environment
It’s been too long that we stay in the same place, so when we enter the Promised Land, we will be in the new environment. Like, the Israelites, we will start to struggle, God is not guiding them with the pillar of fire anymore, nor is He providing them with the manna. There are a lot of things we need to adapt. and many times we need to refocus on God. When we are in the dessert, we are very close to God, but when we go into a new environment, we might be distracted by lots of other things. God is a faithful God, He will make His Promises come true, but one thing we need to remember, we should always come back to God.
2. Change of the Focus
In the dessert, Joshua only needed to worry about following God’s direction. But when they entered the Promised Land, they had a new mission – to destroy all idols, and claim God’s authority in the land. God puts us in where we are because He has a purpose, He wants to use us to bring people around us to Him. We need to ensure our focus is always on God, and what ever we do is for God, not for our own desires.
3. Change of the Sovereignty
We cannot do it by ourselves. Everything we do is by the grace of God. Through Jesus we can do all things, so we need to remind ourselves that without Jesus, we can do nothing. Therefore we should release our sovereignty back to God. We are not the boss, even when we enter the Promised Land, God is still our King, our Lord, and our Heavenly Father. We should never forget about God after we received what we want, otherwise, we will slow go back to the ways we used to live.
God always wants the best for us, but often it’s us that we cannot see. Be the followers of God and listen to His voice only. So don’t let the environment distract us, keep our focus on God, and give Him back the sovereignty.