2020 is just about over! How does that make you feel? We have come through a lot this year. It will forever be a year that we tell our kids, grandkids and their kids about. COVID, protests, riots, politics, and wildfires! Who would have thought!? But, now we are entering a new year and many ways a new world – uncharted territory. No one had lived through 2020 before, but we did, and now we get to live into 2021.
Near the end of Moses’ life he stood on a mountain and looked out over the land God had promised Abraham. It had been a very long time coming and Moses had been through a lot. Finally, the new territory. They would soon be entering it and taking the land God promised. However, due to some bad decisions, Moses would not enter that land. Instead the people would follow Joshua into battle and he would lead them.
I feel like this is where we are today. We are looking out into a new world and some new land but if we are going to take it we will have to leave some things behind. We are not going to be able to take it if we cling too tightly to the past. The Israelites would have to leave Moses and follow Joshua – a new leader who would lead them into a new place and do some new things.
It is easy to look at that and be afraid. Change is never easy and entering a new place is always a bit uncomfortable. Just like the Israelites we will be tempted to stay or go back. They were always tempted to go back to Egypt – slavery sounded better than the wilderness at moments. They could have stayed in the wilderness and not followed Joshua, but that would have meant their death. If we want to live we will always have to move forward.
2021 is our chance to move forward. To do it effectively we may need to leave some things behind. That might be scary and hard, but it is necessary. Chances are, you already know what those things (or people) might be. I want to encourage you to go – take the land – with the same words God gave Joshua; “be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Pastor Matt Huff leads Portland Central Nazarene Church. He loves being in ministry and seeing lives transformed by the power of Christ.