Why are we so afraid to do something new to reach lost souls? Are we afraid of failure? Maybe we are concerned about what others will say. If we are going to reach the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ, there must be men and women that will go where others have dared not go before. We can’t wander in the wilderness anymore; it is time to take new territory.
By Shelly Hendricks
“Ye have not passed this way heretofore” (Joshua 3:4).
Joshua stood on the eastside of the Jordan River and listened to the words of the Lord echo through his ears and across the plain of Jordan. He rehearsed the instructions and directions the Lord had just given him over and over in his mind.
“Now let me get this straight,” he whispered, talking to himself. “God wants me to take over for Moses, one of the greatest men I have ever known, and to lead over 2 million people into a land we have never lived in before. This means we will have to defeat enemies we have never fought, accept new challenges we have never faced, and conquer new land we have never seen.”
I wonder what our response would have been if God had chosen us for such a task? Would we act like the excuse ridden Moses did when God first called him to deliver the children of Israel from Egypt? I do not ridicule Moses for his excuses. In fact, the last time I checked many of us have done the same thing when God asked us to do something that had not been done before. We are very uncomfortable being the lead dog, especially when we don’t know exactly where we are going. We are just running by faith because God said to run. If He told us what all we were going to run into along the journey that He has chosen for us, we wouldn’t be so eager to run, but would probably slowly drift to the back of the pack. Of course, you know what they say about being in the back of the pack: the view is quite obscured when you are running in the back. In contrast, if God let us see the end of the run, we would eagerly jump into the front and run for all we are worth.
Too many times we easily drift to the back of the pack because it is more comfortable there. For example, if you’re out front and you fall, then everyone is going to see you. How embarrassing it would be to start something and not finish it. To let everyone know that this is your project and then to see it fail can be disheartening. So instead of following God’s leading, urging, and instructing to launch out into the deep, we creep out into the shallow and take our dip net as we hope to scoop up a few minnows. If we refuse to step out by faith or go where no man has gone before or respond to the challenge or lengthen the cords and believe for the impossible, then we will never see the potential God has for us and for His church.
God told Joshua that Israel was going to walk on ground they had never walked on before. They were getting ready to cross the last boundary that would open up the Promised Land for them— the land that God had wanted to give them forty years before. At that time, they didn’t mix their faith with the Word, so they went on a forty-year camping trip in the wilderness. We know that God supplied them with food from heaven and water out of a rock and put clothes on their back. Their needs were meet, but look at what they missed by not having faith in God to help them conquer the giants and to give them the land.