The Lord’s Charge to Joshua
1 After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant. He said, 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them. 3 I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you— 4 from the Negev wilderness in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea[a] in the west, including all the land of the Hittites.’ 5 No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.
6 “Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. 8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. 9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Let me paint this scene for you….
Moses had just died. The Israelites had lived, prayed, and traveled with Moses for 40 plus years. He brought them out of Egyptian slavery. They had been through the Red Sea, into the wilderness, had eaten manna and quail and had drank water from a rock. They loved Moses and respected him as their leader. The people knew that he was devoted to God no matter what. He taught them God’s law and truths. Through this man that they loved they experienced the many miraculous signs and wonders that God. Things that no one else had seen. They watched every move he made and even Moses made mistakes- they still knew who their leader was. Their families had died off and been born anew during this time.
Moses was 120 years old and his time was up. He had done what God had asked him to do and God would not allow him to go any further. He told them he was unable to lead them any longer. His leg of the journey was finished. Before he died he left them with blessings flowing from his lips. ( Deut. 33) He prayed blessings over all the tribes of the people of Israel. What an honor it must have been for him to speak them, and for them to receive those blessings. Why he was the greatest prophet who ever lived! He used his last breath to speak life and light into the people-always pointing them to their Creator. He used words like love, live, beloved, bless, favor, majesty, and REJOICE and Blessed are you, O Israel!! He blessed the entire nation and then he climbed Mount Nebo and looked out over the land that they were going into.
God allowed him to see it, but would not let him enter it. Why? Because of his disobedience when he hit the rock. You see- God told Moses to SPEAK to the rock and water would come out. But what did he do? He tried to do it on his own by hitting the rock and saying: “ must WE ( Aaron and Moses) bring you water from this rock? They weren’t giving God the glory-but were taking it for themselves. God promised Moses that day, that he would not enter into the land because of his disobedience. ( Num 20)
And he was true to his word. He had Joshua do it.
So, along comes Joshua to do just that. He was called out to lead 2 million people into the Promised Land.
“Now Joshua, son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him.” (Deut. 34:9)
God called forth Joshua to be the new leader. Joshua had been in “basic training” under Moses all these years. Now it was his time to step up and be THE LEADER of the Israelites. He was to take them INTO this new land- the Promised Land. “ He was to boldly go where no man had gone before.” Sound familiar Star Trek fans?
So, here we are, in this scripture, standing at the edge of the Jordan River and God says, “ now it’s your turn Joshua!” Get the people ready! Move ‘em up and out!” I can only imagine that Joshua was a little overwhelmed and this is why God reinforced His message over and over again.
“I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
“ Be strong and courageous!”
“ Be strong and very courageous! “
“ Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
We must have the courage to change and move forward.
God showed Moses the big picture right before he died. He showed Joshua what he needed to see right at the river’s edge. All he had to do was accept the call and step into the water, but first he had to make preparations. They got their supplies gathered before going into the water. God has told me to do the same thing. I have been working for months, gathering supplies, meeting and planning and praying. He has told me not to look right or left, do not get distracted and to look straight ahead and UP!
Most of you know that God has also asked me to have the courage to change and move forward. At the end of June I will be leaving pulpit ministry and going into a teaching/speaking ministry through art. Art is a tool for evangelism and God has clearly shown this to me. I may be leaving the building at Glenwood UMC but I will be taking the hearts and prayers of the people with me. They have encouraged and supported me in this journey as if I were their child. ( and I guess in a way I am…) I love these folks and it will be like they are on a mission with me wherever I go. I would not be realizing this vision without them. God has done a mighty work here and I give Him all the glory, praise and honor for it!
I will also be leaving behind a salary and totally relying on God for every need. I will operate the ministry through donations and love offerings and the sale of any of my work. This is God’s design, not mine . I have really had to get down to “brass tacks” with myself about the financial aspect of this ministry. It takes money to run a ministry. Leaving my position also means leaving a salary which has helped me get this ministry going. God has provided the way and the vision in the past year. Praise GOD!
So, I have had to take a big leap and trust. Some of you might be saying, “ well, your husband has a good job and he will support you financially.” While he does have a wonderful job that we are most thankful to God for, and he does support me, I cannot expect our family budget to support this ministry 100%. If I did that, then I wouldn’t be trusting God for every need- would I? Besides-just like most of you- our budget is pretty tight. Over the past few months, God sent me some wise women, who have been in ministry for years, to teach me how to do this.
Their words of advice were this: “ ask for travel and lodging expenses and a love offering. Put a paypal button on your blog and FB page, start a website and sell your work. There are many people who will support your ministry. TRUST GOD! God has never let me down yet. When the ministry is God’s- He WILL supply all your needs!”
So, thanks to women who have gone before me in a ministry outside the walls of the church, I have listened to them and have started to do what they have said. I have risen to a new level of trust and faith in the Lord. I have stepped into the waters with them and with Joshua and I have heard God say to me:
“ Donna, Be of good courage, I am with you always! I will never leave you nor forsake you! TRUST in ME with all of your heart, mind and soul!!!”
So, I am.
I have stepped into the waters of change. The Living waters. They propel us forward into the promises of God. I fully expect to be drowned in His love, to be overtaken by waves of mercy, to fall down and to be lifted up again by an outpouring of grace and to ride the big wave into the Promised land!
This is day 20 of prayer and paint. As you can see-this week has been very limited on painting. As I spend time drawing nearer to God, He is refilling, renewing and refreshing my creative spirit with His. It’s coming, and today He gave me a little glimpse of the next piece to create! So, as I pray and ponder over what He has shown me, I am also resting. I heard that word from a speaker last night. When we try to control things- we never rest. We need to go with the flow! I don’t know about you, but I’m tired and in need of rest. I can’t control God anymore than I can cram creation in a box. I do know one thing….and that’s this…
…that I can and will rest in Him.
When I do- I will hear better, see better and be lifted up by Him and not the things of the world. So, today….I rest…
I love you Lord, I love every aspect of who YOU are and what you are doing all over this great world. I love it that you are using people, the body of Christ, the world over to encourage each other to fall in love with YOU. Your love knows no boundaries! May we fall into Your heart deeply…and get carried away by Your everlasting love!
In Your Most Precious Name I pray….amen.
The Healing Tree Art Ministry
For those of you who support this ministry with your prayers and donations, I thank you deeply. We are in this race together and I could not do this without your help. May God continue to pour out His blessings on you as you minister in your area of the world!
If you are someone who would like to make a donation to this ministry you can send it to:
20 Country Woods Drive
Hillsville, VA 24343
( as soon as I figure out technology I will have a paypal button here for your convenience as well as a website!)
I thank our Strong Jesus for YOU!
May there be a rainbow of color flowing in your heart- remember-it’s God’s promise!