take the best and go | Joshua 1.1-5
After the death of Moses the servant of God, God spoke to Joshua, Moses’ assistant:
“Moses my servant is dead. Get going. Cross this Jordan River, you and all the people. Cross to the country I’m giving to the People of Israel. I’m giving you every square inch of the land you set your foot on—just as I promised Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon east to the Great River, the Euphrates River—all the Hittite country—and then west to the Great Sea. It’s all yours.
All your life, no one will be able to hold out against you.
In the same way I was with Moses, I’ll be with you.”
Joshua 1.1-5 | MSG
More than Moses was left behind as they crossed the Jordan.
Manna was left behind.
And their mobile rock drinking fountain.
And the pillar of cloud by day, the pillar of fire by night.
And the quail.
And a whole lot of bodies from a generation missing the courage to cross.
We all have a heritage – not many of us dig into to it. Perhaps we’re afraid of what faces we’ll find lurking back there. The reality is, whether it’s a heritage from which to recover or on which to build – or whatever mixture of the two – our past propels us into our future.
John Wimber was fond of saying, “Take the best and go.”
This is why we lean into the past.
We need its signposts and lessons, its failures and successes, its wins and losses, its strengths and weaknesses. And whether we like it or not, it’s with us regardless. To lean into it is to intentionally be nourished by its health, instructed by its wisdom, and to become healers through its wounds. To lean into it is to choose the higher trajectory as it slingshots us forward.
And that’s where we focus this week. Having intentionally leaned back into the massive slingshot of the past, we now launch out into our future. This week we stand with Joshua, leaning into the slingshot not merely of the past forty years, but the past 430 years since God first made his promise to Abram “I will multiply you; I will make of you a great nation; I will give you the land in which you now sojourn.”
The key word in describing the land that lay before this generation emerging from the desert: promise.
There’s a lesson there for us.
And a challenge:
As you contemplate the future, what is the primary emotion you experience? Fear? Anticipation? Indifference? or __________________? Why?
Living God, take the best and worst of my past, and breathe them into flaming embers that will fill the world with light and life and love in all the unique ways you have intended before the world began. Fill me with great expectations as I cross the river into the new day breaking before me. Through Jesus.