Joshua 1:1-2- After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: “Moses My servant is dead. Now, therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them” NKJV
When addressing the subject of grief, there has to be a sensitivity involved to not be offensive. I place my disclaimer at the beginning of this blog: My objective in this blog is not to tell you to stop grieving a loved one. My intent is to respond to what God spoke to my spirit today about grieving the past. Please accept my sincere apologies if, for you, they are one and the same. May God’s comfort and love be with you, continue to strengthen you, and bring you hope for today and all your tomorrows!
This morning during my time with the Lord, I heard these words, “Stop grieving the past, and embrace the future!” Since I was seeking the Lord about today’s blog, I felt that it was what I am to write about! Not that it wasn’t a personal message to me, because I received it as such, but in the receiving, I want to share it!
The children of Israel experienced great sorrow over the loss of Moses. For thirty days they mourned his death. Moses was quite the leader of Israel. Deuteronomy concludes with these words:
But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, before Pharaoh, before all his servants, and in all his land, and by all that mighty power and all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.Deuteronomy 34:10-12 NKJV
While they were mourning, the new leader, Joshua, was also mourning. He had been with Moses since they departed Egypt. When the Amalekites attacked Israel, Moses told Joshua to choose some men to take with him to fight against the Amalekites. When God said that He was going to wipe out the Amalekites and that Moses was to write it in the book, He also told Moses to share it with Joshua.
Joshua was Moses’ assistant, and wherever Moses was, Joshua was near. Except for the tabernacle. When Moses left the tabernacle, Joshua remained. Moses sent out 12 spies to check out the promised land and Joshua was one of the spies. Moses relied heavily on Joshua, and Joshua relied heavily on the leadership of Moses. Now God is saying to Joshua, “Moses my servant is dead!”
Joshua was now responsible for the children of Israel, because of the fact that Moses was dead. Moses had already transferred the responsibility of leading the children of Israel into the promised land to him.
Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”Deuteronomy 31:7-8 NKJV
The problem wasn’t that Joshua didn’t know that Moses was dead, it was that while he was grieving, he was grieving the past. Some people can’t wait for their mentors to get out of their way so that they can lead, but there are others who are content with being in the shadow of their mentors. Joshua appears to be content to work for Moses and with Moses. So Moses death hits him really hard, although he knew it was imminent.
Not only that, Moses had some pretty big shoes to fill. He brought down plagues upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians. The Red Sea parted before him. Water came gushing out of rocks and a host of other supernatural things happened under Moses’ leadership. What can Joshua possibly do to become the leader God wants him to become when he has to follow Moses?
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: “Moses My servant is dead. Now, therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them”Joshua 1:1-2 NKJV
God told Joshua to get up! Moses is dead and that’s in your past. The Jordan is in your future! Now go over the Jordan into the land that is yours! Doesn’t God know and understand the pressure that Joshua is under? Yes, He does! Doesn’t God realize that Moses was like a father to Joshua and it hurts to know that he is gone? Yes, God knows! But God’s word to Joshua was to get up and embrace his future!
Embracing the unknown of your future when you don’t want to let go of your past is hard to do. When a person gets a divorce, there is a grieving process. It is equated to the loss of your spouse through death! Maybe even worst, because the person isn’t dead, the relationship is dead. And sometimes, it is difficult to get up and embrace a future that is different from the one you had planned. But God is saying that in 2022, it’s time to realize that the marriage is dead, and you need to embrace your future. For the sake of you and your children (if you have children), it’s time to move on!
Once, a young lady asked me to pray with her, that her husband would come back to her. I prayed fervently, only to discover later that he had moved on and remarried. That relationship was dead, and it was time to move on and embrace her future.
Maybe it’s someone you were dating. You thought the relationship would end in marriage, but instead, it ended in heartbreak. That relationship is dead, embrace your future!
Is it a promotion you lost? A job you didn’t get? A raise that never came? An opportunity that keeps eluding you? A failed ministry? A business that dried up and died? Whatever it was, whatever it is, it is time to let go of the grief of the past over that person, situation, or circumstance, and time to embrace your future.
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord,Isaiah 40:28-29 NKJV
the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.
I love these verses! They remind me that the God we serve is a mighty God! Isaiah speaks of His unsearchable understanding! God has a knack for understanding! He’s skilled in His understanding! So He understands your loss, your pain, your suffering better than anyone else can possibly understand. He even understands you!
And if you are feeling weak, vulnerable, worthless, or devalued, Isaiah says it’s ok because God gives power to the weak, and to those without strength, He increases their strength. God is not asking you to let go of your past in your own ability, any more than He asked Joshua to move forth in his own ability. God is not asking you to embrace your future with your strength, He’s offering you His strength!
Moses told Joshua:
And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”Deuteronomy 31:8 NKJV
God hasn’t changed! He isn’t sending you or me into 2022 without assistance. He will be there!
And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”Matthew 28:20 NKJV
These are Jesus’ words! He’s with you! Always and forever! Decide today that you aren’t going to live in the past of “what ifs” and you will embrace the future of all that is possible with Him! Wonderful Jesus!