New season. New journey. New uncertainties.
New implies there was an old –or former way of life. The wind is changing direction and carrying you on a different path …unknown to you. Familiar is experiencing a reset. A new starting line is being set in the race God has marked out for you.
Moses must have felt the hot, desert winds shift as they blew across the questioning, furrowed lines of his forehead on his weathered face. The journey out of Egypt had been full of adventure but the ongoing wandering around with thousands of people to look after was not for the faint of heart. He was worn and weary. It was time to move on but he knew he needed God’s supernatural help or he wasn’t going to make it.
God said, “Get going, you and the people you brought up from the land of Egypt. Go up to the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
God goes on to say …”And I will send an angel before you to drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. Go up to this land that flows with milk and honey…” (from Exodus 33 NLT)
Moving on is a good thing, right! A necessary path to the destination prayed for and longed for. Healing steps in the right direction. Letting go of anything holding you down and pressing on toward that new realm God is calling you to.
But as the victory march was sounded, God said these shocking words that no one wanted to hear …
“But I will not travel among you, for you are a stubborn and rebellious people. ” (Exodus 33:2 NLT)
What!!?? I can imagine myself coming out of my tent and stomping down the dusty road as I yelled out, “You mean You’re telling us to ‘Get going’ but You’re not going with us!? What about the pillar of fire by night and the pillar of cloud by day? We’re used to You being with us and showing us the way. How will we know the direction to go without Your miraculous signage?”
Evidently Moses felt the same way. He interjected the conversation He and God were having with what I call, “The Moses Clause.”
Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. 16 How will anyone know that you look favorably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.” (Exodus 33:15-16 NLT)
He went on to plead with God from a very personal place of relationship and friendship …
“You have been telling me, ‘Take these people up to the Promised Land.’ But you haven’t told me whom you will send with me. You have told me, ‘I know you by name, and I look favorably on you.’ 13 If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.” (Exodus 33:12-13 NLT)
And God heard Moses and his plea for help. He saw the longing in Moses for comfort in knowing his Friend and Father God would stay with him. He responded to Moses’ need for security and affirmation with my favorite line in this conversation…
The Lord replied, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.” (Exodus 33:14 NLT)
And who doesn’t need to hear those words of assurance when you’re starting a new journey! The God of the universe promising to go with you as a personal Companion and Guide …giving rest to your weary, troubled heart and mind … assuring you that everything will be fine.
And maybe you’re in the same boat I’m in right now where God is saying, “Get going” on a new path He’s marked out for you–new job, ministry, season, calling. Maybe you and I both need to know that with that new directive, God has already sent and angel before us to “drive out” our enemies — our insecurities, fears, anxieties… attacks from the enemy of our soul on our mental, physical and emotional well-being. Oh yes, those too!
And maybe — just maybe — you need to hear that call again to get up and get going to that place God has called you to that will be flowing with the fruit He’ll produce as you step out to obey and follow His lead. Milk and honey blessings. The Promised Land of opportunities …for our good and God’s glory. A well of water springing up just beyond the gate… for personal refreshing and to give that same refreshing, life-giving water to others. God’s Kingdom come …His will being done in and through you.
I’m learning there’s no getting around it. You have to go through it. You and I have to get close enough to others so they can actually feel the heartbeat of Jesus beating through us.
For those of us stepping through an open gate into a new opportunity, take comfort in knowing that our Father God knows us and calls us by name as we walk into this new open space. His favor is already on us.
The Lord replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.”
He has given His very own Word that will “prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” We have everything we need to accomplish His purposes while we’re in this place. He promised He will never leave us to fend for ourselves. God is our ever-present Companion, Guide, Comfort and Friend.
Take heart my friend. We’re not alone. God’s presence has gone before us to prepare the way and He will personally walk beside us with every step. Walk through the gate into His promised land. He’s already there …calling our name to come on through.
Top Photo taken at Ivy Green, the birthplace of Helen Keller, Tuscumbia, Alabama.
Bottom photo taken at the Huntsville Botanical Garden, Huntsville, Alabama.