Congratulations, senior friends! You’re ready to graduate! You’ve reached the Promised Land!
It would seem that you’ve reached your long awaited destination, but your journey is just beginning! Like the Israelites, you’ve been finding your way through a time of wilderness (growing up). Just as they had Moses to lead them, you’ve had your parents, family, teachers, coaches, instructors, church leaders, and friends to lead and guide you. Through them, God has provided for you just as He did the Israelites. His requirements for you have been the same: Remember that He is your God and you are His people. His promise: Honor Him with obedience and He would respond with blessings.
Just as it was for Moses, it’s now time for those who led you through the wilderness to look out at the Promised Land you’re about to enter, find reward in knowing you’ve finally arrived, and step aside. God is calling you to enter the Promised Land on your own. The Promised Land, a land “flowing with milk and honey”, offers promise and rewards, but it also presents challenges and unknowns. How will you manage? How will you find your way?
The Book of Joshua (the sixth Book of the Old Testament) gives guidance and encouragement. Joshua was a young man who had been a close assistant to Moses. Working alongside Moses, Joshua learned to be strong and brave. Most importantly, Joshua learned to be devoted to God; so when Moses was taken by God, and Joshua was called to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, Joshua knew what to do. He turned to God.
God had been with the Israelites during their time in the wilderness, He was with them now, and He would continue leading them through the help of Joshua, finally taking them into the Promised Land.
The Book of Joshua begins with God calling Joshua forward, showing Joshua the land (future) that stretched out before him, and encouraged Joshua with His words of support and encouragement. These words are true for you, too, as you enter your Promised Land.
“Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5)
Three times God says, “Be strong and courageous…” (1:6, 1:7, 1:9) Senior Pastor, Dr. Terry Moore, says God gives us that commandment more than any other in the Bible.
God also says, “…be careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law (for us this book is the Bible) shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (1:7-8)
“Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (1:9)
With God’s assurances, Joshua claimed his calling to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. He purposed Himself to heed God’s instructions, trusting God and having faith in God’s plans. Joshua’s first challenge was to get everyone safely across the Jordan River at a time when it was overflowing its banks..Remember how God parted the Red Sea so that Moses and the Israelites could pass safely on dry land? God promised Joshua that He would do the same again, stopping the waters of the Jordan River so that everyone could pass safely across. However, instead of parting the waters before the people entered (as with Moses), God commanded Joshua to instruct the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant to step into the rushing waters and THEN God would stop the waters. God might require the same of you, asking you to trust Him enough to step out in faith. When you do, God will hold back the waters for you, too. (Joshua chapters 1-3)
Joshua did exactly as God instructed. Once everyone had safely crossed the river and finally set foot upon the Promised Land, Joshua assembled everyone together to give thanks and praise to God. They honored God by stacking stones as an altar for the Lord. The stones were to serve as a reminder of how mightily God acted on their behalf, keeping His promises and leading the Isrealites safely into the Promised Land.
As you enter the Promised Land of college and beyond, think about how far you’ve come and praise God! Remember who you are and Whose you are. Look back at the journey that brought you this far. Think about what God has done in your life and be assured that just as God was with Moses (and Joshua) He will be with you, never leaving or forsaking you. (1:5) Assured of God’s presence, you can be strong and courageous (1:6, 1:7, 1:9) knowing the LORD your God is with you wherever you go (1:9).
God bless you, my senior friends!
For more, read the story of Joshua. You can do so online at http://www.biblegateway.com .