The way we live our lives is changing. Who would have guessed that toilet paper would be such a hot topic? (check out my alternative suggestions here) The world we lived in January of 2020 will not be the same in December of 2020. What is happening now was beyond our imagination, and what's coming is too. It can be a struggle to stay in peace and trust the Lord. But as we get beyond the fear that is saturating the atmosphere right now, we can sense God is doing something new. As we take refuge under His wings, there is an excitement and anticipation of something good about to happen!
In my time with the Lord over the past few days, I've been hearing Him say "prepare yourself". He has lead me to Joshua chapters 1 and 3.
And Joshua said to the people, Sanctify yourselves [that is, separate yourselves for a special holy purpose], for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you. Joshua 3:5
Prepare Your Provisions
Israel is camped by the river Jordan, waiting for instructions on what to do next. They had gone as far as they could. Now the only thing in the way to the promised land was a raging river, impossible to cross. Joshua hears from the Lord and the first message is to prepare your provisions. The word for provisions means food. At first this had me puzzled. Their food was mana and it would not keep overnight. So what were they to prepare?
According to Joshua 1:12, the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh already taken the land east of the Jordan as theirs. It states they had cattle, so we can assume they had other livestock as well. They could have had milk, butter, cheese, eggs and possibly meat. Some commentaries say it denotes food got in hunting. By asking them to get food ready for this journey, he was preparing them for the mana to cease.
Pack Your Bags
Another translation says the Israelites were to pack their bags. That implies packing more than just food. They were going on a journey and not coming back. Not only was mana about to cease, now their clothing and shoes would start to wear out. So any extra clothing and supplies to make more would need to be packed.
Today, we are seeing store shelves empty of supplies we have taken for granted forcing us to be creative with what we have. Also, store are no longer open 24/7, and internet shopping, delivery and take out is the way we have to shop. The jobs and businesses we relied on to provide for us are temporarily unavailable.
Does this mean we need to go and stock up on food and toilet paper? No, I don't think so. But I do believe we should prepare for the way God provides for us to change. In the wilderness mana was needed, but in the promised land there would be plenty of food. There was a time when the brook dried up for Elijah, and he had to move where God had provision for him.
God has been and always will be Jehovah Jireh-the Lord who supplies. However, the way He supplies for you may be changing.
Get Ready to Take the Land
The Israelites had three days to prepare themselves. Finally, after years of wandering around the outside the promised land, they were going in and taking what was theirs. Excited and nervous, they packed up food, supplies, clothing and sharpened their weapons. It's really happening, what we have prayed for, imagined, and dreamed of is starting now. And in three days, we will be standing on the Promised Land! Can you imagine the conversations around the campfires? Stories of crossing the Red Sea were told as they speculated how they would cross the Jordan. Plans were made for what they were going to do with their piece of the promised land. Close your eyes. You can almost smell the cooking fires and hear what they are saying.
Are you prepared?
In a way, we are sitting on the east side of the Jordan river waiting and preparing to enter into the promised land. We have been given more than three days to prepare, so let's use this time wisely. I encourage you to spend some of your "self-isolation" time asking God how you should prepare. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you, so you will be ready spiritually, mentally, and physically for the new. Leave a comment and let me know how you are using this time to prepare. Then join me on Facebook and Instagram for daily posts on this.
P.S. Since this turned out a bit longer than I anticipated, Joshua 3 will have to wait for next time. Stay encouraged, expect good things, and bask in the Father's love to cast out fear. Steve and I are praying for you.
This prayer of Moses from Psalm 90 is part of my daily prayers and confessions for you.
Let the sunrise of your love end our dark night.
Break through our clouded dawn again!
Only you can satisfy our hearts,
filling us with songs of joy to the end of our days.
We’ve been overwhelmed with grief;
come now and overwhelm us with gladness.
Replace our years of trouble with decades of delight.
Let us see your miracles again, and let the rising generation
see the glorious wonders you’re famous for.
O Lord our God, let your sweet beauty rest upon us
and give us favor.
Come work with us, and then our works will endure,
and give us success in all we do.